Electronic Cigarettes and Their Effect on Children

Many people still think that vaping seems to lead children and young people into an easy life of being a smoker and it is time to put these thoughts to rest.

5 Live recently had a debate show with Victoria Derbyshire which discussed smoking and peoples reasons for wanting to kick the habit. It looked back at the history of smoking – where in the 1970s it is thought that 70% of men and 40% of women were smokers. In 1976 there was a press conference giving by the public health minister about the dangers of smoking – and he chain smoked throughout the whole speech. However, it seems that things did start to change because now less than 10% of the nation are thought to be smokers.

Where Does This Leave Vaping?

Well informed Robert West has been talking loud and proud about the benefits of vaping – he feels that electronic cigarettes have played a significant role in helping people  to give up smoking. He also says that each year, the number of under 18s smoking is showing to decrease too – which can only be a good thing! That means that the message we’ve been talking about for sometime about the dangers of smoking is getting out there.

During the 5 Live debate Victoria invited people to call in and let the nation know about their reasons for giving up smoking. Each of the callers cited electronic cigarettes as a great help for kicking the habit, no matter what their reasons were for actually giving up.

You’ll find that in general the electronic cigarette shy away from claiming that electronic cigarettes can replace cigarettes, but you only have to look at public forums and people that have given up smoking to see that they can be a massive help. Tools that can help people give up smoking can only be a positive move.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) recently looked into the number of people that have actually tried electronic cigarettes and it seems that the numbers have more than doubled. In 2010 it is thought that 9% of people had tried them but now that number is up to 22%. Nearly everyone who had tried them was previously a smoker and nearly half of them hoped that electronic cigarettes would help them give up the habit for good.

“Nicotine, compared to tobacco smoke, is relatively benign. It is the addictive component of tobacco, of course, and that is what keeps people coming back to smoking, but the harm [in smoking] comes largely from the inhaling of tobacco smoke,” ASH says. “Nicotine itself, once it is isolated and extracted from tobacco and just used in its pure state, is relatively harmless.”

Electronic Cigarettes Really Do Work

Back to the debate – it was also interesting to see them discuss the process of going back to tobacco smoking after you have been using electronic cigarettes for quite a while. The general thought is that going back  to tobacco wasn’t a very pleasant experience. Many people spoke about how their motivation had waivered and they had gone back to smoking normal cigarettes, even after using electronic cigarettes long term.

This helped to get them back on track – after all, inhaling a nice flavoured electronic cigarette is always going to taste nicer.

However, that is where the debate takes another turn. Many people are under the impression that nice tasting flavours are going to encourage people to try these, even if they are under the age of 18. Many people are under the impression that these interesting flavours are going to be liked only by those that are very young – even if research shows differently. Of course people against these flavoured e liquids then go on to talk about how once under 18s like the nictone in electronic cigarettes they are the much more likely to try traditional cigarettes, even though there is no research to back this up.

The following quote by NBC Investigates typifies this:

“This year alone, nearly 26,000 Texas kids will become daily smokers, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.  Now some anti-smoking advocates fear that instead of starting with traditional tobacco cigarettes, kids will reach for the newer electronic cigarettes.”