Perhaps in almost all aspects of society, anyone would find someone who smokes. Whether a person belongs to the upper or lower societal levels, he/ she could be addicted and hooked on smoking. Even some leaders of countries and clergies smoke. Thus, it is no surprise that even in the military, there are also those that caught in the smoking habit.
Smoker In The Air Force
Jon Bunte was 18 years old when he started smoking through a friend that used smoking as a way to ease chronic headaches. Bunte still continued his habit even when he has entered the Air Force. Halfway through his enlistment, he began looking for a cleaner way of getting his nicotine fix. It was when he tried electronic cigarettes. His first try in using the device was unsatisfactory that he still smoked Marlboro Lights menthol. Early this year, in March, he decided to once again try using electronic cigarettes. From this second try, he was rather successful because since March, he still has not smoked any real cigarette.
According to Bunte, his health is greatly affected by smoking. He wakes up every day with a coughing fit and he also had difficulty in running; whereas with vaping, Bunte said that he got all smoking effects from electronic cigarettes, but not the negative and vicious ones.
Electronic Cigarettes In Military Exchanges
It was probably in mall kiosks and convenience stores that these electronic cigarettes first drawn he curiosity of people, smokers and non-smokers alike. Then, tobacco stores soon stocked up along with other smoke shops. Now, even prison commissaries and military exchanges are selling these battery-powered smoking devices. In the exchanges of the Air Force and Army since May alone, electronic cigarette sales already reached $28,600.
Electronic Cigarettes Are Getting More And More Popular
As popular as these devices are becoming; their users are also quite popular so as to speak. Recently in the news and online websites, photographs of celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Leonardo DiCaprio are circling the web wherein these Hollywood stars were seen puffing with their electronic cigarettes.
It is not just the number of users that take notice of these devices. The industry of electronic cigarettes is definitely an appealing one to many investors including tobacco companies.
The growing popularity of these products also encompasses that of the government’s attention. Regulators and even military services are thinking how these products may be regulated and controlled.
By October, the FDA is said to announce its proposed regulatory policies that will involve electronic cigarettes under the classification of tobacco products. In the military, they are already considered as tobacco products, whereby users are only allowed to vape in areas that are designated for smoking.
Electronic Cigarettes And The Concerns About Them
The FDA is concerned about the health consequences of vaping, quality control of the devices and the possibility of these products to attract the youth. The last concern is not just the worry of FDA. Other state legislators and health advocates are also fighting against electronic cigarette marketing. According to these opponents, electronic cigarettes, being available in various delicious flavors can easily attract minors to try them such as popcorn, caramel, chocolate, and the personal favorites of Bunte: strawberry vanilla cupcake. Worse is that after they tried vaping, these teens and non-smokers would be enticed to start on smoking real cigarettes.
Study Results Contradict What Users Experienced
The Controversy of electronic cigarettes also involves primarily their effect on public health. Opponents claim that there are no sufficient studies performed yet on these products that can guarantee their efficacy and safety. The FDA has previously tested some cartridges and said that many of these cartridges contain some volatile compounds and chemicals that are usually found in anti-freeze. Another study by German Cancer Research Center (in Heidelberg) even found that vapors have secondhand effect on non-vapers.
Despite all these alarming claims, a majority of these users still favor electronic cigarettes; saying that they actually feel a lot better since they made the switch. Bunte, as an example, said that not only did his teeth become cleaner. He now sleeps better and does not cough or wheeze when he exercises. According to him, these devices are not branded as smoke cessation tools, but he personally thinks they are indeed capable of helping smokers wean.
He added that some smokers who try electronic cigarettes do fail in quitting smoking because they begin with cheap, disposable brands. These products may fit one’s budget more easily, but the quality of smoking experience and consistency in vapor production are compromised.