“Vaping”: possibly healthier, not the best solution

Jessica Pellegrino – General Assignment Reporter

According to the Center for Disease Control, cigarette smoking is on a steady decline. Only 18 percent of college age Americans smoke now, compared to the nearly 30 percent seen in the late nineties.

Maybe, everyone got sick of coughing up smoke. Recently, however, the use of electronic cigarettes is on the rise. The use of electronic cigarettes, affectionately known as “vaping,” can be seen everywhere.

While smoking inside is all but taboo in the modern age, “vaping lounges” are springing up in every major city. The vaping market has exploded recently. According to CNBC, the retail vaping industry has doubled from $1.7 billion in 2013 to a slated $3.5 billion in 2015.

“Vaping” involves inhaling a vaporized e-liquid made predominantly of vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG) and nicotine.

There are many pros and cons to vaping.

Vaping is theoretically cheaper for the user that cigarettes would be. A 30ml bottle of e-juice at six milligrams of nicotine (typical of every day vapers) stimulates the same amount of nicotine as five packs of cigarettes. A 30ml bottle can cost anywhere from $8 to $20. Five packs of cigarettes would cost the user substantially more. However, the more flavors the user wants and the more premium the juice, costs will rise.

Technically, users can vape their electronic cigarettes dinsie. Since the vapor is water vapor, it dissipates almost immediately.  However, it is rude and not accepted in most establishments to vape. More and more, establishments like restaurants and movie theaters are displaying “no electronic cigarettes” signs to ward off users.

One perk of vaping is that it doesn’t leave the user smelling like a chimney. Users smell good and do not have to worry about losing the ability to taste food, like a cigarette user would.

However, vaping is not the end-all, be-all, foil to cigarette smoking. Vaping has its cons as well.

Firstly, because vaping is a fairly new concept, no one has any clue if using vaping products has long term effects on the user’s health. Though juice companies are pretty transparent about what they put in their products, there is still no way to be sure about vaping until a lifetime progresses to see if e-juice has negative health effects. In theory, it is healthier to vape than to smoke because you are eliminating thousands of chemicals, including tobacco and tar, from entering your body. But no one knows the effects PG and VP have on the body.

While e-juice is cheaper than cigarettes, fixing broken vaporizers can be extremely costly. Between mods, tanks, and batteries, vaping units can cost upwards of three hundred dollars.  It would be extremely detrimental to break the cellphone-costing units. Not to mention, when your vape is not charged you cannot use it, unlike cigarettes.

For Southern Connecticut State University students in particular, vaping causes a huge problem. Under the newly enacted “Tobacco Free Campus Policy,” the use of all tobacco products has been prohibited on campus. So, vaping is not allowed on campus, the same way that smoking cigarettes is not allowed.

Vaping may be a cleaner and potentially healthier way of getting your nicotine fix but it is not the miracle solution to cigarette smoking.

Photo Credit: Jessica Pellegrino


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