Social Question

ibstubro's avatar

What's your take on electronic cigarettes?

Asked by ibstubro (18765points) July 29th, 2016

I ask because I’m personally in the process of firming up an opinion or stance on them, and I want to know what the opinion options are.

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71 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

An alternative way to deliver poisonous chemicals, and to keep people addicted to nicotine. They should be treated like cigarettes.

chyna's avatar

Long term affects are not yet known. I wouldn’t recommend them.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I could care less whether or not other people smoke these things.

Jeruba's avatar

From the point of view of a non-user: I don’t like having them around me. Some of them smell very weird, and anyway I just don’t enjoy the sight of my family members puffing and dragging with their oral fixations. But is it better than cigarette smoke? Hell, yes, by about 1000%.

I used to smoke (more than 25 years ago) and enjoyed it. But I didn’t want to be a smoker. After several tries I managed to quit. I’ve sampled the e-cigs, and I’m not in the least bit tempted to take them up.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I didn’t want to quit smoking…I wanted to avoid being gouged by ever increasing cigarette prices. The unexpected consequence of this decision was my breathing cleared, coughing ceased, my complexion improved and I no longer carried the stench of tobacco smoke in my clothing, home and vehicle. Best of all, I’ve managed to drastically reduce the amount of nicotine to the point I’ll soon be nicotine free.

Truth be told, no one should smoke or vape anything; but if you’re gonna inhale something, I firmly believe that vaping is the healthier alternative.

Kardamom's avatar

Let’s not forget about the simple Douche Factor

Dutchess_III's avatar

My husband’s daughter and granddaughter vap. It’s kind of…. weird. They walk around with these hooka things and hit on them every so often.
I think it would be better than smoking though.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I agree with @zenvelo. We have no reason to believe that they are healthier than cigarettes. I find it astounding how quickly smokers are willing to jump from the one addictive habit to another without more information. Having been deliberately conned into smoking, why trust e-cig manufacturers? The mind reels.

Dutchess_III's avatar

They are healthier than cigarettes because they don’t have the tar and crap that actually causes the diseases associated with smoking, the shortness of breath. The nicotine doesn’t cause that. It doesn’t cause anything except addiction.

YARNLADY's avatar

Anything that creates a visible presence contains particles that are harmful to the lungs, not to mention the mouth and throat, not to mention taking a mind altering, addictive drug into your body.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Like…cold air?

Seek's avatar

I don’t have a problem with them personally.

They trigger my husband’s asthma.

I have a friend who has anaphylactic reactions to propylene glycol. She’s an artist that sells at conventions. She has a cosplay that includes a gas mask for the cons that allow vaping, to reduce the number of times she has to be stabbed with an epi pen.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I think it’s a “good” thing overall as an alternative to smoking. There is little doubt that when I quit smoking and chewed nicotine gum that it was much less harmful than inhaling freaking tar. I don’t really have a problem with it. Anyone who used to smoke and had to cram for exams knows nicotine is performance enhancing mentally.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, cold air is harmful to your throat and lungs, although the visible part come AFTER you breathe out and it forms in the air, not the other way around, plus it doesn’t contain a drug.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

I don’t bother with fat free ice cream either.

ibstubro's avatar

I started smoking when I was 19, I smoked for 19 years, and I quit 17 years ago.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with people smoking, and I’ve lived with a smoker these past 13 years. If I can smell smoke, I either mention it or move, reducing my 2nd hand smoke substantially.

Double-down on I don’t have a problem with e-cigs. I first encountered them at a small party where an eccentric college professor and his even more eccentric wife were puffing away on e-cigs. It was a hoot.
I’ve since had people (sheepishly) ask me if we allowed e-cigs in our auction house. Not a problem. Toke away. I’d sooner ask you to leave if you’d taken a whore’s bath in Chanel #5 – but I’m not going to do that, either.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Nicotine causes a lot of medical problems, it just doesn’t cause cancer. But it raises blood pressure and causes other strains on the cardio system.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m indifferent

SABOTEUR's avatar

Just thought about this…this negativity from people that don’t vape.

Either they don’t like it ”just because”, or they’re afraid someone else’s use will hurt them.

Consider this.

Smart phone use should be banned.

Unlike ecigs where the long term effects are not known, we know that irresponsible smart phone use frequently results in deaths. And like smoking/vaping addicts people continue to purchase and use these items despite the known risks.

