By Jess Megna
SC Contributing Writer
You may have noticed the increasing trend of electronic cigarettes, or vape, in younger generations.
While e-cigarettes generally have the same concept as regular cigarettes, the recent increase in use brings up some speculation over whether e-cigarettes have a negative impact on health.
If they do negatively impact our health, should people use them as often as they do?
The FDA describes e-cigarettes as “products designed to deliver nicotine or other substances to a user in the form of a vapor.”
The cartridge within an e-cigarette contains nicotine that becomes vapor through an atomizer. The nicotine can be addicting to users, just like an ordinary cigarette.
Even though they contain nicotine, E-cigarettes have just a fraction of the chemicals within a regular cigarette.
Medical doctors still question whether e-cigarettes are the solution to reducing the amount of deaths and illnesses caused by tobacco use, or if they are part of the problem.
Some say that e-cigarettes can aid those who want to quit smoking, since inhaling vapor has less harm than smoking tobacco. But health officials remain hesitant due to the lack of information we have about the contents of the vapor.
The FDA has not conducted an extensive amount of research on e-cigarettes. It is still uncertain whether e-cigarettes can be considered completely safe or unsafe.
“We can’t even tell you what the compounds are in the vapor,” Mitch Zeller, Director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products said.
There is a chance that e-cigarettes could provide effective help to smokers, but the facts continue to be ambiguous or simply unanswered.
It is possible for e-cigarettes to receive FDA approval in the future, as long as companies lawfully market their products and keep them regulated. For now, the FDA has decided to regulate e-cigarettes.
Regardless if e-cigarettes damage health or have no impact on health, an individual has a right to use them.
While some say that electronic cigarettes serve as a gateway to other more harmful types of smoking, it is important to keep in mind that e-cigarettes still have less damaging effects than regular cigarettes.
Moreover, much remains unanswered in research regarding vaping.
It would be short-sighted to rule out electronic cigarettes before they are completely analyzed by government agencies like the FDA.
If people have the right to use cigarettes or other tobacco products, they should have the right to use e-cigarettes too.
For more information on e-cigarettes, visit www.fda.gov