The American Surgeon General published the first federal government report linking smoking and ill health half a century ago. The report also demanded that the United states government take suitable helpful action to reduce the harm brought on by smoking.
Since that time the portion of Americans who glow has fallen from 42% to 18% and then in some states the portion of regular smokers can almost be counted in single figures. Similar reductions have occurred elsewhere. Nearly half the united kingdom population smoked in 1974. Now, less than a quarter do. The figures around australia are even healthier.
This is very fantastic news because smoking causes a number of different diseases and it is the primary reason behind preventable deaths in lots of countries. Indeed, smoking might have killed as many as 100m people in the 20th century and also the World Health Organisation estimates that this figure for your modern day could be a mind-boggling 1 billion.
About half a century ago another significant “smoking related” event happened: the first electronic cigarette was patented. It was a product that produced vapour from tobacco without combustion. For most decades “vaping” remained a minority activity. But within the last several years these not-quite-so newfangled nicotine delivery devices have grown to be rather popular. And concern has become raised over their use and particularly uptake among young adults. While figures from Ash suggest a negligible number of bumblebee vape pen, a recently available US-based study discovered that the proportion of middle and high school students in America who had ever used an electronic cigarette more than doubled between 2011-2012. Some analysts have even predicted that vaping may become very popular than smoking inside a decade.
Modern e-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that vaporise nicotine for inhalation. They normally contain a cartridge containing liquid nicotine along with a heating element made to produce an aerosol. Many also include flavourings like menthol – a well known fact that has been criticised on the grounds that flavourings might make e-cigarettes more appealing to children.
Although vaping (and passive vaping) could well be safer than smoking (and passive smoking) a number of toxicological analyses have demostrated that e-cigarettes contain many dangerous chemicals. The good thing is that e-cigarettes are primarily utilized by people as a popular smoking cessation aid. But it’s far away from clear how effective e-cigarettes are in helping men and women to stop smoking in the long run. More worryingly, some studies show that several “never smokers” have tried vaping. This is of particular concern because e-cigarettes could work as a “gateway drug” to conventional cigarettes.
The relative lack of evidence concerning the safety, effectiveness and ultimate impact of e-cigarettes has led to the adoption of radically different approaches to the import, production, sale, distribution and advertising of such devices. Some countries, like Argentina, effectively prohibited them. But a majority of jurisdictions allow e-cigarettes to get sold and consumed subject to varying degrees of regulation. The EU, as an example, is taking a fairly hard line, however it is unclear at this point what impact these new rules may have.
Ethically speaking, it could seem a good idea to be suspicious. E-cigarettes may not represent a modern Trojan horse, but the recent interest shown by tobacco companies within these devices should provide us with all pause for thought. This does not always mean that vaping should be entirely proscribed. Quite apart from the simple fact that our liberty rights dictate otherwise, there is certainly, as noted above, valid reason to think that e-cigarettes are less dangerous than regular cigarettes so the net impact on health (and longevity) may well htkcbf positive.
But due to the serious risk that vaping might re-glamourise smoking, especially between the young, a cautious regulatory approach is warranted. This will incorporate a ban on the sale of e-cigarettes to children along with a The Big Apple-style ban on vaping in public areas indoor spaces and private office buildings. Additionally, it seems eminently sensible to set up regulations to ensure the marketing of e-cigarettes is restricted to current smokers.
Many will complain that too many restrictions on the sale and consumption is going to be counter-productive. Some experts have even claimed that quality control regulation is, more or less, all that is needed, and that vaping might make smoking redundant. But this approach seems overly lax. All things considered, there’s (usually) no vapour without fire.