And people continue to die.

Kinda makes you wanna go…

…..hmmmmmmm….!

SABOTEUR's avatar

@dappled_leaves I can’t speak for others, but I jumped on the band wagon 6 years ago when I recognized an immediate improvement in my health. I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I’m cognizant enough to recognize I can breathe again and I no longer risk coughing up a lung.

That aside, an addict will consume what he or she needs to consume to satisfy the addiction. Some of us have chosen ecigs rather than cigarettes.

So what?

For the record, nicotine may contribute to addiction but it isn’t the cause. Otherwise the process of weening people off cigarettes through the use of nicotine patches and gum would be more successful.

It’s not successful.

Many of us have successfully quit smoking through ecigs when FDA approved methods have failed. There’s way too much documentation online to verify this; one believes what one chooses to believe. But the difference between belief and knowledge is facts. And the fact of the matter, as far as I’m concerned, is I’m healthier as a vaper than I was as a smoker.

Whether anyone else believes it or not is irrelevant.

Seek's avatar

I am fully supportive of vaping, as long as the vape-er is willing to take a few steps away from my friend’s booth so I don’t have to stab her with epinepherine.

There are lots of vapers that think second-hand-vape is just water vapor. I don’t want to have to show everyone the lovely shade of blue Ana can turn to prove them otherwise.

Strauss's avatar

Nicotine is one of the most addicting substances known to humanity, no matter what the delivery system.

That being said, the other chemicals in the tobacco smoke are the cancerous agents, along with the additives they use as fillers or to regulate burning. So I’d rather not see anyone smoke or vape, but if they want to be addicted to nicotine, I’d rather see them vape.

zenvelo's avatar

@SABOTEUR Nicotine is the addicting substance, not just a contributor.

Your argument about cell phones vs. nicotine delivery methods is the same as comparing cars to guns, because more people die in car accidents than are shot to death by guns.

Delivering nicotine is the reason for e-cigs. That is its design and raison d’être. Cell phone improper usage is a problem, but it is not its core, primary design.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@zenvelo I said nicotine contributes to addiction. Little is said concerning the phycological factor that is also a contributing factor. Wearing a nicotine patch or chewing nicotine gum doesn’t work because it doesn’t address the pleasure obtained from performing specific behaviors associated with smoking i.e. selecting the cigarette, lighting the cigarette, holding the cigarette, drawing and exhaling, etc.

Electronic cigarettes successfully ween people from smoking by allowing users to gradually reduce their nicotine without removing the phycological aspects that made smoking enjoyable. So anyone who sees electronic cigarettes as merely a “nicotine delivery system” does not fully understand smoking (not nicotine) addiction.

(For the record, no one is trying to ban cars, guns or cell phones, products that kill people when used irresponsibly. There is, however, a concerted effort by the FDA to seriously restrict and/or ban the use of electronic cigarettes under the guise of public safety. They legislate on what might happen while ignoring what is happening with products already killing people.)

zenvelo's avatar

@SABOTEUR we can agree to disagree. Many people (including myself) are trying to ban guns, and many gun rights activists say let’s ban cars first.

There is an actual physical addiction to nicotine. I am well versed in both the psychological and physiological aspects of cigarette addiction, having been a heavy (two pack a day) smoker and having been through the pain of withdrawal. The first month of not smoking was confounding as to what to do with all the extra time that was no longer spent smoking a cigarette.

Jeruba's avatar

@zenvelo
> The first month of not smoking was confounding as to what to do with all the extra time that was no longer spent smoking a cigarette.

Unfortunately I spent it eating. A friend said, “It’s easier to lose weight than cancer,” and I took comfort from that, but it was years before I trimmed down again.

I also had to learn other ways of introducing those social pauses that you can contrive when you stop to light your cig in the middle of a conversation, for purposes other than smoke, and also to do without the many expressive theatrical effects you can achieve silently by the way you light up, inhale, exhale, and stub out. It turned out that I’d enjoyed smoking for several reasons other than the physical satisfaction.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

There is nothing else addictive about smoking that comes anywhere near the nicotine. Patches and gum work but the delivery system for those is inferior to inhaling into the lungs. If that was not the case people would smoke and not vape. The 95% psychological addiction claim is utter and complete horse-shit. It’s closer to 5% psychological.

