I know many long-time cigarette addicts (decades) who have largely or totally replaced their cigarettes with e-cigs. Only a fool would claim e-cigs are completely safe (the jury is still out) but they do NOT contain the 7000+ chemicals found in burning cigarettes, including the 250 or so that are known to be harmful. Compared to your average commercial cigarette, e-cigs are pretty innocuous.
Because of their effectiveness at weaning smokers off cigarettes, e-cigs are a miracle product and an existential threat to Big Tobacco (which is why they're trying to jump into the game) and the lucrative nicotine patch/gum business. Attempts to ban e-cigs in public places like parks are extremely misguided and counterproductive. Regulate them, even ban advertising (nicotine-containing e-cigs are still addictive) but don't try to snuff them out entirely.
The first time I saw an e-cig was when some guy started bragging about how he could smoke anywhere now. He then promptly started vaping in the middle of a public library.
On the one hand, yeah, sure. They are safer. But on the other, the dude was a total tool; if he even represents 1% of the vapers out there, keep 'em restricted.
Yeah.... no. You can't ban tools, you can only really stay a step behind them. Don't let them ruin things for everyone.
After almost a decade of smoking, I had my last cigarette 3 months ago, and haven't looked back. I have my sense of smell and taste back, and am beginning to feel significant improvements in my breathing. Also, I generally smell like fruit these days, instead of cigarette smoke.
I tried the patch and the gum, and both made me feel sick, so the e-cig has been amazing. I can control exactly how much nicotine I get throughout the day, and have been decreasing that amount over time. Also, I only vape where smoking cigarettes is allowed.
I'm not against regulation, I just think that an emerging market with so many benefits needs to be handled with care, and not stomped on indiscriminately just because some people are jerks, or in the interests of big business.
Why in the world would you ban e-cigs from public spaces? I presume they're not harmful to others? They're not a bother, at least no more than perfume is.
There's surprisingly little data, given their popularity, about whether they are harmful or not. "Well, better than deliberately inhaling incomplete combustion products..." is generally assumed; but closer examination is a bit thin.
I use one, and I use the damn thing outside in instead of in public buildings. Because it's polite.
This August i'll have been smoke-free for four years straight, after having smoked up to 4 packs daily for twenty-three years and with the experience of countless failed efforts at quitting using every other available method. In fact i had completely quit smoking within minutes of unboxing my very first e-cig. They'll take away my vaporizer when they can pry it from my cold, dead hands. I have no problem breaking any laws that attempt to stop me from using it, until some evidence is discovered that they are somehow worse than (or even nearly-equally bad as) smoking traditional cigarettes. I am a reasonable human.
On the other hand, i generally go outside to use it, especially when in closely-confined spaces. Occasionally i'll stealth-vape at the supermarket, but not often. My intention is merely to get my fix without killing myself, not to be in-your-face about my addiction.
I'm all for reasonable regulation; keeping it as safe as it can be, but not making it difficult to obtain or use. So far, i've seen pretty good self-regulation by users themselves who point out that certain items may be manufactured poorly or with unsafe compounds or metals, and then by manufacturers who then quickly correct any errors which were pointed out. Making that process even better would be desirable. We're seeing a sort of balancing act right now between standardization and innovation, and any time a brand new product comes out, it's the really smart users on forums who call attention to mistakes or point out flaws or areas where these products could or should be improved.
One thing that irks me is the "sport vapers" who flout chemistry to push their devices to the limits just to produce massive clouds of vapor, and shop owners who know nothing about what they are selling but then advise customers to use their devices in inappropriate, even unsafe ways. These are the fools who will inevitably have batteries explode in their faces (or their customers') and then cause a media shitstorm and public outcry to clamp down on these potentially life-saving products.
They are the only thing that worked for my mother. Also, she uses a much lower nicotine level than she used to get through cigarettes as well as using the e-cig less often (mainly just when she drives). For her then, at least, it's definitely a harm-reduction strategy. Perfectly safe? Surely not. Better than a pack a day + though? Yes.
And most places and cities are putting the same restrictions on them that apply to cigarettes these days anyway. Regulation makes sense (you have no idea what people are really putting in there as it stands), but regulation shouldn't be a way to shut down innovation. It should be about getting consumers the thing they want while ensuring some level of safety.
I feel the same way about people who eat loud or stinky foods... let's ban everything anybody can be annoying with!!!
I tell this story everywhere, whenever the topic comes up. I smoked for 23 years. I started when I was 10. It took me three days to make the switch, and I haven't looked back. It's been over a year now - 15 months if we're being exact. I breathe better, I smell better, my sense of taste/smell is more acute. My quality of life is better.
There are, in general, two kinds of vapers in the world these days: the jerks like @ben_ehlers described above, and the folks (like myself) who take it seriously as both a hobby and as a harm-reduction tool that has helped us quit smoking. Even we cringe at those who think that it's a free pass to blow rings in peoples faces everywhere they go. The jackholes with the vapes who are so proud to be able to do it anywhere they want were the same smokers who totally didn't care about pissing off non-smokers, smoking around kids, etc.
Beneath the totally bonkers market is a tight community that's part Maker, part Homebrew enthusiast, part high-end collectors, part political action/activism and a big part addiction support group. We share recipes and open source schematics and start cottage industries, we support charities and spread the newest research, and we swap and donate gear, because every cigarette someone doesn't have is a victory.
[mod edit: removed ableist slur]
Honestly, as a former smoker, my biggest fear is that I could see myself totally doing this seven years ago, and possibly even today. Would that make it a relapse or a new addiction?
That would be a relapse to nicotine, though not a relapse to tobacco.
Are you saying that that your biggest fear is that you might relapse because of e cigs?
