There are two sides to the e-cig debate raging across the country and even the world. You have e-cig enthusiasts on one side that are adamant that e-cigs are practically harmless and actually beneficial. Then you have those who hate e-cigs on the other side who say that these products are gateway drugs and that they pose a serious threat to the public and to individual users. Finally, you have researchers in the middle trying to provide facts and calm people down with their findings.
So, who is right? Are e-cigs really that dangerous and do they pose a threat to everyone around them, but especially the users? Or are they really a great way to help smokers stop smoking and do something less dangerous and do they really pose few risks to the users?
The science sits somewhere in the middle, but it could actually go either way at some point. Right now, e-cigs haven’t been researched as much as something like cigarettes. There has been research going on about cigarettes for decades. Most people remember when cigarettes were seen as a healthy habit and even recommended by some doctors. Now, they are called cancer sticks and denounced by practically everyone.
Will e-cigs share that same stigma in a few years? It’s hard to say right now, but we do know that the science on them says that they are not as dangerous as cigarettes and that they can be helpful to those wanting an alternative to quitting. It’s obvious that there are some health risks to using e-cigs, but how dangerous they are has yet to be fully determined. There may also be health benefits that we don’t fully understand, and that means that it is important to approach this topic as impartially as possible.
Those who support e-cigs tend to turn a blind eye to any findings that contradict their beliefs or that put e-cigs in a bad light. Also, those who are against e-cigs tend to downplay the benefits and the way that e-cigs are considered much better for people than cigarettes.
No one is suggesting that e-cigs are something that anyone should be taking up as a way to become healthier. If someone does not smoke or use cigarettes,then they should not start, for the sake of their health and their future. Like smoking, e-cigs can be additive and habit forming, and it is important to understand that. They are not completely harmless, but neither are they as serious a problem for the public or a persons’health as cigarettes.
The question remains as to whether they are just lesser evil or some form of evil at all. Do they deserve to be stigmatized or should they be accepted in public? For now, e-cigs are banned from many public places in eh US, but not so much in the UK. There is still a lot of divisions politically about whether the products should be banned or regulated and what all that would entail. Even in the US, only 10 states have opted to ban them from public places, so it’s obvious that the verdict is still out and the consensus is a divided one.
The official UK position on e-cigs seems to rely on the findings of one study that showed that e-cigs were 95% less harmful than cigarettes. That’s still a level of harm, but as it is significantly less. It warrants special consideration for e-cigs, which is exactly what the UK has done for them.