Strauss's avatar

On the one hand, as I stated above, nicotine is a highly addictive substance; on the other hand, any type of addiction is as much or more behavior related as it is chemical, so it’s not surprising that a mere change of delivery system does nothing to check the addiction.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Aaaaaaaand this thread has inevitably dissolved into an anti-smoking PSA.

I get it, you’re better than us.

I can live (or die prematurely) with that understanding.

ibstubro's avatar

I agree with @Jeruba that the social construct of smoking is as addictive as the nicotine. If not more so.

The entire way you react to the world is constructed around the crutch of a cigarette and a light.

E-cigs let you keep the crutch without the second-hand smoke. (Which I personally believe is overplayed, anyway.)

Seek's avatar

please see above re: second-hand vape, which doesn’t have near the PR campaign that second hand smoke does

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s OK to be addicted to some stuff.

Strauss's avatar

As I see it, you (generally speaking) have the right to any addiction you desire, as long as it does not affect me against my will.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Yetanotheruser People who are addicted frequently end up being a burden on the taxpayer in various ways. There is also a question of compassion for the suffering of others.

Jeruba's avatar

If an addict is the only one to suffer, fine; but that is seldom the case. Many addicts seem to have no idea how much others are affected by their behavior, starting with the people closest to them. Once you lose your power of choice—and that is what happens with addiction—you’re going to affect other people, from your nearest loved ones to complete strangers who have no role in your life and don’t want to have one.

Strauss's avatar

@Jeruba My point exactly. Thank you for expounding.

Jeruba's avatar

@Yetanotheruser, I don’t think we’re saying quite the same thing. You said, “as long as it does not affect me.” It is not okay with me if it affects any others, even if they don’t protest. A lot of people may suffer without even knowing that they’re being affected by someone’s addiction, never mind being in a position to say, “Here’s my line. See that you don’t cross it.”

I’m saying that there are many more victims than most addicts realize, and that I don’t like to see anyone hurt by it, even if (or especially if) they’re unable to stick up for themselves. As well, of course, as indirect victims such as taxpayers and the community as a whole.

ibstubro's avatar

Yeah, I saw the second-hand vape, @Seek. I understand.
But if I’m deathly allergic to bee stings, I don’t warn the bees off, I protect myself?
Your friend can refuse to set up in any venue not prohibiting all nicotine enabling products?

Seek's avatar

@ibstubro – Sure. She can also refuse to ever go to restaurants, shopping malls, the grocery store, or any other indoor location where someone might blow “just some water vapor” into her face and tell her to “just get over it” while she starts coughing. I make the big deal about conventions because that’s where I see her most – we sometimes go in halfsies on booth rent.

Bees aren’t deliberately running around stinging people for the shits and giggles. And likewise, a person is unlikely to get second-hand peanut butter or shellfish from a random stranger.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How come no one discusses coffee addiction, or food addictions?

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III People do discuss food and coffee addictions, but they are just a bit different.

Coffee addiction isn’t even harmful, other than the 36 hours of headache when one stops. And food addiction doesn’t directly affect other people. People with food addiction still function in society, make it to work, pay their bills. But food addiction is a problem.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“6 million people a year die from smoking”:*

Death from obesity isn’t nearly that high, but they haven’t really studied how obesity can be linked to death. They’re just now starting.. You won’t find “Obesity” listed as a cause of death.
And it’s only going to get worse. “There’s now a whole generation of Americans who have been obese from childhood and will be obese their whole lives. The effects on them may be much worse, he predicts. ”

Obesity does affect other people. They raise their kids to over eat. Just like many other Americans they may not have insurance to cover obesity-related illnesses and hospitalizations.

Since smoking has been banned from public places, it doesn’t really affect others that much any more, either. But a lot of smoker’s children will grow up to become smokers.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III I don’t disagree with you. But this thread is about electronic cigarettes. A discussion about electronic cigarettes raises the question as to it being an alternative to other tobacco products, and relative health risks.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah, the only time it bothers me is when people are super obvious about it, like, vaping in line at a convenience store. I feel like they’re just showing off.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh, no. Not really. In the 60’s and 70’s there would have been actual cigarettes burning all throughout the places. In a case like that, there is stress involved, and long stretches between breaks.
It’s not the same as spending 3 minutes in a convenience store. Even in the 70’s we didn’t take a burning cigarette into a store. I mean, you go there to pick things up with your hands, right?

