Should E-Cigarette Packs Have a Label that Says “Vaping Saves Lives”?
You can’t pick up a pack of cigarettes without seeing a warning about the health risks of smoking. You’ll have undoubtedly noticed the new FDA warnings on cigarette packets; a collection of high-resolution images depicting death, people with ghastly holes in their necks and tar-infested lungs, plastered with warnings about the risks of smoking. This is a regular part of life in many places in the world, but it doesn’t seem to work both ways. E-cigarettes have been shown to be considerably less dangerous than smoking, and without the same barrage of chemicals they don’t cause smoking-related illnesses.
Smoking is, of course, extremely bad for your health. The tar, carbon monoxide and the host of other carcinogens you inhale play havoc with your body, causing cancer, heart disease and ultimately, death. E-cigarettes on the other hand reduce these risks considerably. The harmful chemicals and tar aren’t present, being replaced with a few known, safe substances such as propylene glycol, water, FDA-approved food flavorings and nicotine. Nicotine actually has a bad reputation, since it’s pretty safe if taken without the other ingredients in tobacco.
How Do They Save Lives?
Because smoking kills, and research is increasingly showing that e-cigarettes are effective in helping people quit smoking, it’s safe to say e-cigarettes can save lives. One piece of research showed that smokers who tried to quit using electronic cigarettes were twice as likely to succeed after six months as those who used ordinary nicotine replacement products. Not smoking tobacco reduces the risks of all smoking-related illnesses. Men who stop smoking by the age of 30 add ten years onto their lifespan. By stopping exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals, you may save your life by switching to vaping.
The government is all too willing to place warnings on cigarette packets, but why not do the reverse? If e-cigarettes do save lives (which they clearly do), then why should we leave the packaging bare? Smokers are constantly subjected to horrifying images and descriptions to scare them away from smoking, but the old saying is true: you catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar. The benefits of e-cigarettes should be shouted from the rooftops. With every cigarette packet bearing a warning, putting the reverse on e-cigarette packets would only make things fair.
The “graphic” image could display a user happily and healthily enjoying an e-cigarette, with the words “Vaping Saves Lives” proudly displayed underneath. The models could pose in bars, in restaurants and while they’re at work. Their faces wouldn’t have the worn, pallid appearance of a smoker; they’d be plump, fresh-faced, bright and sporting a wide grin. The message would be loud and clear: take the sensible, reduced harm approach and enjoy a longer, healthier life.