Unlike many personal vices, smoking presents a number of health risks to others besides the individual smoker. As a result, many cities across the country have banned the smoking of traditional cigarettes in public places. In the wake of these smoking bans, e-cigarettes or vaping began to rise in popularity. E-cigarettes create a harmless water vapor that is, in and of itself, no danger to anyone inhaling it. The problem, however, is that e-cigarettes are generally used in conjunction with a nicotine-laden liquid, and that is where the problem lies.
Health Risks of Nicotine
While traditional cigarettes are laden with a far greater number of toxins and carcinogens that make them much more detrimental than e-cigarettes, vaping is not without hazard. Nicotine consumption alone carries a number of potential risks, particularly to children, youth and young adults. Not only has nicotine been proven to be highly addictive but it has also been linked to decreased development in adolescent brains. To make matters worse, e-cigarettes are capable of delivering a much higher dose of nicotine than traditional cigarettes.
Unfortunately, the use of e-cigarettes is on the rise among the adolescent community, with more than 20 percent of high school students reporting in 2018 that they had used vaping devices within the past 30 days, which was an alarming increase over the less than 2 percent that reported the same in 2011.
Benefits of E-Cigarettes
While vaping may pose a threat to youth and young adults, it also offers a significant benefit to individuals trying to quit smoking. The substances contained in cigarettes are not the only addictive aspect of smoking. Many smokers enjoy certain rituals related to smoking, which becomes a deeply ingrained part of their daily habits and practices. E-cigarettes allow smokers to engage in many of their habitual rituals with only a fraction of the health risks. In addition, users can actually adjust the level of nicotine they are consuming by using different types of vape juice, including juice which contains no nicotine at all.
Are Bans Realistic?
All in all, while vaping may present a slight risk to minors, it is somewhat ridiculous to attempt to completely ban the sale of e-cigarettes and vaping products. Just like with prohibition or age restrictions on drinking, most attempts at banning products only lead to an increased fascination with them, which leads to a rise in use rather than a decrease in usage.