On Tuesday, Costa Constantinides, a New York Councilman, introduced new legislation to ban e-cigarettes that use flavored juice or vapor. He thinks the flavors will entice more kids to start smoking.”These flavors are direct marketing to children,” Constantinides said. “They appeal to children, and we’re taking them out of that market.”
And it’s not just flavored e-cigs that certain people want banned, it’s regular ones without the added flavoring too. Many people think that these e-cigs are a gateway to real cigarette smoking or even cigar smoking. It’s a lot like the theory that marijuana is a gateway to harmful drugs such as cocaine or meth.
Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor at Boston University’s School of Public Health, actually did a study that found the e-cig gateway theory to be a myth.
While some people that use e-cigs may go on to use real cigarettes, that’s usually not the case. In fact, the whole purpose of an e-cig is to help people stop smoking cigarettes. While still relatively new, it appears that e-cigs are a much healthier alternative to smoking tobacco. With e-cigs, you get the nicotine that smokers are addicted to, but without the harmful, hot, and harsh smoke to your lungs and cancer-causing carcinogens.
There was a fairly famous study in England that was published in Addiction. The study found that smokers trying to quit were 60 percent more likely to succeed if they used e-cigs than over-the-counter therapies like nicotine gum or patches.
Smokers that switch from cigarettes to e-cigs are likely to save at least 50 percent more than they would if they continued buying packs of regular tobacco cigarettes, according to ecigsopedia.
Another way to look at how absurd banning flavored e-cigs is to look at the alcohol industry. Nearly every type of alcoholic beverage is formulated to taste good. Even most brands of vodka are flavored. Where is the legislation to ban flavored alcohol?
So, is banning flavored e-cigs really the way to go? Some people like Costa Constantinides think it is. But has banning anything ever worked for our country in the past? Alcohol prohibition was a huge failure, as is the war on drugs, some would argue. Why would flavored e-cigs be any different?
A good move in the right direction would be informing the public better and being honest with them. Once anti-smoking campaigns starting being transparent and honest, the percentage of smokers decreased.
What do you think about this controversial subject? Should flavored e-cigs and alcohol be banned?[Image via ShutterStock]