Vaping (Electronic cigarette) usage has sky rocketed in South Africa over the past few years. People of all ages are quitting cigarettes and moving over to Vaping electronic cigarettes to live a healthier lifestyle. Electronic cigarettes are still new and although there have been many studies on the subject some showing its healthier and others showing its not, only time will tell. Before we start, it must be noted that I am a huge fan of Vaping and believe it is saving many lives.
- Lack of government regulations
Generally, the existing federal mandates on the manufacturing and use of tobacco serve as a guideline for the smokers with respect to the potential negative impacts on health and environment. The absence of this case of e-cigarettes could be a major drawback. There is no fixed standard concerning the safety and quality of e-cigarettes. There are also no limitations on the buying and selling of e-cigarettes, so much so that you are even exempted from taxation. Although the FDA did make an announcement in 2012 stating that there are going to be some regulations introduced on tobacco products as well as e-cigarettes, the dates for this are yet unknown. Only a few states like New York, Los Angeles, and Boston have introduced regulations on e-Cigarettes so far. Other states are yet to make the changes. Among other factors, FDA has announced that age of the smoker will also be considered in the upcoming vaping regulations.
While I do not agree with everything the FDA has said and wants to put into law for Electronic Cigarettes, i do believe the market needs to be more regulated to ensure the safety of the people buying these products.
- Battery explosions
To date battery explosions have been reported which leaves the safety of vaping as highly questionable. The most recent instance was the one reported by CBS news where a man was severely injured by the battery exploding. the explosion had caused severe damage to the tongue, mouth and the teeth. Batteries explode for a number of reasons and is generally at the fault of the user. If vaping devices are used properly, you shouldnt have to worry about batteries exploding. Its up to Vape shops to educate their customers before selling them devices.
- Health risks
The main drawback of e-cigarettes is that they are known to accelerate dehydration among the frequent smokers. It is the propylene glycol present in Vaping liquids that tend to absorb water from the body, thus leading to dehydration. Many smokers have also found themselves to be allergic to the propylene glycol, which is a necessary inclusion in the e-liquid formulas. It is not only the propylene glycol that serves as the main evil, even nicotine can have serious negative impacts on the blood sugar levels and the circulatory system. Despite being smokeless, vaping is considered as totally unsafe for the pregnant women as well as the underage. If you have been considering about switching over to vaping, you may want to have a consultation with your doctor first.
Although in my opinion vaping is definitely healthier than smoking tobacco, the industry needs to be regulated (fairly), at the moment it looks like the FDA basically wants to make it impossible for anyone to buy or sell vaping products. They should rather make sure that the industry is safe and that people are not making eliquids in their bathroom to sell.
(Image supplied from vapecorp.co.za)