By in Health & Fitness

E-Cigarettes - Good or Bad?

There's some controversy in the news today. Apparently the World Health Organization think they're unhelpful and should be regulated. The UK authorities believe that e-cigarettes are beneficial. In a nutshell:

Supporters of E-Cigarettes

  1. They are not harmful to the smoker (or vapper) or to bystanders.
  2. Smokers of standard cigarettes should switch to e-cigarettes.
  3. They help people who want to quit smoking.
  4. There is no conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes act as a gateway to normal smoking.
  5. E-cigarettes do not glamorize or normalize smoking.

Opponents of E-Cigarettes

  1. The full health impacts of smoking e-cigarettes are not known.
  2. There is some evidence that they do act as a gateway to normal smoking.
  3. They do normalize and/or glamorize smoking.
  4. The impact on bystanders is not known.
  5. They may help some people quit but this is counteracted by those that are introduced to smoking by using e-cigs.

It's quite a polarized debate. It seems to me that supporters see immediate health benefits and argue that the risks are minimal. On the other hand opponents cite the precautionary principle- i.e. we should be wary until we have more evidence.

In my opinion, government and health organizations should organize definitive research to be concluded asap. The potential health benefits are too great to be restricted by lack of conclusive information. In the meantime, I would personally allow them to be used in any places where normal smoking is allowed.

What do you think?


Image Credit » https://www.flickr.com/photos/chiropractic/6839395120/in/photolist

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Comments

melody23 wrote on September 5, 2014, 5:15 AM

I have been using an e-cig on and off for about a year now, I just cant seem to get off the regular kind, but I know loads of people who have quit with them. My feeling is that for folk that already smoke surely e-cigs are healthier than normal ones, they are likely not good for you, but surely not as bad as regular cigarettes. It annoys me that they are banned in so many places, its one of the reasons I cant stick to them because I still have to go outside and freeze, they don't harm anyone other than the person using them so I don't see why they shouldn't be used indoors.

suffolkjason wrote on September 5, 2014, 5:25 AM

Interesting point of view. I hadn't considered that allowing e-cigs in public places would encourage smokers to switch because of the convenience. You might have changed my mind!

melody23 wrote on September 5, 2014, 5:37 AM

Oh absolutely, most people I know tried them when they came out because of the smoking ban, they could 'smoke' them in the pub and that was what they wanted to do. Not everyone stuck to them mind you but a lot of them did. There is nothing more depressing than standing outside in the rain feeling like you have some horrible disease that no one wants to catch so they stay away from you.

Feisty56 wrote on September 5, 2014, 10:21 AM

My gosh -- I wish all the governments would have been so discerning before exposing us to the hazardous chemicals introduced into our households and products since the end of World War II! As a cigarette smoker, I would rather smoke an E-cig because I am certain it is less risky to do so than a typical cigarette. I also second everything Melody23 has said about this issue.

Pogonotomy wrote on September 5, 2014, 10:43 AM

I've tried an e-cig a couple of times, personally don't care of it. I don't smoke regularly but when I do, I'd rather smoke a real cigarette.

paigea wrote on September 5, 2014, 12:25 PM

I have never smoked. I am mainly concerned with the fact that they seem to get young people started smoking. I do see how helpful they are to help people quit.