The 5 E-Cigarette Myths You Should Stop Believing
It might be the 21st century, and we might have technology that nobody even imagined even twenty years ago – a modern smartphone would have looked futuristic in Star Trek – but we still have a lot of myths, too. The Illuminati, the Loch Ness Monster, dangerous e-cigs – the list is almost endless. Eighteenth century Bavarian societies are a matter for specialist historians and Loch Ness is deep, cold and dark, but the myths being spread about electronic cigarettes are a much easier target for busting. Let’s have a look at some of the more common ones and contrast them with the truth.
#1 – “We don’t know what’s in them.”
Opponents of e-cigs often make this claim; it’s usually meant to frighten people into not using them by implying that the liquid could contain dangerous ingredients. In fact the opposite is true. We know exactly what’s in e-cigarette liquid; propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, distilled water, flavourings and nicotine. In fact we know a lot more about what’s in e-liquid and the vapour it produces than we know about what’s in cigarette smoke – or even a cup of coffee.
#2 – “There hasn’t been any research about their effects.”
Well, actually there has. In fact there have been hundreds of studies into the ingredients used in e-cig liquid and into the devices themselves. The people who want e-cigs banned pretend there hasn’t been any research because all these studies didn’t come back with the “right” results.
#3 – “They don’t help you quit.”
This myth is mixing up nicotine with smoking. If you switch 100% from lit tobacco to vaping then yes, you’ve quit smoking. Of course unless you choose to cut down to 0mg liquid you haven’t quit using nicotine, but as nicotine isn’t actually the problem there’s no reason why you should.
#4 – “They’re aimed at children.”
It’s often claimed that the reason e-cigs are available in so many flavours is to attract children. Adults, apparently, only like tobacco flavour. Speak to any experienced vaper and you’ll hear a different story. Most people start off trying to find something that tastes like the cigarettes they used to smoke, but it usually doesn’t take long for other flavours to replace them. In fact if you want to stay away from smoking, tobacco is probably the last flavour you want!
#5 – “They’re a gateway to smoking.”
Some activists argue that non-smokers might start using e-cigs then move on to smoking. There’s no reason why that would happen – why would people move from something that’s safe, cheap and tastes great to an expensive and dangerous product that tastes and smells like burning leaves? There’s also very strong evidence that this doesn’t happen – a recent study by Action on Smoking and Health found that only 1% of non-smokers had even tried an e-cig and 0% used them regularly.
#6 – “It’s all a plot by tobacco companies.”
Critics of electronic cigarettes often talk about how they’re promoted by “the tobacco industry” as if the same companies are producing both. In fact the tobacco companies would love it if e-cigs just disappeared, because vaping is the biggest threat their business has ever faced. The reason the tobacco industry is now trying to get into e-cigs is fear of a “Kodak moment” – finding out too late that their product is obsolete. They haven’t been very successful so far, either. Hundreds of different e-cig brands are available in the UK. Only two of them are owned by tobacco companies, and both only make first generation “cigalikes.”
There are many more myths about e-cigs, and we’ll look at them in the future. These six are probably the most common though. They appear in the media and most vapers have heard them from concerned friends and family. Next time you hear them you’ll have all the answers.