There’s a stigma against tobacco cigarettes. Turns out, there’s a stigma against electronic cigarettes too.
A research released on August 2015 from Public Health England, an executive agency from the British Department of Health, made independent study claims that 95 per cent of e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes.
As the study came to light, Scotland’s largest health board, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde lifted bans for smoking e-cigarettes on hospital grounds.
Langara College student in Environmental Studies, Joseph Abercrombie admits he smokes and owns an e-cigarette vaporizer from the brand EVO. He finds the one he currently has not functioning well because he isn’t able to inhale smoke properly.
“I have one and I use it for a bit, but I think like I don’t know what about it that’s wrong, but it just hurts a lot. Like you see those guys who vape, and blow a huge cloud and it looks like it’s comfortable and mine’s not like that.” Abercrombie said.
He is aware of the stigma surrounding e-cigarettes and with his opinion on the study done by Public Health England, Abercrombie thought it was likely right.
“I think it’s probably true. Cigarettes have all sorts of bad stuff in it.” Abercrombie said.
Despite this recent information, understanding the effects of e-cigarettes is not cohesive, leading to widespread stigma.
Dr. Milan Khara, a Smoking Cessation Clinic physician at Vancouver General Hospital says the reason for the stigma is that no one knows how bad e-cigarettes are for people.
“The issue is primarily what is the risk that is carried by an e-cigarette? That’s a question that’s really difficult to answer and there’s no scientific consensus or scientific agreements on that question.” Dr. Khara said.
According to Health Canada regulations, sales for nicotine based filters for e-cigarettes are deemed illegal. Despite the caution, e-cigarettes sales have been boosted
“The current regulations from Health Canada is that e-cigarettes that contain nicotine, are not permitted for import or sale into this country. Now it doesn’t mean that you cannot buy e-cigarettes in this country, which don’t contain nicotine. So the non-nicotine e-cigarettes are legal.” Dr. Khara said.
Martin Schulz, UBC Associate Professor at the Sauder School of Business in Organizational Behaviour and Human Resources Division said claims about health effects of cigarette smoking and vaping are very hard to establish.
“As a result, the public discourse has been rather ill-informed and biased and has been used to stigmatize lifestyle choices of individuals.” Schulz said.
Dr. Khara said people should still error in the side of caution, especially non-smokers who want to try vaping.
“The fact is that most people who use e-cigarettes, most people, according to the studies are already tobacco users. So, it may well be that a tobacco user who is used to inhaling smoke from a cigarette everyday and has been doing for years, would have no difficulties using an electronic cigarette.” Dr. Khara said.
Tom McCoy, an automotive body-shop worker and a tobacco smoker says he didn’t like the idea of vaping.
“Isn’t it more harmful to your health than cigarettes anyway?” McCoy said.
Disclaimer: I am not a smoker, I just merely wrote the article.