Misconception of E-cigarettes
As more information about e-cigarettes was beginning to spread across the media, the notion that e-cigarettes are not safe was brought about. The idea that e-cigarettes are just as harmful as smoking was popularized and caused many to hesitate and disregard e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking. Though many of the rumors that claim e-cigarettes to be just as dangerous as smoking has been debunked, many still believe them to be as hazardous as smoking due to the vast amounts of media released regarding this matter. This shows how prone people are to media and how headlines themselves can change the opinion of many. Nikki Smith on Cancer Research UK (article title: “Headlines about e-cigarettes don’t mean they’re not safer than tobacco”), states that
“The first study to make the headlines suggested that e-cigarettes were ‘as harmful as tobacco’. After studying cells in the lab, the researchers found some indications of increased levels of DNA damage and cell death in those treated with e-cigarette vapour.
This led one of the researchers to tell the media, ‘I believe (e-cigarettes) are no better than smoking regular cigarettes.’
The most important thing to remember here is that this was a study looking at the effect of chemicals on cells in a lab. Although this can be useful, it obviously can’t give a clear idea of what the impact would actually be in your body. So any claims of impact on health based only on lab studies will always be far-fetched.
The study also looked at an extremely high concentration of vapour. As the researchers admitted at the time, ‘it was similar to someone smoking continuously for hours on end, so it’s higher amount than would normally be delivered.’
It boils down to this: the study showed that it might be worse for your cells to be exposed to e-cigarette vapour than the air in the lab. So e-cigarettes might not be 100 percent harm free. And previous studies have shown there may be some dangerous chemicals present in vapour – so this isn’t a surprise. And there’s little in life that really is ‘safe’ – even drinking too much water can kill you.
But here’s the big caveat. The researchers also treated some cells with tobacco smoke. These died within 24 hours. Those treated with e-cigarette vapour were still alive to experiment on 8 weeks later.
So, contrary to the headlines, this study actually suggests that using e-cigarettes may be far less dangerous than smoking” (Nikki Smith)
Now, how many people are aware of this fact that the information about e-cigarettes are highly exaggerated and blown out of proportion? By reading the studies released by these scientists that do not clearly state that the experiment was carried out in an unrealistic scale of high concentrated vapor, it is only natural that the public would think of e-cigarettes as a dangerous tool that is no better than smoking. By trying to prevent people from vaping by labeling it as a device just as dangerous as smoking, such claims are now threatening the lives of thousands of smokers who could have switched to the less dangerous e-cigarettes. At the current moment, is not e-cigarette the better choice than conventional cigarettes? If one is not able to quit smoking, would it then not be better to vape?
Yes, it may be a controversial issue when it comes to the question of is this device safe. However, it is not a controversial issue when it comes down to measure if it is a less dangerous device compared to that of smoking. Vaping is less hazardous than smoking and many who have switched to vaping has experienced improvements in health. It is most recommendable that people quit smoking altogether but as this is not simply done, it would be better if they were to use e-cigarettes instead of conventional cigarettes.