Many people are wondering if an electronic cigarette is safe, as well as their legal implications of them. These devices look just like real tobacco cigarettes, but they use cartridges that simulate the feel and taste of real tobacco. Nicotine is inhaled through vapor and the doses vary depending on the cartridge you choose. They are commonly used to help people stop smoking, but are these devices really smoke-free?
The answer to this question depends on what you define as smoke. In the literal sense, nothing is being burned. Unlike regular cigarettes, you do not light these up and puff smoke out. The “smoke” you see coming from them is actually just water vapor. Therefore, technically these are indeed different from traditional cigarettes. There is no smoke.
If there is no smoke and if technically the e-cig is not a real cigarette, then you might be wondering if they can be smoked in smoke-free establishments. There is some debate about this, and it requires you to use some of your own judgment. The main reasons why people do not want smoking occurring in bars and restaurants are because of the harm associated with tobacco and because it can be a nuisance. Secondhand tobacco smoke is deadly, and has the following health risks:
- Increased risk of heart attack
- Increased risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of lung cancer
People who suffer from asthma and allergies can also be negatively affected by the smoke. If there are children in the establishment, there are even more risks particular to young people:
- Ear infections
- Respiratory infections
- Increased risk of SIDS
Others may not care about the health risks so much, but find the smell of tobacco distasteful. Because of these reasons, cigarettes became banned in many public places. Some states outlawed smoking in public settings outright.
The question remains: Can you smoke e-cigs in public? Technically, yes. These are not tobacco cigarettes and they do not pose the same health risks. However, if the people around you become bothered or concerned, the manager of the establishment can ask you to either stop using the e-cig or leave. It depends on the circumstance and the attitude of the establishment. If there are kids around, chances are that even an e-cigarette will not be tolerated. A bar full of adults who smoke, on other hand, will probably be okay with it. Use your best judgment.
As mentioned before, smoke-free electronic cigarette does not have the same harmful health risks as tobacco. A recent study done in Germany showed that e-cigarettes do not harm the heart. This further proves that the secondhand vapor from them will not put others at risk. However, people who are sensitive may experience some respiratory irritation. Most experts believe that electronic cigarette is safe, and they are certainly far better than traditional tobacco.
Are e-cigs really smoke-free? In a technical sense, yes they are. They are much safer than tobacco and they do not pose the same risks to others. However, it is best to use your judgment and only use them where it is appropriate.
Also Read: Seeing Through the Myths of Smoking