E Cigs

E cigs, also known as electronic cigarettes, are new phenomena that have swept the world in recent years. Touting them as a “safe method to quit smoking”, cigarette manufacturers have pushed e cigs to a broad market of people who are looking for healthier life, but who have not yet committed to leaving smoking behind.

Three important questions to ask yourself, however, are, “Are e cigs any better than smoking cigarettes? Are they really a safe alternative? Do they improve quality of life for ex-smokers?” b

Often manufactured by the same companies that sell cigarettes, electronic cigarettes have not proven themselves to be a viable, healthy alternative. A number of controversies have arisen regarding the electronic cigarette juice (the liquid that is vaporized to deliver the dose of chemicals). The chemical solution is extremely potent and is absolutely poisonous. If ingested orally or absorbed through the skin (which is common if spilled during refilling) it is particularly toxic, can cause vomiting or seizures, and is lethal enough to kill a small child. Is that something you want to be vaporizing into your lungs?

A second concern about this chemical cocktail is that most companies don’t disclose the real ingredients, and that the few ingredients we do know are bad news. The main component is vegetable oil. Yes, that’s right: while using an e-cigarette, you are essentially coating your lungs in vegetable oil. Generally, when I wake in the morning and consider what I can do to improve my health, sticking my head over a vat of fryer grease and inhaling isn’t on the list.

Now, if there were any possibility left that e cigs are a viable option for those quitting smoking, we mustn’t forget that the same companies that sell cigarettes are also manufacturing and marketing this new “health product”. It’s pretty clear that the companies making billions of dollars from those who are addicted to smoking cigarettes cannot be trusted allies in helping anyone to quit. In fact, the cost of buying all the necessary supplies, plus backup units for work and travel, add up to a hefty price tag. Rather than help you to quit smoking, electronic cigarettes only create more revenue for Big Tobacco, which knows you will be back to smoking cigarettes within six months.

Only five per cent of those using electronic cigarettes to quit smoking is actually successful. The various chemical solutions used are highly addictive drugs in their own right; while you may be avoiding the added chemicals of a cigarette, e cig juice is still extremely addictive. Planning to replace cigarettes with a chemical vapour will still leave your body hooked on smoking, can lead to severe respiratory problems, and 95 per cent of those trying this method will be back to smoking cigarettes within six months. Additionally, while nicotine-containing juice is banned in Canada, tests of many brands of e-cigarette juice has come up positive for nicotine; this is in part possible because of the lack of scrutiny, regulation, and enforcement in this relatively new field.

If quitting smoking is important to you, e cigs are not a viable solution. In fact, it is almost impossible that any action that includes or mimics smoking in any form will help you to kick your smoking habit.

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