There is this ongoing debate on the health effects of e-cigarettes. The major difference I see in the battle is that one side is comparing e-cigarettes to air, and the other is comparing e-cigarettes to traditional cigarettes. Let’s chat a bit about the difference between healthy vs healthier than the alternative that it is supposed to replace. Let me just make one statement right off the bat. Vaping is not healthy. Compared to air, vaping is incredibly dangerous. However, that’s not the real argument we should be discussing. Vaping was not created to hook a new generation on the nefarious nicotine. The reality is e-cigarettes were created by a man who’s father died due to complications from smoking, and as a smoker himself he wanted a way to quit so he didn’t find himself in the same fate.
So, the question then becomes “Is vaping safer than smoking?” I have yet to see anyone in the scientific or medical world say no to that question. Each of them, when directly asked that question has said that everything points to vaping being a safer alternative to smoking, but that there is so much unknown that they’re afraid of it. Obviously I’m paraphrasing, since scientists and medical professionals seem to be incapable of admitting that they’re afraid of the unknown. More importantly, the majority of them have stated the reason they are so adamantly against vaping is because they don’t want a repeat of what happened with big tobacco.
The lies and ultimately the discovery that smoking was in fact dangerous.
What I find hard to understand is that, with today’s technology many of the questions they struggled for years to answer about tobacco, they have already answered in regards to e-cigarettes. So, why are they still so afraid of it? Again, it all comes down to healthy vs healthier. Think about it, a doctor’s purpose, their sole purpose is to protect human life. When they look at vaping, as they often do, compared to air, they have every reason to be concerned and wish for this thing to go away. Unfortunately, that mentality is a utopia mentality that just isn’t reasonable. The fact is, there will always be addicts. There will always be people addicted to nicotine. Those that have accepted that reality see a great possibility in the major increase of vapers across the globe.
Most medical professionals will discourage the use of e-cigarettes and try to promote the FDA approved nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) options currently on the market. Unfortunately, the majority of us have already tried that option and failed. Think about this, even if vaping is only as effective as NRT (which I believe is seriously undercutting it’s efficacy), then the amount of lives saved just from it’s broad reach compared to standard NRT would be in the tens of thousands.
Remember when you’re hearing all they hype on the news, and listening to all those condemning vaping. There is a difference between healthy vs healthier. I would never claim that vaping is 100% safe. Nothing is. Even the air in major cities is so polluted that you can’t consider it 100% safe. But, when you compare the health effects of vaping to the health effects of smoking, I can say with absolute certainty that I believe it is significantly safer. I have no desire to see my 18 year old child start vaping. But I would be thrilled if my co-workers who have been smoking for years make the switch. It’s all about perspective, and the specific audience we want to reach. As long as we remember that, we’ll be able to see a good portion of the reality behind the hype in the media.