Public-health naggers have waged war on e-cigs, but their arguments are founded on speculative nonsense. Here are the five most popular myths.
5) They’re bad for your health
The ‘we just don’t know the effects’ argument is very popular with public-health campaigners these days. They argue that, as e-cigarettes have only been on the market since 2007, we just don’t know the long-term damage they may be doing to people’s health. This is just a convenient way of getting around the fact that e-cigarettes are, by all conventional measures, harmless. E-cigarettes contain none of the tar or other toxins that make conventional cigarettes bad for one’s health. The smoke-like mist they emit contains nicotine, which in itself is relatively harmless, and propylene glycol, a chemical so safe it is used as a food preservative.
4) They’re a gateway drug to smoking
Vaping was banned in New York and Chicago late last year on the grounds that it can act as a ‘gateway’ to smoking. The available figures suggest the opposite – e-cigarettes are used almost entirely by smokers, usually to help them quit smoking or reduce the amount they smoke. A recent study commissioned by, of all organisations, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), found that the ‘use of electronic cigarettes among self-reported non-smokers is negligible (0.1 per cent) and only around one per cent of “never smokers” report ever trying electronic cigarettes’.