By Joo Young Lee
Waves of alarmed questions have inundated society’s notification tab.
Waves of this new device has rippled through every nation’s store.
Waves of curiosity have undulated every smoker’s spine.
It is the despicable development and omnipresence of e-cigarettes, of which it has raised questions about its effects on society. The diagnosis we can take away from e-cigarettes does not make smokers quit, it hikes up the odds of teenagers getting addicted to vaping, and we should take into notice the possible repercussions it will impose for our future generations.
Since its inception, e-cigarettes has captivated the teenagers of the early 21st century as there are almost twice(from 2013 to 2015) as many U.S. high school kids who have vaped than smoked.10 E-cigarettes were an alternative for combustible cigarette smokers as a more healthier option, but it has been a gateway drug, nicotine, for teens as young as 13 to get addicted to.9 This blinds our eyes and categorizes us as slaves of circumstance. Even when one in four 12th graders vaped nicotine,3 there has been little to no research about the effects it will have for the future generation of our human race.
The image of e-cigarettes is that you are insusceptible to health risks that can be found in inflammable cigarettes. Similar to watching a McDonald’s commercial, and thinking that the burger will look the same in reality. Thus, teenagers are attracted to this so-called “healthier” alternative that generates the notion smoking has provided. However, when this alternative becomes a gateway(drug) to tobacco cigarettes, won’t it contradict the theory cigarette industries market that vaping can “help combustible tobacco cigarette smokers to quit”?17 Award-winning scientist Adam M. Leventhal concluded from surveying 2,530 14-year-olds from 10 public high schools in Los Angeles, California, who never smoked tobacco cigarettes in 9th grade 1, that they are more likely to “report initiation of combustible tobacco use.” 6 Teens are jumping on the bandwagon that vaping is innocuous. These bandwagoners still play Call of Duty on their Xbox are gradually going to explode their tolerance bar so high that smoking from anything between tobacco to cocaine would be just another kill.
Vapings one and only benefit is that it can act like a cigarette, just without the 5,000 chemicals, plus the 70 cancer-causing compounds.11 It is no denying the fact that vaping is better than smoking as smoking has caused 28,600 adult deaths 8 and $8.64 billion health care costs in Florida alone annually.12 Correspondingly, Professor Peter Hajek of Queen Mary University said, “My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health.” 4 Almost all the risks. Not all, but almost. The harmless e-liquid chemicals are transformed into toxic vapor clouds and can lead to bronchitis.5 E-cigarettes are a band-aid, not a solution. The bleeding is only suspended temporarily and the band-aid will come off.
What is the big-picture here? What simulation would this new technology log us into? The efficacy of vaping as a tool for smokers to give up their Marlboros is undermined with the report sanctioned by Congress: the Public Health Consequences of E-Cigarettes.7 Over 800 credible, analysed, and professionally reviewed studies lead to a general consensus that vaping is a harm reduction device for the short run, but the long-term public health situation may be worse than before. This sea of concern invades our minds, families, phones, lungs, and our future.
So, the question everyone has running in their minds: Is vaping really worth the risk?
Belluz, Julia. “4 Big Takeaways from the Most Comprehensive Report on e-Cigarettes Yet.”Vox, Vox, 23 Jan. 2018, www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/1/23/16923070/nas-report-e-cigarettes-health-risks.
- “Florida.” Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 12 Feb. 2018, www.tobaccofreekids.org/problem/toll-us/florida.
- Glenza, Jessica. “More US Teens Are Vaping than Smoking Cigarettes, Study Finds.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Dec. 2017, www.theguardian.com/society/2017/dec/13/e-cigarettes-vaping-more-teens-cigarettes-study.
- “King’s College London – Homepage.” King’s College London – All Evidence Shows That e-Cigarettes Have Potential to Reduce the Harms Caused by Smoking, www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/news/records/2015/August/ecigarettes.aspx.
- Konkel, Lindsey. “Concerns Explode over New Health Risks of Vaping.” Science News for Students, 14 Nov. 2017,
- Leventhal, PhD Adam M. “Association of e-Cigarette Use With Smoking During Early Adolescence.” JAMA, American Medical Association, 18 Aug. 2015, jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2428954.
- “New Report One of Most Comprehensive Studies on Health Effects of E-Cigarettes; Finds That Using E-Cigarettes May Lead Youth to Start Smoking, Adults to Stop Smoking.”National Academies Web Server www8.Nationalacademies.org, www8.nationalacademies.org/onpinews/newsitem.aspx?RecordID=24952.
- “Prevention.” Tobacco Free Florida | Florida Department of Health, www.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/prevention/tobacco-free-florida/index.html.
- Quinton, Matt. “Children as Young as 13 Illegally Buy e-Cigarettes as Vaping Stores Flout Law.” The Sun, The Sun, 12 Jan. 2017, www.thesun.co.uk/news/2593438/children-as-young-as-13-can-illegally-buy-e-cigarettes-as-vaping-stores-openly-flout-law-to-make-quick-sales/.
- Raloff, Janet. “Teen Vaping Soars Past Cigarette Use.” Science News for Students, 25 Apr. 2017, www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/teen-vaping-soars-past-cigarette-use.
- “What’s in a Cigarette?” Cancer Research UK, 12 Dec. 2017, www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/smoking-and-cancer/whats-in-a-cigarette.
- Kaplan, Sheila. “Vaping Can Be Addictive and May Lure Teenagers to Smoking, Science Panel Concludes.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Jan. 2018, http://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/health/e-cigarettes-smoking-fda-tobacco.html.