Nix the Cancer Sticks, Bring On the Vapor

Disposable cigarettes

We all know the iconic images: a black-and-white scene, a lounging actress with a smoldering cigarette dangling from her fingers; Don Draper, the lone, thoughtful man smoking a cigarette in his office. Despite fervent anti-tobacco campaigns, something about lighting up ignites the American imagination, and there is a booming movement to bring the fantasy to customers in a brand-new and much cleaner, healthier way: water vapor. To be more precise, fruit- and tobacco-flavored water vapor without any of the gruesome chemicals that lurk in traditional cigarettes, all in a rechargeable electronic cartridge that fits in your pocket.

What is vaping? Vaping — using disposable electronic cigarettes that operate on batteries and water — steamed onto the scene, and over the last eight years, the best e cigs have turned into a $1.7 billion dollar market, with over two million hits on Google when the term “vaping reviews” is searched.

The FDA does not yet regulate e cigarettes and their consumption, but they have been proposing such regulations since 2014. The FDA’s involvement is somewhat controversial with vaping enthusiasts, as the organization would enforce age restrictions and drive liquid cartridges through stringent scientific reviews. Supporters of vaping point to its simplicity as the best possible indicator of its inherent safety. No deadly chemicals, no problem.

There are dozens of myths about vaping that still circulate like urban legends: that vape liquid contains just as many harmful chemicals as any cigarette, that the secondhand smoke is still full of carcinogens, that vaping contributes to heart and lung disease. But proponents say that breathing the steam — yes, the steam — from a vapor cigarette is no more harmful than taking a breath. The best e cigs have cartridges that are available with varying degrees of nicotine in them, but none of them include the harsh and deadly chemicals that come with traditional smoking: arsenic, methanol, acetone, and tar would never be found in a vapor cartridge.

With over 8,600,000 people in the United States suffering from a serious illness due to traditional smoking, the benefits of vaping instead are immediately apparent.

It is estimated by the Tobacco Vapor Electronic Cigarette Association that approximately four million Americans now use battery powered e-cigarettes, and the movement is only growing. A single study found that 60% of people that want to quit smoking traditional cigarettes cite vapor cigarettes as an easier method than nicotine gums or patches.

The New York Times estimates that there are well over 7,000 liquid e-cig flavors for sale now. That’s as many flavors as there are harmful chemicals in traditional cigarettes.

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