Researchers have found that electronic cigarettes have established such good reputation among young parents who use them and believe that they are less harmful than the traditional cigarettes. The research was presented during the annual meeting of Pediatric Academic Societies last May 4 in Vancouver, BC in Canada.
Electronic cigarettes are electronic smoking devices except that they do not produce smoke. Instead, the device heats up an eliquid solution that is often laced with nicotine to create vapors that the vaper could draw and puff. These vapors look like smoke at first, but if one would look and observe closely, he/she would notice that the vapors are almost odorless and dissipate a lot quicker that smoke.
Eliquids come in various flavors and allow vapers to adjust the amount of nicotine in their eliquids. Many smokers have made the switch to these popular devices. Others use ecigs to cut down cigarette consumption. Others use ecigs in order to drop the habit of smoking.
Young parents and other users of these devices cannot be blamed for their opinion about vaping. First of all, they are actual people who have first hand and personal experience of the benefits that ecigs offer. They are the ones who have personally felt improvements in their health ever since they traded their cigarettes for ecigs.
Yet, their personal experiences hold no significance to those who think badly of ecigarettes. For ecig opponents, ecigarette use has some adverse effects that remain to be seen. For them, vaping is like smoking whose true color will only be revealed after many years.
In the US, the FDA has not evaluated any device for its efficiency or safety. There are also no current standards followed for ecigarette production.
The said research involved a random sample of over 3,000 adults in a survey held September 2013. It found that 88% of survey participants were aged 18-24 years old. Of these people, 22% were parents.
Of these young parents, 13% reported of trying to use ecigarettes. 45% said that they never smoked regular cigarettes before or they have previously given up smoking. Of parents who tried ecigs, 6% reported of using an ecig in the past one month or 30 days.
When asked of the reason for using ecigs, 81% replied that they though ecigs are less harmful to the bystanders or other people around them. 76% said that being ecig users would make them more accepted than being tobacco smokers. Using ecigs were more allowed or accepted in many places where smoking traditional cigarettes is outlawed.
Associate Professor Dr. Robert C. McMillen at Social Science Research Center at the Mississippi State University said that there are two troubling results from this study. One is that the risks of ecig use as well as the vapor exposure are not known. Still, many young parents use them as means to reduce the harms associated with smoking.
Another of his concern is that half of the current ecig users were never smokers. This is an implication that unlike other THR products, ecigs contribute to the primary nicotine addiction and to the renormalization of smoking.
Moreover, all young adults who have tried vaping reported of trying menthol-flavored or fruit flavored ecigs. In comparison, there is 65% of the 25 years old and older participants who have tried the same flavors. This, the professor said, could be attributed to the marketing tactics used by ecig companies.
In other studies, ecig manufacturers were said to be using strategic advertising in order t target the youths and thus generate new nicotine addicts. The two recent studies were held by Legacy anti-tobacco organization. It found that January-November 2013, ecig TV ads reached 29.3 million teenage viewers aged 12-17 years old.