A ban is in the works for the city of Riverside to criminalize vaping in public in order for the city to become smoke-free. This is preposterous. Vaping was created to be a safer alternative to smoking and to help smokers quit cigarettes. The city of Riverside would be making a terrible mistake in lumping vapers and cigarette smokers together in a ban.
Most e-juices, the liquid vaporized in an e-cigarette to produce vapor, contain vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, artificial and natural food flavorings and nicotine. Tobacco cigarettes, on the other hand, contain many toxic chemicals dangerous to the human body. The American Lung Association has noted that only a few major e-liquid companies have inserted diacetyl, known to be a probable cause for popcorn lung, into their products. And since then, most e-cigarette companies have removed that chemical from their juice lines entirely.
It should be stressed that e-cigarettes and vapes are not tobacco products. They do not burn tobacco. They do not include tobacco in their juice. They are not meant for any use of tobacco. But the government may decide to lump them together with tobacco because their common chemical, nicotine, is such a dangerous drug that it should be chastised and shunned forever, apparently.
It’s not any vaping company’s prerogative to hustle kids into buying nicotine liquids and vapes because they desire a new generation to be hooked on nicotine. Vaping was designed to curb cigarette usage and give those who are trying to quit an avenue for successful rehabilitation, although many people who this ban is made for are not the intended users for vaping’s creation. This ban is made for people who blow large clouds with no regard to decorum and the thoughts of other people just walking by.
I understand that many people are annoyed by those big cloud pushers hogging up the good air for everyone, but understand that they are the outspoken minority. Honest vapers are just trying to quit smoking and easily transition from spending money every single day on a pack of cigarettes to just having a nice, smooth drag of an e-cig to relax.
Indeed, I’m living proof that e-cigarettes can get people to quit smoking. I started smoking at 15 when I huddled with my friends to share one cigarette that our older friend had bought with a fake ID. But ever since switching to vaping in November, I have had, in total, three cigarettes.
In a study conducted in the United Kingdom, e-cigarettes have been shown to be 95 percent less harmful than real tobacco cigarettes and even encourage smokers to give vaping a try before turning to more harmful alternatives like chewing tobacco or weaker remedies like the nicotine patch that for some, are just too ineffective for the price.
E-cigarettes have very different applications and should not be confused for tobacco enablers or persuaders. All those television ads about vaping leading to cigarette usage have only a five-year window to use for any statistics, which mostly consist of assumptions and fearmongering. It is therefore disingenuous to publish in an advertisement that vaping is known to lead to cigarette use, and it is deplorable to ban it outright in public spaces.
The city of Riverside is in the right trying to curb cigarette smoking for children and no one is really against that. But it is terrible that they would target people trying to quit smoking as criminals just for trying to ditch a bad habit and move on with their lives.