When I took my first drag on an e-cigarette I was a hardened, black-lunged smoker with no intention of quitting. I had an acute awareness that I was hurtling toward an early grave, but I’d grown accustomed to it; like I was already living with terminal lung cancer but hadn’t developed a tumor yet. Smokers chug tar by the bucket-load to get the nicotine. E-cigarettes give you what you want in a pure, reduced harm form, like a nicotine inhaler that doesn’t make you look like a safety-obsessed dork. I haven’t smoked a tobacco cigarette since my first electronic version arrived in the mail in 2011.
Allowing anti-smoking ideology to dictate e-cig legislation would condemn smokers to using ineffective quitting strategies or dying premature, tar-sodden deaths.
Claiming that e-cigs can help you quit smoking is amarketing no-no for legislative reasons, but it’s impossible to deny. It isn’t anecdotal; scientific research has repeatedly confirmed it, even for smokers with no intention of quitting. You can continue in your nicotine addiction more safely or gradually step-down until you’re abstinent; it’s completely up to you.
Allowing anti-smoking ideology to dictate e-cig legislation would condemn smokers to using ineffective quitting strategies or dying premature, tar-sodden deaths, but evidence-based regulation that prioritizes public health would cause a revolution in tobacco harm reduction. Responsible e-cig manufacturers have already joined with trade associations and are voluntarily imposing rigorous safety protocols. They’d welcome reasonable regulation.
E-cigs could increase profit for club and bar owners too. Since their harmful components are either absent or in exponentially lower concentrations, they pose virtually no risk to bystanders. For smokers, the prospect of spending a sizeable portion of a night on the town smoking in the bitter winter cold is understandably off-putting. If they do go to the bar, one study says that they’ll buy an average of 1.4 fewer drinks than patrons who use e-cigs. This is just one of the advantages of not condemning a significant portion of your clientele to standing outside like social lepers.
E-cigs are an excellent way to increase profits for business-owners, and for legislators they’re a huge potential gain in public health. As for the smokers: e-cigs are a dose of something they’re increasingly being deprived of: the freedom to enjoy nicotine.