OUR VIEW: Lack of information makes vaping risky

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These days, it seems like one can’t go two steps outside without walking through a cloud of “water vapor” emitted from E-cigarettes. The little devices are everywhere.

  Normally, when something causes bodily harm, one would think that this object would be shunned by society–deemed unfit and unsafe. After a vape pen exploded in a California man’s pocket, burning his thigh and injuring his leg, one would think the devices would be taken off the market. Even after the battery in an E-cigarette exploded in a Florida mother’s purse, giving both she and a relative second-degree burns while narrowly missing her three-year-old daughter, vapes are flying off the shelves as high as $500 a pop for the most expensive models. Some sources say that any of these explosions were caused by after-market modification devices, and not the electronic cigarette itself, but in the two previous cases, the labeling melted off, leaving no way of knowing for sure what exactly went wrong.

  The price is another issue. In the U.S. alone, consumers are spending more than $2.35 billion on electronic smoking. The average amount spent on vaping and its products is $60 a month, which is a great deal to pay for something which could self destruct at any moment.   

  There was a time when smoking was allowed on airplanes. Imagine being stuck in a pressurized tin can with a bunch of cigarette smoke. There were designated smoking sections, but there was no real way to keep the smoke itself there. It wasn’t illegal until the 1980’s. Why did it take so long to reform in-flight smoking laws? How long will it take to reform laws about vapes?

  Sure, vapes are a good thing to people who are trying to quit smoking. The nicotine concentration isn’t as high, and E-cigarettes are a cheaper alternative. One poll done by Lendedu.com found that out of 710 surveyed, the switch from traditional tobacco products to vapes saved 71 percent of consumers an average of $1,416.60 a year. E-cigarettes are not, however FDA-approved smoking preventative devices.

  Arguably, E-smoking is safer and more convenient than smoking cigarettes. There is no open flame to cause risk, no unsightly ash trays that have to be maintained, no lighters that eventually run out of fluid and no cigarette butts littering the ground or piled in a tray. However, cigarettes did not come with the chance of an explosion in a consumer’s face. 

  Let’s be clear. E-cigarettes contain nicotine which is dangerous. They are expensive. They can explode. They are still not a safe choice.

  In short, the benefits do not outweigh the drawbacks of vaping and E-cigarette use. They are dangerous, and severely under-researched. They shouldn’t be used–especially not by teens–until we know more about them. 

  Even if you continue to vape, make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect yourself and those around you: read the manual and follow it, do not modify a device, limit time smoking, and most importantly, keep in the know as new information on vapes is discovered. That’s being a responsible consumer. Just because the research isn’t all in doesn’t mean vaping is safe. The best idea is to just not start in the first place.

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