Smokers Can Be Helped by E-Cigarettes
The controversy over e-cigarettes and vaping continues to rage, despite much evidence that e-cigarettes are significantly safer than deadly tobacco cigarettes. In addition, it is a documented fact that e-cigarettes do enable smokers to quit tobacco.
In Great Britain, the attitude towards e-cigarettes has become much more positive compared to the U.S. general view since British scientists and medical experts have stepped forward and demanded that the truth be heard: E-cigarettes are safer than smoking. Great Britain has over 2 million smokers, and research indicates that the majority of them are now using e-cigarettes as a smoking alternative. Health experts have also declared e-cigarettes to be 95 percent safer than tobacco cigarettes and asked British government to recommend a switch to e-cigarettes to all smokers.
In America, e-cigarette regulations are set by the individual states. California recently voted to tax e-cigarettes along with tobacco products, Pennsylvania imposes a heavy tax on e-cigarette liquid, and New Mexico is considering adding e-cigarettes to its Clean Indoor Air Act that bans indoor smoking.
The attitude against e-cigarettes is in part about children and teens. Fears that young people may pick up the vaping habit cause many politicians to move towards putting e-cigarettes in the same legal category as tobacco products; in fact, the Food and Drug Administration considers them to be tobacco products, despite the fact that they do not contain tobacco.
Most e-cigarette liquid does contain nicotine, but while second hand smoke is a major factor in smoking bans, there is zero evidence of any harm from “second hand vapor.” There is actually no sound scientific evidence that first hand vapor from an e-cigarette causes harm. Still, even e-cigarette supporters admit that the unknown element is enough to warrant keeping e-cigarettes out of the hands of kids, but outright bans and high taxes on e-cigarettes are having the negative effect of making it harder for adult smokers to acquire a safer alternative to tobacco.
If government actually wants smokers to quit and become healthier, it would be wise to encourage a switch to e-cigarettes rather than discourage it with bans and taxes. There is a cynical view that government actually wants people to keep smoking so that they will keep paying high cigarette taxes, or at least pay high e-cigarette taxes instead. If smoking rates continue to decline, government will lose money, but replacing it by taxing a safer product that is improving the health of millions of America is the wrong way to go about it.