Coming in the same shape and size as the real cigarette, painted just like it, the E-cigarette is a battery-powered electronic device that holds a vial of liquid and may or may not contain nicotine and is often flavored. When the vial gets heated up, it produces a smokeless vapor which is inhaled, referred to as ‘vaping’, because of the vapor produced. Some resemble actual cigarettes but majority are ornate, pipe resembling vessels that are available in numerous sizes, shapes and designer modes.
They are frequently promoted and sold as healthy alternatives compared to regular cigarettes, since they don’t contain real tobacco and the user will not inhale substances like tar and others medically harmful stuff found in cigarette smoke. Overseas, the e-cigarettes have been very successfully launched.
In Australia, it remains illegal to sell vials containing nicotine, but the devices themselves may be sold. Vials that have no nicotine can also be sold. It is however legal to purchase from abroad the nicotine containing vials. Nicotine remains classified under ”dangerous poisons” in Australia and only be sold under legal medical license.
Despite the electronic gadget been hailed as a safer alternative to cigarettes, no comprehensive research has been done regarding inhaling vapor risks. Advocates say the gadget has the beneficial potential to public health if used to replace the traditional cigarette completely
Health implications of the electronic cigarette
Health implications of the electronic cigarette remain unclear despite their usage being on the rise. There was outrage in France recently in May by the 1 million French users when the government banned their usage in public.
One study has claimed to have found some kind of previously undetected chemicals of carcinogenic nature in the e-cigarette vapors. Some levels are even said to be higher than those found in traditional cigarettes.
A US study in March of 12 e-cigarette different brands found that though certain toxicants and carcinogens were present, the actual levels were somewhere between 9 and 450 times below levels found in cigarette smoke.
It has been pointed out that while the nicotine replacement strategy may have positive measures, it stands the risk of becoming the next tool and agent for recruiting the next generation and pool of smokers due to its pricing strategy and appealing packaging. The glamour associated with the advertisements as an aid to quit smoking is a catchy marketing technique. Online adverts have been cleverly crafted and may appear as the cool thing to potential next generation smokers.
The battery-powered electronic e-cigarette device has been taunted as smoke without ire or fire. They are smoke free alternatives for the actual thing. They really don’t fall under the tobacco legislation since they don’t contain nicotine. They are only flavored and until the law makers decidedly come to conclude on the matter, the e-cigarette users will continue to happily use them.
While the e-cigarettes are not odorless completely, their vapor does not smell anything like tobacco and it disappears within few seconds after being exhaled. Some users have hailed it as their miracle cure. Some have said they feel better after being freed from carcigans and chemicals that have been tainting their blood systems for years.
What are the implications for life insurance?
A non-smoker is generally defined as one who within the past 12 months has not used nicotine or any nicotine replacement products or smoked a cigarette. Consequently, smoker premiums still do apply to users of the E-cigarette. In the same vein falls one who has used marijuana for a similar period. Some life insurance quotes providers however have rules that state it depends on the e-cigarette type, if it does or does not contain nicotine.
With a federal funded trial to test the viability of the electronic cigarette as a permanent and safer alternative for tobacco about to start, Australia may well become the first nation globally to make smoking illegal. Cancer groups, medical experts and lobbyists have for decades battled for this.
The final question :
Is it a genuine savior for smokers, or an equally addictive lesser of two evils?