Electronic cigarettes continue to make the headlines as various governments grapple with the difficult problem of regulation. Central to the issue is the question of whether e-cigarettes are dangerous or not. We submit they are not. The only danger represented by the products is their potential to hurt tobacco companies.
Are Electronic Cigarettes Dangerous? Yes and No
Part of the ongoing debate surrounding vaping is the question of whether or not electronic cigarettes are actually dangerous. We can answer that question with two words: yes and no. They are dangerous inasmuch as they threaten the survival of the tobacco industry, as we know it. They are not dangerous inasmuch as there is not yet any scientific evidence to prove them as such.
What we do know about electronic cigarettes is that they:
- offer smokers a cleaner, smoke-free alternative
- save smokers as much as 70% compared to the price of tobacco
- don't expose non-smokers to second hand smoke
- allow smokers to reclaim their place in society.
Tobacco Industry on Alert
To say the tobacco industry has stood up and taken notice of electronic cigarettes is an understatement. As early as late 2011 there were plenty of rumours circulating about Big Tobacco seriously looking at getting into the vaping business. In 2012, the dominoes began to fall.
America's number three tobacco company, Lorillard, purchased the largest electronic cigarette company in that country at the time. Since then, the acquisition has definitely helped Lorillard's bottom line. Guess who has been paying very close attention? British American Tobacco (BAT), Reynolds International, and the rest of the world's big tobacco producers.
As it stands right now, BAT is on the verge of introducing their own e-cigarette product. Reynolds International, Altria, and a handful of others have already been heavily engaged in test marketing; their products are set to be released soon.
Making matters worse for the tobacco industry is one analyst after the next suggesting e-cigarettes will overtake tobacco eventually. One such analyst, Wells Fargo Securities' Bonnie Herzog, is especially bullish on the e-cigarette category. She has said repeatedly that she expects electronic cigarettes to overtake tobacco within the next decade.
Scientific and Clinical Evidence
In our introduction we made the assertion electronic cigarettes are not dangerous based on a lack of clinical evidence and scientific data proving otherwise. Allow us to clarify by saying we are not claiming e-cigarettes are safe for human use. We are merely suggesting they should not be assumed dangerous in the absence of supporting data.
On the other hand, evidence is mounting in support of electronic cigarettes as a significantly less harmful smoking alternative. For example, the Tobacco Analysis blog from Dr. Michael Siegel recently reported on a new study that shows electronic cigarettes are not cytotoxic. If you want to know what it all means, feel free to read the blog.
Another good source of information about ongoing scientific studies is the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association (ECITA). This UK trade group devotes an entire section of its website to reporting on clinical data as it becomes available. It is an invaluable resource.
If the measure of the danger of electronic cigarettes is how the products are affecting the tobacco industry, then yes, they are definitely dangerous. If the measure is their effect on human health, there is not yet any significant evidence to claim any serious level of danger to anyone. Those are the facts.
VAPESTICK is thrilled to be able to offer smokers the vaping alternative. We believe that once you try an electronic vaping device, you'll realise you have no need to return to tobacco use. We invite you to try vaping today using one of our inexpensive disposable e-cigarettes.