In response to Becca Smouse’s March 17 column, “E-cig market lacks public disclaimers, advertising to youth.”
On a basic level, e-cigarettes are used by nicotine dependent adults for the purpose of harm reduction. These devices vaporize a mixture of USP propylene glycol, nicotine, glycerine and food flavorings. Finding someone who vapes unflavored nicotine is a rare encounter — like finding a politician who tells the truth about e-cigarettes. We don’t make sweet or fruity flavorings because that’s what kids like, we do it because that’s what we like. It keeps things interesting and the better the flavors taste, the more tobacco looks like a filthy option. It also allows you to explore your newfound sense of smell after quitting without going into complete gluttony.
Many people like myself depend on the flavoring while tapering their nicotine levels. Educating a child is the responsibility of the parent and making a scapegoat out of flavorings through legislation does nothing but punish adults who are trying to adapt to less harmful habits. There will be kids that pick up vaping, but it is not because the flavor was too enticing. It’s because they were trying to relieve their boredom or emotional distress, the same reasons people start cigarettes. It is doubtful that anyone would go from using e-cigarettes first to smoking later; that is like drinking 100-year-old brandy and deciding you would probably like warm Steel Reserve better.
It seems that every time researchers want to prove e-cigarettes to be harmful, they buy cheap and mass-produced Chinese disposable e-cigarettes. This does not correlate with the experience of the average vaper who buys e-liquid made locally in a lab with high purity ingredients like Butt Out or Juggz Juice for example. You would be a fool to argue that flavorings are more dangerous than the polonium 210 found in cigarettes. Just one exposure takes roughly 691 days to leave the body completely. Any day without radioactive polonium is a good day indeed.