The anti-vaping lobby will stop at nothing to limit our right to vape. Whether it’s false claims about the health risks associated with vaping (which a UK government health agency has all but disproven), or continuing efforts to further limit when and where we can vape. Some are even going as far as proposing steep taxes on electronic cigarettes, which most of us can agree is a BAD IDEA for a multitude of reasons. So how come nobody seems to focus on the benefits of vaping and what it could actually offer to society? It’s not just vapers who benefit! I would like to take a few minutes to point out why vaping is actually positive for everyone, and why this effort to limit or prevent us from using electronic cigarettes is frankly idiotic.
The benefit to smokers is clear: drastically less chemicals means e-cigarettes are a much safer alternative than tobacco. In study after study, researchers continue to prove that vaping is a better option than smoking. And it may even help smokers kick the habit. But what about everybody else, and society as a whole?
1.) No Smoke… Less Smell
To me, the biggest benefit to vaping is the lack of smoke. Not only can tobacco smoke can be extremely bothersome to non-smokers (ie: burning eyes, itchy throat, etc.), but the smell poses an even bigger nuisance. The smell of cigarette smoke seems to stick to everything, whether it be clothes, furniture or people’s breath – and it’s not pleasant! Take a trip inside a vaper’s house and you won’t notice any foul odors, but a smoker’s house is a completely different story.
That’s because traditional cigarettes produce tar and other toxic chemicals, which adhere to virtually everything. Electronic cigarettes do emit an odor, but they lack the tar and chemicals and the scent dissipates extremely quickly. Some would actually refer to it as pleasant, although not everyone is a fan of scented air; whether it be from perfume, cologne or air fresheners.
Given the choice, though, I’m sure that most people would prefer the smell of fruity desserts or freshly baked cookies over cigarette smoke any day. And that’s assuming the scent is even noticeable. Plus, e-cigarette vapor doesn’t produce tar that can stick to your clothes or anything else. It won’t irritate people’s eyes or expose them to harmful, secondhand chemicals either.
2.) Less Strain On The Healthcare System
Although the long term effect of vaping isn’t clear, almost everyone agrees that it’s drastically safer than smoking tobacco; and we do have solid data on cigarette’s harm to human health. Nearly a half million Americans die as a result of smoking related illnesses every year, according to CDC data. The financial toll on our healthcare system is profound too: the American Cancer Society estimates that smoking related illnesses made up about $133 billion of total healthcare costs from 2000-2012. To put it in perspective, each pack of cigarettes sold in the U.S. contributes $35 to your overall healthcare cost, the group says.
Contrast that with the potential benefits of vaping. Research continues to suggest that vaping is safe, and it may also be an effective method to quit smoking. One study actually suggests that e-cigarettes could save the US Medicaid system billions of dollars per year. Using 2012 data, analyst J. Scott Moody believes we could have saved up to $48 billion with the help of e-cigarettes.
3.) Electronic Cigarettes Create Jobs
Not many vaping advocates are talking about this particular benefit, but the expansion of the vaping industry is actually creating a lot of jobs. Not only on the local level with the dramatic rise in the number of vape shops, but on a more regional level as e-juice makers and product manufacturers ramp up production. There is actually solid evidence to prove this fact. In April 2014, tobacco company R.J. Reynolds hired nearly 300 new workers in the Winston-Salem, NC area solely to support its growing e-cigarette manufacturing business at a local plant.
It doesn’t stop there: the Smoke Free Alternatives Trade Association told Bloomberg News last year that it believes the rise of e-cigarettes has created about 100,000 new jobs overall. This is an actual, tangible economic benefit, and something we need to be talking about more.
4.) Much Less Litter, Too
Did you know that cigarette butts are the most common type of litter? It’s true! Some 1.6 billion pounds of butts end up in landfills every year according to a 2009 study. That’s a lot of trash. And they’re everywhere — from roadways, to sidewalks and public places. Yes, vaping has its own trash problem (think about those old coils for example), but overall it creates far less waste. And remember the toxic chemicals in those butts, which can be deadly to some types of wildlife.
It’s Up To Individual Vapers…
This is only scratching the surface of what vaping can do to benefit society, and it gives you, the e-cigarette user and advocate, additional information to help fight the critics. Thanks to the media and anti-vaping lobbyists (who will stop at nothing to discredit and destroy vaping), the public is highly misinformed about e-cigs. In order for us to save the past time that we love it’s up to us to provide people with the facts; otherwise it’s likely to be taxed and regulated beyond recognition.