I’m not a smoker. In fact, I’ve never smoked a single cigarette, cigar or pipe. Which is perhaps why I tend to notice smokers more when I’m out and about, especially at sporting events and other outdoor venues. Particularly when people are walking down the street with their “vapes”, vaporizers that tend to look like tiny hookahs or pipes that I’m more used to seeing as a way to consume drugs.
I’m definitely not a fan of cigarettes or similar either, but then again, I haven’t tried it so I don’t know what the experience is like. I do know that I see more and more of these manufacturers at trade shows like the Consumer Electronics Show and I’ve always wondered if they were really healthy or not, if they were an aid to smoking cessation, or whether they were just bad news wrapped up in the latest fashion.
Here’s how they work:
As explained by the NYT in its starkly titled Selling Poison by the Barrel: Liquid Nicotine for E-Cigarettes: “Tiny amounts [of liquid nicotine], whether ingested or absorbed through the skin, can cause vomiting and seizures and even be lethal. A teaspoon of even highly diluted e-liquid can kill a small child.” Not to mention this quote, from another piece: “high-power e-cigarettes known as tank systems produce formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.”
In yet another story from The Daily Telegraph, one vaper learns from her doctor that her “forty inhalations an hour” turns out to be the equivalent of 40 cigarettes a day in terms of nicotine. Two packs a day. And she thought it was the safe alternative to smoking.
The latest in this story is from the World Health Organization with its new report on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems.
In the report they point out that the safety of e-cigs and vapor delivery systems has not been tested or established, nor has the safety of the “smoke” that other people near someone using one of these devices breathes. In fact, the WHO recommendation is that people avoid using e-cigs indoors completely.
I worry about my son picking up smoking as a way to fit in with the cool kids, and then moving to vapor delivery systems or the more subtle e-cigarettes.
But now we know, they’re just as dangerous. Better to just chew gum, I think…