By Derek Ayre
Electronic cigarettes have now become the latest way to quit the harmful habit. However, more than that, theyíve become a fashion accessory, posing the questions: do they actually help you give up? And if they do, is it for good?
The likes of Simon Cowell, Lindsay Lohan and Leonardo DiCaprio have all been photographed very publically smoking electronic cigarettes. The devices, designed to alleviate both the nicotine craving and oral fixation that comes with quitting tobacco, come in a range of colours, turning them more into fashion accessories than cessation aids. On the surface, having celebrities endorse quitting smoking is a positive step.
However, this can also be seen as a smokescreen for those who want to smoke whenever they like, without being demonized by the public and media. It can therefore encourage those who do smoke to simply switch habits, and for those who donít smoke at all to pick the habit up to imitate their favourite celebrity.
The e-liquid inside the device, which is what you smoke, not only contains nicotine so youíre not actually weaning yourself off the addiction itself, but it also comes in a range of flavours.
Although you can get a specific tobacco or cigarette flavour, you can also get a variety of sweet, tasty flavours, like strawberry or apple. This makes the act of smoking somewhat pleasurable and may encourage people to actually smoke more because now the taste is more appealing. It also serves as a gateway for those who donít smoke and were previously repulsed by the taste to try it and become addicted to the nicotine.
In addition, the e-liquid and the chemicals contained within it are relatively unknown. We therefore have no idea whether they will cause more or less harm in the long run than cigarettes themselves and with a growing amount of people turning to the devices to quit, this could be a dangerous situation.
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