E-Cigarettes - Good or Bad?
There's some controversy in the news today. Apparently the World Health Organization think they're unhelpful and should be regulated. The UK authorities believe that e-cigarettes are beneficial. In a nutshell:
Supporters of E-Cigarettes
- They are not harmful to the smoker (or vapper) or to bystanders.
- Smokers of standard cigarettes should switch to e-cigarettes.
- They help people who want to quit smoking.
- There is no conclusive evidence that e-cigarettes act as a gateway to normal smoking.
- E-cigarettes do not glamorize or normalize smoking.
Opponents of E-Cigarettes
- The full health impacts of smoking e-cigarettes are not known.
- There is some evidence that they do act as a gateway to normal smoking.
- They do normalize and/or glamorize smoking.
- The impact on bystanders is not known.
- They may help some people quit but this is counteracted by those that are introduced to smoking by using e-cigs.
It's quite a polarized debate. It seems to me that supporters see immediate health benefits and argue that the risks are minimal. On the other hand opponents cite the precautionary principle- i.e. we should be wary until we have more evidence.
In my opinion, government and health organizations should organize definitive research to be concluded asap. The potential health benefits are too great to be restricted by lack of conclusive information. In the meantime, I would personally allow them to be used in any places where normal smoking is allowed.
What do you think?
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