Too many people remain addicted to cigarette smoking and smoking is an ongoing concern for health.
Cigarette smoke has been quite well proven to have a deleterious effect on individual health. Along with the tobacco itself, cigarette smoke contains a whole host of chemicals that are harmful to health. Tars and the remnants of the cigarette paper ash and numerous other chemicals are inhaled into a smoker’s lungs.
Along with damage to breathing, smoking has been proved to harm the circulatory system, contributing to heart disease, and possibly other systems in the body. Claims have been made that even rebreathing the second-hand smoke exhaled by a smoker, and the smoke coming directly from the burning cigarette may be harmful to non-smokers in an enclosed space.
Certainly, whether the second-hand smoke is harmful to a non-smoker, or not, it is unpleasant to some. Former smokers smelling the smoke in an enclosed space certainly find the aroma distasteful or tempting, one or the other. Many who have never smoked also find the smell of a burning cigarette unpleasant. There are those who are even allergic to the smoke and suffer asthma attacks and other reactions.
Therefore, when a new method to help smokers break their addiction to cigarettes comes into being, it is something many smokers will embrace. Smoking addiction is very real. Some say smoking is more addictive than heroin or other drugs.
Health science has long attempted to find ways to help people overcome the addiction, with varying success. Nicotine patches and nicotine chewing gum help many satisfy the nicotine addiction without the host of other chemicals included in the actual smoke. This has been a panacea to a number of smokers. There are drugs that help overcome the addiction by treating the brain’s need for nicotine. This method has also helped some smokers to break the habit. However, there are still many who cannot overcome smoking.
The newest entry into the marketplace is the electronic cigarette. This is a device wherein a small amount pure nicotine is mixed with inert organic liquids. There is an electronic heater included in the device. When heated, the liquid produces a water vapor containing the nicotine along with flavorings to produce a vapor that substitutes for the smoke. In fact, the vapor produced is similar to the vapor one naturally produces when breathing on a cold day. The vapor is simply a water precipitant that comes from primarily vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol.
For those who do not know, propylene glycol is the same liquid, that when colored pink is used as anti-freeze in the water tanks of RVs. One reason this liquid is used for water tanks is that it is not poisonous if not completely rinsed out.
The water vapor produced by an electronic cigarette has no odor nor does it contain any harmful contaminates.
Some establishments are prohibiting electronic-cigarette vapor indoors. A nearby city council has even banned electronic-cigarette vapor in city parks in the open air. The justification for such legislation is certainly questionable. It is certainly not a concern for public health. Nor, is it a concern for individual health. One would think that anything that helps a smoker break the cigarette habit is a positive thing. I have to wonder at the motives for banning just one of these devices while allowing nicotine gum and nicotine patches to be used.
What justifies allowing some methods of breaking the habit while legislating against another? Is there an ulterior motive? I don’t know the answer, but the bans definitely raise questions for me.