For many years now the dangers of smoking have been broadly accepted and so smokers have been affected by the social stigma attached to smoking tobacco products. In recent years vaping has become quite trendy and although the evidence clearly indicates that vaping does not cause the same negative health issues as smoking does, it seems as though vaping has taken on a lot of the same social stigma that has come to be associated with smoking.
So then, the question to be asked is whether or not this stigma associated with vaping is the ultimate cause of fewer people trying the intake of nicotine in a form that is proven to be much safer than smoking, even though it is never promoted as a cease smoking technique? Simply put, is vaping affected by the social stigma of smoking? Here are some thoughts on the matter.
Nicotine Is Addictive but Is It Unhealthy?
According to many renowned experts who have done serious research into smoking and nicotine, it isn’t the nicotine that is the carcinogenic substance in cigarette smoke but rather the tar that is the by-product of burning carried into the lungs in smoke. According to two notable experts in the field, Michael Russell and Mitchel Zeller, nicotine is addictive but not carcinogenic. In fact, a recent article in Forbes read, “Nicotine can save lives.”
Many older folks may remember Russell as the person who came up with the ‘tobacco harm theory’ in the 1970s and Zeller is currently renowned as being the Center of Tobacco Products’ director. The CBT is a division of the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, and both are of the same conclusion that nicotine, while addictive, is not the bad guy. Tar is.
An Uninformed and Uneducated General Population
The consensus is that with so much attention in the media and in government and medical publications pointing out the dangers of smoking, there is an ingrained association that tobacco kills. And, from there it is a natural assumption that nicotine, the addictive substance in tobacco, is the killer. Proponents of vaping widely believe that this huge push in the media has resulted in misconceptions in regards to nicotine. Thus, vaping has become stigmatized in much the same way as smoking has.
Many vaping aficionados believe that now this erroneous mindset should be corrected. The general public is literally as afraid of the vapor coming from an e-cig or a vaping device as they are of being in proximity to secondhand smoke. With many renowned scientists and doctors officially stating that vaping is not as dangerous as smoking, other than the potential for addiction to nicotine, it would only seem fair for those same agencies that detailed the dangers of smoking to step forward and correct the general public’s misinformation in regards to vaping. It may not happen in my lifetime, but it really would be the ethical thing to do.
So it does seem that vaping really is being affected by the social stigma of smoking. Because of this, those who vape are asked to use common courtesy and step away from non-smokers and non-vapers out of consideration for their fear of the vapors. In so doing, maybe some of the social stigma will be reduced and more people would be willing to hear what experts are saying.
Until that day, aficionados should simply step off to the side, vape and rejoin their friends. How hard is that?