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Are Smokeless Cigarettes Making Smoking Look Glamorous Again?

by Jenny Erikson on December 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM

It’s not rocket science: smoking is bad for you. Let’s take thousands of chemicals, wrap them up with nicotine-rich tobacco, light the end on fire, suck the smoke down our lungs, and watch what happens!

Hello, lung cancer.

But people have vices, and everyone gets to choose their own favorites. I suppose people smoke for the same reasons they drink -- it’s calming, it takes the edge off, or it's just plain old habit. The difference with cigarettes is that many smokers would like to quit but don’t feel like they can.

Enter the electronic cigarette. These smokeless sticks have quickly risen in popularity over the last few years, even as anti-smoking laws in the United States have tightened considerably. Because they emit water vapor, not smoke, it’s legal to enjoy these things in places where smoking has been banned -- which is pretty much everywhere now.

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Several brands are available, including NJOY, SmokeAnywhere, Joye eGo, and Blu. They come in a variety of fruit flavors, and deliver a hit of nicotine to the user without the yucky smoke, ash, or smell of traditional cigarettes. It seems like a dream-come-true for people who want to quit but enjoy smoking too much to do it.

Except that anti-smoking advocates worry e-cigs will undo the decades of work they’ve accomplished in changing the perception of glamour once associated with smoking. One company in particular, Blu, is under fire for producing a TV ad for their product. Actor Stephen Dorff (The Immortals) walks along a beach, puffing away and explaining, "Blu lets me enjoy smoking without it affecting the people around me, because it's vapor not tobacco smoke ... We're all adults here. It's time we take our freedom back."

There is no concrete evidence that electronic cigarettes are safer than their smokey counterparts, or as effective as nicotine gum or patches in helping people quit. They are essentially unregulated in the United States. Cynthia Hallett, executive director of Americans for Non-Smokers’ Rights, said about Blu’s ad: "It feels like what they're trying to do is re-establish a norm that smoking is okay, that smoking is glamorous and acceptable."

I say everyone gets to pick a vice, and as long as it's not bothering anyone else, they should get to enjoy it. It's water vapor. It's completely odorless. It's not sold to children. What's the big deal?

What do you think? Should electronic cigarettes be subject to the same public smoking laws as regular cigarettes?


Image via BluCigs/YouTube

Filed Under: alcohol, bad habits, drinking, general health, healthy habits, smoking

Comments

24
  • shelly
    -- Nonmember comment from

    shelly

    December 12, 2012 at 9:35 AM
    There is no way to change the stupid in people. We all know how awful cigarettes are. If a person is stupid and reckless enough to smoke, there's really nothing to be done.
  • CaliG...
    --

    CaliGirl925

    December 12, 2012 at 10:05 AM
    I quit smoking the good old fashioned way. So I personally think the fake cigarettes look stupid. I mean really, REALLY?! What's the point? If it actually helps people quit, then fine, at least it's less smokers in the world. But I know people who've tried it, & have ALWAYS gone back. Unfortunately, here in California (where smoking indoors is illegal) I think people just get off on being able to use the water vapor sticks indoors & see the shock on people's faces before they realize what it is. I just roll my eyes...
  • notab...
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    notabosley

    December 12, 2012 at 10:16 AM
    My bf smokes, I wouldn't mind if he switched. I hate that he smokes but it's his vice, not my job to fix him. At least they don't harm me or our girls.
  • momma...
    --

    momma_dani

    December 12, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    I myself am an advocate for e-cigs.  There's a shop in Tucson AZ that speciallizes in them.  With Freedom Smoke USA, I can choose my flavors as well as how much nicotine is in the product.  It's less harsh, and doesn't leave a foul odor.  As for shock value, I still feel weird smoking in public places with it, and for the most part won't smoke inside with it.  It's also a hell of a lot cheaper than regular smokes.  I quit smoking for over two years and started back up.  I know I should quit again.  This in my opinion is a better option until I do.  


  • ethan...
    --

    ethans_momma06

    December 12, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    What's the point of 'fake cigarretts' CaliGirl?

    So people can have their nicotine addiction met, without killing the people around them.

    I could care less if they look stupid, that reason right there is a huge huge plus for those who are exposed to second hand smoke.


  • Virid...
    --

    ViridianSoul

    December 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    I tried everything to quit smoking and couldn't manage it. I tried cold turkey and didn't have the willpower for it. The gum did nothing (I could smoke back to back while using it), and ditto for the patch. Chantix? Well, that made me have HORRIFYING nightmares and I started having suicidal thoughts against my will! Sure, I could've quit smoking on THAT crap...but why keep going when doing so raises the odds that I'd have left my six year old an ORPHAN?!

    The only thing that EVER helped me stop is electronic cigarettes, the first one of which I received from my MIL for Christmas last year. SINCE Christmas Day last year, I have not wanted, had the urge, or picked up a cigarette ONCE. I became a huge fan literally overnight because of how well it worked for me, and I encourage EVERY smoker I know to get one and stick with it.

    A lot of people consider the growing trend of electronic cigarette vaping (yes, vaping, as it's not smoking!) to be a fad, or like this article impies, that there's some sort of glamor attached to the practice. But for the average, every day person, it's a great way to help them quit, if they're ready for it.


  • Virid...
    --

    ViridianSoul

    December 12, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    And as for the whole "electronic cigarettes haven't been evaluated for safety" crap? Well, CHANTIX WAS, as are hundreds of other drugs pumped out by Big Pharma. How many of those make people more ill than they started out as, maim, cripple, or even KILL?

    Sorry. I'll take my chances with nice flavors, water vapor, and nicotine over prescription pills or regular (analog) cigarette smoking and it's thousands of addictive and poisonous chemicals.

    PS- If you really want to try e-cigs, don't go Blu or any of the other cigarette look-alike products-- they suck. The best way to go is Joyetech eGo line!


  • Misha
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Misha

    December 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM
    After patches, gums pills, therapy etc. I bought an ecig Feb 2012 and haven't smoked since. I'm tapered down to the least amount of nicotine ans now only use it when I know I'm going to be in a situation I may "cave". Especially when drinking or around friends who smoke. My brother switched at the same time and also has been tobacco free since Feb. My husband still smokes and without the ecig I don't think I would have beem successful
  • Trish
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Trish

    December 12, 2012 at 12:16 PM
    I finally have quit using an e cigarette. I had tried everything and nothing else worked. As for them being tested they have been and deemed safe. The FDA is stupid, the have them listed as a tobacco product when THERE IS NO TOBACCO in them. I am much healthier and so is my daughter and my bank account.
  • Fable
    --

    Fable

    December 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    I have one.  It is soooooo Awesome.  I'm not sure you could say I quit smoking because technically you are sucking down nicotine, so I am still addicted.  But the luxury of being able to do it anywhere rocks!  Especially when you take six kids to the movie theatre...it's nice to sneak one there!  I never thought once about being glamorous with it...in fact I'm rather shy about hiding it.  Then again, I've never thought much about being glamorous considering I live in the real world.  I think most people like myself are also trying them out not just only because they want to quit cigarettes, but that the price is so much cheaper.  You also never have to go through the withdrawal from nicotine, and I"m a wuss so that's perfect for me.  

    Next time I smoke it though I will consider being more glamourous...perhaps if I run around with my ass hanging out while I do it, or I could smoke it whilst trying to trademark my childs name to Blue Philodendron.....oooh' how about I could smoke it and give a good crotch shot while getting outta my car...that's glamour baby!


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