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E-Cigarettes And Your Health

'Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world,' said Mark Twain. 'I know because I've done it thousands of times'.

In the last couple of days it has been announced that e-cigarettes can now be advertised on television. This is the first time since 1965 that the British government will be allowing the advertisement of cigarettes to billow out to tens of millions of viewers across the UK. Until now, the e-cigarette itself has not been permitted in any form of advertising, As the WHO (the World Health Organisation) states, smoking is "one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced" and kills over half of those who do it, while it is responsible for an increased rate of cancer and heart disease. So how do we go about beating the chronic levels of smoking addiction that so many people are facing today and what impact is the advertising of e-cigarettes going to have on the nation? Well, I think that there are two main questions that we need to ask: 1. Does smoking e-cigarettes actually help you to give up smoking normal cigarettes? A recent survey of 6,000 smokers over a four year period found that in the UK, 60% of those in the survey were more likely to give up smoking with the help of an e-cigarette. If we were to base the answer to our question above on this study, then the answer would be yes, e-cigarettes can actually help you to give up smoking. Of course the above  fantastic news, but the study mentioned above is still however a young study - I need something much more in depth to confirm that e-cigarettes can indeed be as powerful as they claim in the longevity of quitting smoking. Based on current research, it is still true to say that the most effective way to give up smoking is to use the NHS stop smoking services as it increases your chances of ditching the fags by 3 times! 2. What are e-cigarettes doing to your health? At present there is no long term evidence of the effect of e-cigarettes on your health. A Department of Health spokeswoman said:
E-cigarettes are not risk free, but they carry a lower risk to health than smoking tobacco
while scientist Stanton Glantz of the University of California has called for rigorous investigation into the devices as there is simply not enough known about the effects of their use in the longterm. Many are worried that some brands of e-cigarettes contain 'carcinogens and reproductive toxins, including benzene, lead, nickel, and others' all in the form of ultra fine particles which can be hugely damaging to the lungs once inhaled. E-cigarettes use a nicotine laced inhalable vapour to create their own version of a high. Nicotine is highly addictive and acts within the body in a very similar way to sugar. Firstly, it stimulates the central nervous system and endocrine glands, thus in turn causes a sudden surge of glucose. This rapid release is then followed by depression and tiredness, leading the user to seek more nicotine. For me, the above is enough to warn people off e-cigarettes. If you can live without them in your life then do. Yes they may be healthier than a normal cigarette but this does not in any way shape or form mean that they are healthy! So based on the above it looks like the the path for e-cigarettes in the quest to quit is looking positive, which ultimately is brilliant news. My problem however lies in the act of 'normalising' smoking and what the real, longterm effects that these e-cigarette television ads are going to be? They sure as hell are not targeted ad campaigns that will be shown to smokers only, I can tell you that! No, these ads will be going out to children and impressionable people and will surely dumb down the fact that smoking in all forms, e-cigarettes included, is bad for your health! My other concern is that, as the price of e-cigarettes starts to come down, the habit will become affordable for many more
They (e-cigarettes) are about 20% cheaper than cigarettes at the moment. As they get more popular and sales increase, they could end up being half the price, especially if they end up being regulated as a medicine and are exempted from VAT.
We are already seeing a huge increase in the use of e-cigarettes, 'to vape' is now an official word in the Oxford dictionary, the number of adolescents using e-cigarettes has doubled since 2008 and we now have over 2.1 million users in the UK today. There is no doubt in my mind that the use of cigarettes in ANY form is wrong and we are potentially heading down a very slippery slope if advertising allows for smoking to become acceptable. We already have e-cigarette vending machines while some pupils have even been allowed to smoke at school! Regardless of the benefits they may hold for some, campaigns should not be open for the world to see but specifically targeted towards those who are trying to quit smoking. I worry that a blanket approach to e-cigarettes could get us into very hot water in years to come. What is an e-cigarette made of?

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