It seems that everywhere you look these days; people are
coming up with more creative ways to get their highs. From Volcano vaporizers
to light cigarettes, getting your nicotine buzz has become the technological
grail. One of the newest is the
electronic cigarette, or e-cigarette.
But what exactly is this thing?
The easy answer is to say that, unlike a cigarette, the e-cigarette is actually constructed primarily from a stainless-steel tube. To be more precise, when someone "puffs" on an e-cigarette, a computerized sensor feels the drop in pressure and activates both an internal heating element as well as the signature "red glow" LED at the tip. The heating element then vaporizes a liquid solution that contains, among other things, varying levels of nicotine.
As the makers of these things really like to tout upon, these e-cigarettes can be smoked anywhere because they are not technically cigarettes. Thus, although I hate to see it, there are kiosks full of these things popping up in malls everywhere. The employees of these carts are encouraged to "smoke" these e-cigarettes inside of the malls where they work to show the shoppers that it’s okay to smoke inside. Personally, I felt nauseated by the sight and wondered how the mall owners allow such filth.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarettes are considered "new drugs," which means that they require approval from the FDA. This means that their safety needs to be backed by scientific data. Although the companies that sell these e-cigarettes claim that they are safe, they have not backed up their claims with any data showing studies on humans. And despite the FDA saying that these products are still waiting on their approval and cannot be sold, stores are popping up like candy, and there has been no movement to stop their sale. This has prompted the FDA to sue for the power to regulate these drug devices. Does this raise a giant red flag for anyone else but me? I mean, if these e-cigarettes are as safe as the companies claim they are, why are they forcing the FDA to sue to get the power to regulate them?
These e-cigarettes also present a new legal issue. In states where cigarette smoking is banned in restaurants, workplaces and within 20 feet of many public places, where exactly is an e-cigarette allowed? The makers of the e-cigarettes claim that they can be smoked anywhere because they are not defined as a cigarette, but as the FDA has found, these devices still deliver chemicals that are quite toxic to humans. In response, some states, like California, are pursuing legislation that would halt the sale of e-cigarettes until the FDA has the power to regulate them.
So, what’s the best bet? Get your toxins the traditional way and light up, or get new and exciting chemicals and light up your LED…