Strauss's avatar

@Dutchess_III How come no one discusses coffee addiction, or food addictions?

There are emerging health benefits.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, that’s just coffee, not food addiction (you included “food addiction in your line of benefits.) I just don’t like coffee. I don’t like the way it tastes, but I do have a cup, a little less, actually, every morning. I don’t think coffee hurts anyone. I don’t think nicotine alone hurts anyone either.

Jeruba's avatar

Deleted

Dutchess_III's avatar

The emphysema and the cancers are caused by the tars and additives in cigarettes, not the nicotine. That’s what the vapor cigarettes address (and that is the topic of this question.)

It’s kind of comparable to adding a teaspoon of anti freeze into your coffee every morning. It isn’t the caffeine that’s killing you.

You can also gradually dial down your dose of nicotine in vapor cigarettes. I think that’s another goal for people who want to quit.

zenvelo's avatar

@Dutchess_III Nicotine is well known to have serious systemic side effects in addition to being highly addictive. It adversely affects the heart, reproductive system, lung, kidney etc. Many studies have consistently demonstrated its carcinogenic potential. The only other known use of nicotine has been as an insecticide since 17th century.

-from an article from National Institute of Health.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you @zenvelo. I understand. I still think it’s safer than getting it through cigarettes. Many people I know were able to stop smoking all together using the e-smokes.

ibstubro's avatar

I’m not my brother’s keeper.
I’m not troubled by people who choose to smoke, and even less so by people who vape.

I am bothered somewhat by the idea that kids might think vaping is safe, or cool.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@ibstubro And well you should be. It won’t change what teens decide to do though. I drank beer, smoked cigarettes and pot as a teen. That’s what teens do…get into things they shouldn’t. It’s unavoidable, but you don’t have to make it easy for them.

Having said that, teens should not be vaping. But, I’d rather my teens vape than smoke since there’s less chance they’ll die from it.

ibstubro's avatar

I was just commenting on people lamenting the end of the free-for-all that vaping used to be, @SABOTEUR. At first I thought it was ridiculous that they were regulating vapor. Then it dawned on me that kids would be doing it. Vape is much easier to get by with than smoking. No bulk, no smell.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I don’t see how vaping is any easier to get by with than cigarettes.

(“It looks like smoke so it must be smoke.”)

In my 6 years of vaping I’ve yet to see any retail outlet knowingly sell to minors. Much easier to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Even still, the fact still remains that eliquid has none of the cancer causing ingredients found in tobacco products. In truth, vaping offers a placebo effect in mimicking the experience of smoking. Besides the novelty, there’s nothing inherent in vaping that a kid would find interesting. It doesn’t even provide the temporary high smokers obtain from first lighting up.

So all this “protect the children” stuff is nothing more than a scare tactic to protect the interests of tobacco companies and those that produce smoking cessation products. These overzealous tactics will almost certainly ensure smokers remain smokers and no one, much less kids, will have a smoking alternative.

zenvelo's avatar

@SABOTEUR You do know that the slight “buzz” and the enhanced alertness you get from smoking is from the nicotine which is also in vaping? Your statement,”...there’s nothing inherent in vaping that a kid would find interesting…” is false because of the nicotine.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Not so. There is no buzz obtained from vaping. And the amount of nicotine in eliquid is substantially less than what’s found in cigarettes.

(See Nicotine Misconceptions video above.)

zenvelo's avatar

@SABOTEUR So, would you be okay with vaping without nicotine?

SABOTEUR's avatar

I might add, if nicotine is present in eliquid at all. Nicotine levels are optional in eliquid. Users choose the amount (if any) their eliquid contains.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I started vaping with 28mg of nicotine per 30ml (bottle) of eliquid 6 years ago. I’m down to 6mg of nicotine today. I really can’t tell the difference. I’ll soon abandon nicotine entirely.

Strauss's avatar

Related story: it seems that cannabis users are having similar conversations concerning “smoke vs vape”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Hash oil was fun! But I can’t imagine smoking enough weed in a day or a week or a month to take that kind of precaution.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Seek you reminded me my epipen was more than a year expired. Just got the sticker shock of my life. $550 and that is with the discout card and insurance. WTH, just a couple of years ago they were about $50.

Seek's avatar

Yep. And the epinepherine inhalers my husband used to use have been removed from the market entirely.

Apparently only the rich deserve to breathe.

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