If you haven’t read him, you should

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I’ve been reading a lot about e-cigs lately and see them being pushed as the latest way to stop smoking. Governments around the world are putting on their thinking caps and trying to figure out how to regulate the devices in a classic case of the law trailing the technology.
 
For those who don’t know, e-cigs are the electronic version of the Marlboro. They work by heating up and mixing liquid nicotine with other chemicals that the user then inhales or Vapes. The people selling them like to suggest that the vapor is nothing more harmless than nicotine and water but, as you can imagine, there are a bunch of other chemicals in the mix.
 
Now it’s entirely possible that e-cigarettes are completely benign and cause no more harm than stubbing a toe; the user is breathing something into their lungs so I’m not sure if that’s the case but people always like to hope. I don’t think it helps the case for safety when e-cigarettes are being made by the same big tobacco companies that lied to us for so long.
 
Health effects aside, what does confuse me is the argument for their continued sale without any type of regulation. All I see lately is people making comments on blogs and at the end of news articles, defending e-cigs as though they’re the greatest thing in the world. The argument usually ends with the provocative question: Would you rather I still be smoking?
 
How do you respond to something like that? Of course not, smoking causes cancer and destroys more lives than we probably realize so naturally, just about anything is better than that. Here’s the confusing part for me though: You’re still smoking. To think that you’re not is a little bit of the old denial at play and kind of like an alcoholic putting down the whiskey and reaching for a beer; less harmful perhaps but the addiction is still there. Whether it’s admitted to or not, there’s still a physical addiction to a tobacco product (nicotine) and a psychological addiction in the form of a fake cigarette. Just like a real cigarette when you stop using them, there is the feeling of missing out on something and that is what will keep you hooked.
 
My concern is that this product is being peddled, especially to teenagers, who see them as a safe alternative to cigarettes because that is the message being sent by the advertising and the adults who use them. As someone who smoked for a long time, my other concern is that people are deluding themselves into thinking that they’ve stopped smoking when they haven’t and that creates a situation where it simply drags out the misery. Unless you stop altogether, there's no easy way out and that's the plain truth.
 
Electronic cigarettes are being marketed in the same way as their traditional counterparts. This is the same product from the same companies repackaged for a new generation. Don't let them fool you.

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