Have you seen those crazy cigarette ads from the 50s and 60s about doctors choosing Camels? You might think that such thing couldn't happen today. But it does.
Born Out Of Desperation
Electronic cigarettes were introduced in 2004 and I remember that I saw them for the first time advertised in the inflight magazine. Airline was selling them. It was allowed to smoke e-cig during the flight. The crazy old days!
Tobacco companies are not blind. For decades they were watching smoking rates drop. Things that hurt them most were ban on cigarette advertising and health concerns. They were in desperate need of a new product. Product that due to legal loopholes could be advertised and even better - it could be advertised as "healthier" option to smoking.
Gift From Heavens
Vaporizer was like the gift from above. It wasn't regulated and still to this day regulation is lagging. FDA and other regulatory agencies only now are starting to close loopholes.
Legal status allowed tobacco companies to make wild claims about safety and healthiness of their new products. This was like back in "the good old days." Advertisements for vaporizers might look better but the message is exactly the same as it was when filtered cigarettes were introduced.
This product once again allowed them to peddle candy flavored products. Flavored cigarettes were banned for good reason - it was proven that the only reason to have them was because they were more appealing to teens. It was a great way to introduce kids to smoking without that horrible taste. E-cigarette allowed tobacco companies to resume this practice.
How Can They Do That
We take for granted the level of security that we got used to thanks to regulatory agencies. Nowadays it is a huge scandal if toys are made using lead containing paint. This worked well for e-cigarette manufacturers. You are more susceptible to healthiness claims because we think that if manufacturer makes those claims and they have nothing to back them up with, they will be fined and have all sorts of trouble.
Unfortunately that's only an illusion. Everyday we are surrounded by products that claim to be "natural" or "better" - they can call themselves that because they found loopholes. You can call product "natural" because nobody regulates the use of this word, only "eco" claims are regulated.
E-cigarette is a new product that is not regulated. That's why first time I saw ad for it, it was advertised as a "healthy and completely safe alternative to smoking."
Any Truth To Those Claims?
Regular cigarettes are the most deadly product on the market so e-cig claim that it is "healthier" can be true. It is easy to be "healthier" compared to such deadly product but even if these things are healthier - you have to have something to be able to back up your claims.
They have no way to prove it and they know it. Medical studies require time and volume. You might say that enough time has passed but it hasn't. Vaping has been introduced only in 2004 and even today the rate of e-cigarette use is relatively low.
It took two decades to prove beyond any doubt that cigarette smoking causes cancer and this was with close to half of population smoking.
Can one bullet be less deadly than different one? Same way e-cigarette can be "healthier" than regular cigarette.
Only real healthier choice is to quit smoking and eliminate nicotine addiction from your life. Nicotine does seem to be beneficial in addressing Parkinson's disease but positive effect stop there.
Nicotine has been widely used as a pesticide. Farmers used it to kill of pests but the used of nicotine was banned due to it's high toxicity. It was so toxic that it killed not only pests but wildlife around the farm and hurt farm workers.
E-cigarette could produce only nicotine - even this would be enough to make it unhealthy. But that's not how vaporizer works. You get plenty of chemicals from vaping and due to lack of regulation, nobody can say for sure what is inside liquid which you are using.
Does E-Cigarette Help Quit Smoking
One of the claims of e-cig advocates is that it is a good way to quit smoking cigarettes. I remember reading one article that argued that people who switch to vaping smoke less and some even stop smoking regular cigarettes completely.
This claim stems from the misconception that was built on misleading marketing. It would be the same as to claim that I am no longer am an alcoholic because I don't drink any vodka. Now I drink only beer.
Cigarette and e-cigarette are nicotine delivery systems. They both are habit forming devices.
What Really Helps
Studies have established that things like using nicotine patch, gum, spray or especially e-cigarette don't help quit nicotine addiction. Getting rid of your addiction to cigarettes doesn't require anything extraordinary.
To quit smoking you need to look at the reasons why you smoke and to truly understand that smoking is a self sustaining circle of misery. You already sacrificed too much to this habit - it is time to quit smoking and enjoy smoke free life.