While e-cigs are legal, they do still emit vapor containing nicotine (which is a toxin) and other ingredients. You can argue they emit less nicotine than traditional cigarettes, but why should I be exposed to any at all for someone else's addiction or hobby? In enclosed and populous public spaces, it's not really reasonable to expect others to put up with either the addictive chemical or strong perfumes. (Do you like it when women wearing smelly perfume sits by you in restaurants? That's what it's like for a person who's a non-smoker anywhere near a person vaping.) A few weeks ago, someone decided that X-Men needed a hint of strawberry. So, for this thread, I decided to see if it was just those individuals who might light up in a theater.
Guess that people have been told well now that it's "discrete" and so not really much of an issue.
People can talk about success stories and being responsible vapers, but then you should be supporting reasonable control of e-cigs, too. That's because reasonable legislation is designed to fend off the tools who give you guys a bad name and help prevent marketing to kids. We definitely don't need new smokers. There is no reason to make a new generation of nicotine addicts, and every new kid that starts vaping is having one that one victory pulled right away from you.
As far as I know no one's trying to write federal laws having to do with development - rather they'd much prefer for companies to openly disclose what they're putting in the product. That comes as a result of finding metal particulate, nicotine, and other things in the inhalants - when it wasn't supposed to be there at all. Currently we can't even be sure what it is that will be inhaled when someone vapes.
More information is available here:
[mod edit: removed ableist slur]
[user edit: slur was only there as a direct response, and I'm totally cool with that ]
Same. 15 years back I had a 3-lighters-a-week habit. If e-cigs were around then, I'd still be an addict.
Even now, I look at them and they push so many of my buttons (shiny toy, gadgets, wide variety of flavours, modding, home-brew stuff etc.) I'm very glad I don't know anyone that uses them. It honestly wouldn't take much.
I still crave nicotine, or at least the ghost of nicotine combined with the memories of past pleasures. I'll always deep-down be a smoker and those toys are just way too tempting for me to be near.
A new addiction? That all depends on how you define the word. =)
For me, I'm still addicted to nicotine, and I don't mind that. One theory that's currently being looked into is that the nicotine is about as addictive as caffeine, and that it's the other thousands of chemicals that are a stronger factor in what makes cigarettes so damn addictive.
I'm far more aware of what's going into my body from what I'm inhaling now than I ever was with a cigarette. I can count the list of ingredients on both hands, with a couple fingers to spare - and I know, because I know the guy who makes my juice. I want to taper down? It's so much easier, because the liquid comes in different strengths by design, for those who want to wean themselves off.
For someone like you - congratulations on quitting! - or my roommate who joined me when I made the switch for moral support, there are options, too. Most vendors have the same selection of juices with no nicotine at all. Just the inert bases - propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerin - and the GRAS flavorings. Sure, the nicotine adds something to the mix, changes the flavors in subtle and not-so-subtle ways, but that's a personal preference and YMMV.
There are plenty of folks in the community who've weaned themselves off the nic-based juices, but still vape because there's pleasure in just the flavors, in the in-and-out rhythmic breathing, the technology and community of the thing. Others wander off after the addiction fades away, donating or selling their gear and walking off into the sunset healthier, happier people.
Looks like you didn't read my link (I know the article was long).
Here's a one page to another site.
In a recent preliminary review (not peer reviewed on this one, just posting quickly), some of the nicotine-free juices displayed trace amounts when tested. There was also a wide deviation from posted amount to recorded amount within the 32 refill liquids tested. A quarter of them differed by at least 20%.
"Two "nicotine-free" products contained 0.9 mg/ml, while a third tested at 0.8 mg/ml nicotine. Labeled nicotine content in other tested brands ranged from 5 to 36 mg/ml."
To match "ultra light" cigarettes, it's recommended you use cartridges with 6mg of nicotine. Now, here's the problem: If you think you're getting no nicotine at all (and believe e-cigs pose no health risk) you'll light up as much as you want (probably more than you would otherwise). So, while you'd need to smoke six-and-a-half times as much to get just one ultra light, you just might do that. After all, e-cigs cost less than cigarettes and are advertised to be not dangerous at all. A person with a 20-cigarette-a-day habit might still smoke three cigarette's worth of nicotine from e-cigs advertised to be nicotine-free.
::raises fist in solidarity::
I started out this reply completely first-thing-in-the-morning haven't-had-my-coffee shots-fired snarky just from that first sentence alone. If you want an actual conversation, I'd suggest leaving that at home next time. If not? Well, I'll pretend you want actual discourse anyway, for those at home who might want to learn something new. Besides, part of it was my honest mistake, in trading brevity for clarity. I know my faults well - I can get downright evangelical about vaping if given half the chance, and I'm trying to spare you folks the wordsplosion.
We - the community - have known about those studies for a while. We know that, in the best case, the product that the scientists were testing were the pre-packaged cartridges that come from the Big Tobacco companies like Blu or NJoy. At worst, they were the Chinese imports that started the whole thing. These are not the products that we use, all in all. They're the gateway for a lot of other people, though, which may be why so many independent vape shops are opening up all around the country... and making the market bonkers.
This, I think, is where the miscommunication is happening. We're talking about two vaguely related but separate things.
I likened the community to Makers and Homebrewers. When I said I know the guy who makes my juice? I wasn't kidding - I know his name, I've seen his face, I know what his lab looks like, I know where he gets his supplies. These new vape shops, both brick-and-mortar and online venues, are places run by enthusiasts who are trying to do this thing as safely and enjoyably as possible. When I said that I knew there were juices out there that were nic-free, I should have made clear that I was talking about the products from these small-batch vendors, not the disposable cartridge-based mass-produced ecigarettes.
Speaking of studies, here are some you might be interested in.