The dilemma concerning safety and relevance of use of the well-known E-cigarettes is topical and at the same time rather disputable in the current course of time. The approach the European Union demonstrated in terms of the given problem and its regulation is heterogeneous. Therefore, it is crucial to conduct a constructive study and analysis of the harmful effects of the electronic cigarettes, and inform people about the reasons they should not use them. People should stop using e-cigarettes because of harmful effects on the smoker, the environment, and on society.
Kempert, Grana and Glantz (2014) identify the phenomenon of electronic cigarettes as “devices that deliver an aerosol by heating a solution typically composed of propylene glycol and/or glycerol (glycerin), nicotine and flavouring agents” (p. 1). Hence, it is obvious that the nature of this type of activity is dubious and potentially threatening both for active and passive smokers. The scope of electronic cigarettes use, their impact and harm for the health condition lack proper, profound research and constructive empirical study as well as relevant regulations concerning their public use. For example, the USA does not have nationwide policies aimed to forbid smoking the E-cigarettes in public on the given stage of development. Actually, the initial image of these cigarettes was positioned as a useful and efficient alternative to the nicotine addiction. Nonetheless, even the current stage of investigation confirms that such a conception is a myth (Carr, 2014). The consequent discussion aims to outline the major reasons why people should not smoke.
First, such questions as the impact of the E-cigarettes on the health condition and the harm of passive smoking lack sufficient research and empirical study in the current course of time as far as it is a newly introduced development. Therefore, there are two main approaches according to which the phenomenon of E-cigarettes is positioned in society. The first one regards the issue in question as a substitution of traditional cigarettes with another principle of functioning and relatively different content, but equally harmful effect. The second approach considers the E-cigarettes to be a relevant and less harmful alternative to the nicotine addiction. In the first case electric cigarettes should be regarded as a harmful habit that impacts the human organism negatively, and therefore, they should be banned in public places. The second approach to the conception of E-cigarettes presupposes not only adequate conception of the product, but also positions the analyzed phenomenon as a medical treatment aimed to fight addiction to traditional nicotine cigarettes. Nevertheless, the threat of E-cigarettes has been already explored in the recent course of time so that certain conclusions may be drawn. The potential harm of the electronic cigarettes is serious. For example, Environ (2014) underlines that “Although marketed as a safer alternative for cigarettes, initial evidence suggests that e-cigarettes may pose a secondhand exposure risk” (Kollar, Rogers & Hooper, 2014, p. 12174). Moreover, the American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation initiated a persuasive report in 2015 that vividly highlights a serious threat of the E-cigarettes not only for the smokers, but also for bystanders (“U.S. State and Local Laws Regulating Use of Electronic Cigarettes”, 2015). Furthermore, this source confirms a significant threat for the health condition as a direct consequence of unregulated constituent elements enclosed in the content of E-cigarettes. The issue of potential harm of the ingredients of the currently discussed type of cigarettes is also investigated by Garner and Stevens (2014). The explorers underline that “Revisions are intended to harmonize tobacco legislation across Member States. Important aspects for e-cigarettes will be restrictions placed on ingredients, such as flavours, and on nicotine content” (Garner & Stevens, 2014, p.9). The constituent elements of the subject of discussion are rather questionable as far as their impact has not been studied from the long-term perspective yet. Along with such, the potential threat in terms of E-cigarettes use is imposed by the relative novelty of technology that is incorporated in the given product (Grana, Benowitz & Glantz, 2014). Hence, the smokers of newly coined, smart and fashionable E-cigarettes endanger their future health condition, and what is even more threatening, the smokers are primarily ignorant of actual ramification of their trendy habit.
The concern for public health is also a problematic aspect of E-cigarettes use. As far as the banning of smoking in public places is partial and insufficient, the lounge bars with separate smoking zones present the alternative solution in the given context. A vivid example of such a decision is the initiative issued by the City Council of New York City that is notorious by its excessive rates of the smokers. This initiative aims at prohibition of smoking E-cigarettes in such public places as bars, restaurants, clubs and cafes (Hartocollis, 2013). The major premise for such a determined and constructive policy implementation should be considered the following statement proclaimed by the authorities of the city: “A councilman and the city’s health commissioner say that more and more people are using electronic cigarettes … in public places, and that this poses a threat to public health and may encourage a new generation to smoke” (Hartocollis, 2013). The given claim is crucial since it emphasizes not only actual impact upon health condition of other people, but also underlines the danger of a bad example for children. Actually, children perceive, subconsciously analyze and, consequently, adhere to the diverse behavioral patterns they tend to observe in the course of adults’ demeanor. It is dangerous that children grow up witnessing the tendency of substitution of the traditional cigarettes by electronic ones. As far as they know that traditional cigarettes are harmful and addictive, the E-cigarettes automatically acquire the status of a safe smoking habit and, therefore, an acceptable one. Such a wrong stereotype as well as ignorance of harmful effects and potential negative outcomes of E-cigarettes use may lead them to the decision to start smoking them since they are safe and even permitted in public places, or in the majority of them. Along with such, a myth about E-cigarettes is also a threat since smoking may be allowed for the teenagers under eighteen as far as these cigarettes are considered to be safe. Now, imagine, please, your own daughter, nephew or grandchildren smoking a fashionable E-cigarette! Therefore, Hartocollis (2013) positions this aspect as a serious potential threat on the justified basis.
The problem that has been already referred to in the beginning of the discussion is considered to be the most crucial. It is connected with the fact that smoking of E-cigarettes also develops an addiction. This is a key counter-argument for the promotional campaigns of the fans and producers of E-cigarettes. To be more precise, as far as the currently discussed type of cigarettes is widely recognized as a healthier, more sophisticated and smarter alternative aimed to substitute tobacco smoking habit. Such a practice becomes widely spread in the current course of time. People quit smoking traditional cigarettes since they believe that E-cigarettes are harmless. In such a way they preserve the habit, but change the nature of their obsession, and enter an elite community of the so-called vapers. Nevertheless, they are ignorant about real effect E-cigarettes have on the health condition, especially when it is a regular and long-lasting habit. They fail to realize E-cigarettes open the way to a new type of addiction, not break the dangerous nicotine addiction.
Thus, E-cigarettes are not a healthy and harmless solution that helps quit nicotine addiction. It is a newly coined and fashionable addictive habit that has poor preliminary research and lacks evidence of potential impact on the health condition in case of long-term use. Moreover, these types of cigarettes are also harmful for the bystanders and impose a threat for a public.