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Vaping, an Alternative to Smoking

By Katie Schultz

August 19, 2015 - 9:10 AM

Electronic cigarettes were introduced to the American market in 2007 and many Americans are using them. According to a survey conducted by Reuters, as of June of 2015, about 10 percent of U.S adults vape- what the act of using e-cigarettes is called- from a poll of 5,679 people. In 2013, the estimated usage of e-cigarettes from the U.S government was around 2.6 percent.

When users inhale, an atomizer activates the heating element when it makes contact with the rechargeable battery. The liquid that is in the cartridge- where you inhale- is heated and vaporized.

The vapor that users are inhaling contains propylene glycol, glycerin, water, nicotine, and flavorings. There are almost 8,000 different flavors available for users to try. Some e-cigarettes do not contain nicotine, but have nicotine flavoring instead, and some don't have propylene glycol. E-cigarettes also come in different styles: cigalikes- which look like regular cigarettes; eGos- which are larger than cigalikes and have a removable tank that can be refilled with different flavorings; and modular e-cigarettes, which are commonly larger than eGos and can be customized.

Many Americans are vaping as an alternative to using tobacco products. However, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, in 2013 17.8 percent of U.S adults smoked cigarettes, which is estimated to 42.1 million people.

Like smoking, vaping has been banned from certain areas in many states. In Delaware tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, is banned in and around all state workplaces. In Illinois, they are banned from the grounds of all state-supported campuses of higher education. In most states it is prohibited on school grounds.

It is commonly used to help a user quit smoking conventional cigarettes. In the study conducted by Reuters, around 80 percent of the people in the poll said that vaping "was a good way to help people quit smoking".

The long term affects of vaping are not known because it is a fairly new practice- more research need sot be done. However, it is safer than smoking conventional cigarettes because a user is not inhaling the harmful carcinogens that tobacco has.

Across the United States there are more than 15,000 stores that are dedicated to selling different e-cigarettes and flavorings.

The short and long term effects of cigarettes are well known to the public. Need help quitting? Talk to a doctor about your best options.
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