Vaping has come a long way in a relatively short time. From a somewhat obscure niche sector just a few years ago, to a booming industry encompassing millions of American vapers, e-cigarettes have really taken off. Now, people are saying vaping is not only important to them from a health perspective, but also to their lifestyle and even the image they project to the world.
A number of factors are influencing these different developments, chief among them a growing number of authoritative health studies pointing to the benefits of vaping over smoking tobacco products. Plus the solid fact that everyone now knows just how deadly cigarettes are.
Traditional cigarettes kill half the people who smoke them, the World Health Organization says, adding up to around six million deaths every year. Just as shockingly, more than half a million of those fatalities are as a result of inhaling secondhand smoke. Tobacco has become not just socially unacceptable but remains a global health crisis, and doctors are doing all they can to get people off it, including by using e-cigarettes.
The prestigious Royal College of Physicians in Britain has lent its voice to the vaping debate, saying it’s a clear way to reduce the harm that tobacco causes to human health.
The college looked into vaping and “…concluded that e-cigarettes are likely to be beneficial to UK public health. Smokers can therefore be reassured and encouraged to use them, and the public can be reassured that e-cigarettes are much safer than smoking.”
“This new report builds on that work and concludes that, for all the potential risks involved, harm reduction has huge potential to prevent death and disability from tobacco use, and to hasten our progress to a tobacco-free society,” college president Professor Jane Dacre said.
At the same time, one of the leading cancer organisations in the UK conducted a six-month study of e-cigarettes and the many products people can easily get from an online vape shop. The study, by Cancer Research UK, concluded that e-cigarettes are safer than smoking and that, while vaping products contain nicotine, the substance does not cause cancer. It also found “no evidence” that using e-cigarettes is harmful to people in the vicinity of the vaper.
“This study adds to growing evidence that e-cigarettes are a much safer alternative to tobacco, and suggests the long-term effects of these products will be minimal,” said Alison Cox of Cancer Research UK. All this is driving interest in vaping. In the UK, more ex-smokers are now using e-cigarettes than current smokers, according to a survey that shows around three million people vaping in Britain.
What’s the vaping picture like here in the US? Well, close to 10 million of us are using e-cigarettes, according to a report by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, with many of them vaping daily or every other day. Many people are using them as a way to finally kick the tobacco habit and become healthier as a result. This backs up advice by some American doctors, who now recommend to their patients who smoke that they instead try e-cigarettes as a way to wean themselves off tobacco.
A Big Image Boost
For the aspiring gentleman looking to improve his image, nothing says more about his style and substance than ditching tobacco. It’s a yesterday habit that has indeed become so totally uncool, people will be running to get away from you and your reeking clothes.
Also worth considering is new scientific research showing that, among the reasons people are taking up vaping, is that it’s something “cool” to do, and e-cigs are so easy to get from an online vape shop. The researchers used Twitter to see what people were saying about e-cigs and vaping in general and pored over a massive stream of tweets from 2012 to 2015.
Their analysis of around 3 million tweets containing words like “electronic cigarette” and “vaping” showed that while at the beginning, many people were vaping to get off tobacco cigarettes, a clear trend of image consciousness began to emerge. Increasingly, they found, people were tweeting such things as “love vaping in the club” and “e-cigs are so freaking cool”.
So the next time you’re thinking about lighting up, do yourself lots of favors and vape instead.