This post was originally published on July 10, 2015.
Hey, e-cigarette enthusiasts, did you think you had one numb-out escape that The Man wasn’t going to tell you causes cancer or worse? Think again. If you are vaping to curb your cigarette addiction, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. We’ve been told that while e-cigarettes aren’t as toxic as Marlboros, they still have addictive ingredients. But according to recent findings from the Harvard School of Public Health, the pyrazine additives in your vaping tube have eerily similar effects on the body’s senses as nicotine. In fact, they might make you want nicotine even more than actual nicotine. How’s that for counterproductive?
Nicotine’s Got Some Competition
The Harvard study suggests the level of pyrazine be regulated in vape sticks just as strictly as certain ingredients are regulated in traditional cigarettes. Pyrazine is a key component of low-tar cigarettes and was originally developed to make them have a richer, smoother quality. (Side note: using the adjectives “rich” and “smooth” to describe a cigarette makes my stomach turn. Those words should be reserved for chocolate mousse, not tobacco products. The sanctity of dessert has been compromised. I’m looking at you, RJ Reynolds.) Anyway, it’s not surprising that an additive designed to make something pleasurable, causes it to be even more addictive. It’s also nothing new that experts are claiming the e-cigarettes are basically just as addictive as cigarettes. We pointed that out when we covered LA’s ban on e-cigs.
Let Us Have Something, I Beg of You
But there are still benefits to vaping versus smoking. Right? I mean there are reports e-cigarettes can cause cancer, too. And many will point out, with less tar, comes more chemicals but…vaping seems so much more attractive than sucking down Camels. I really don’t mind watching someone inhale that e-cig instead of stepping outside to smoke. They smell a lot better, too. What I am trying to say is, quit taking away everyone’s vices, science! What are we supposed to do, feel everything? No thanks.
I have always been a social smoker but luckily never really addicted. I could take it or leave it and have gone through various phases of taking more than leaving. The real wake-up call for me was helping my mother recover from lung surgery. Her issue had nothing to do with smoking but I spent an ungodly amount of time in the thoracic recovery unit of a hospital. I highly suggest, if you’re really looking for an incentive to quit, pay those halls a visit. It’s a serious dose of reality—complete with a symphony of hacking coughs and a runway show of breathing machines. Okay, I just made it seem glamorous and cultural but it’s nothing you want to experience first-hand.
I’ll still have a cigarette occasionally and justify it with how much I’ve had to sacrifice during my breakup with alcohol. This seems like solid reasoning for increasing my risk of lung cancer and premature aging. Sadly, for the hardcore cigarette smokers who successfully quit through the miracle of vaping, it looks like those e-cigs may be just as bad as cigarettes. How disheartening is that?