Arts & Life Editor
For centuries, tobacco has been rolled into the traditional cigarette, but as awareness for the related health issues rises, people are less willing to smoke in traditional means.
Electronic cigarettes (herein E-cigarettes) have become the popular alternative to the traditional cigarette. Through an electronic nicotine delivery system (ENDS), nicotine-containing liquid is vaporized and inhaled by the user.
The battery-powered device uses liquid that does not contain tobacco, but the nicotine is derived from tobacco. The user can choose the intensity of nicotine or to have none in the liquid at all. According to users, the water vapor is gentler on their lungs, body and mind.
“I can smoke vapes and be fine, but if I have a cigarette I am more visibly tired and feel really tense and nervous,” sophomore Jesse Lee said.
Lee has been smoking E-cigarettes for about a year and a half and feels they are an ideal option for smokers.
“I like (E-cigarettes) a lot. They’re a lot better of an alternative. They’re a cheaper solution to traditional cigarettes and they’re definitely healthier,” Lee said.
Because E-cigarettes are relatively new, researchers are still determining the definitive health benefits to switching from traditional to electronic cigarettes; however, users have a general idea of what makes E-cigarettes better than traditional cigarette
“It’s what cigarettes have that electronic cigarettes don’t have: carcinogens, tar and actual smoke, while the E-cig is vapor. You’re not burning anything. You’re evaporating a liquid into your lungs, while with a cigarette you’re burning an actual plant into your lungs. So you’re getting plant matter into your lungs along with the other carcinogens in the tobacco,” Lee said.
Lee said few people on The University’s campus smoke, but E-cigarettes are gaining popularity. In a survey to the student body, 11.67 percent said they smoked tobacco and 88.33 percent said they did not. Of the 11.67 percent who smoke, about 57 percent smoke traditional cigarettes while about 43 percent smoke E-cigarettes.
The survey showed the main reason people switched to E-cigarettes is because they are less expensive. About 50 percent of the people surveyed feel moderately knowledgeable about E-cigarettes, about 7 percent feel very knowledgeable and about 43 percent feel not knowledgeable at all.
Despite the lack of knowledge in this area, most people responded that they do not care to know more. Water vapor seems less harmful, and traditional cigarettes have already killed thousands, but I suppose the choice is yours.
“So what would you rather have?” Lee asked. “More plant matter and crap in your lungs, something that will actually hurt you, or just a cloud of water vapor with a little flavor?”