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Euneece Hong
Mrs. Gardner
English 10 H/ P6
10 May 2016
A Safer Cigarette for Who?
Electronic cigarettes are supposedly 95 percent safer than tobacco equivalents, (qtd. In
Berwick). Does this confirm that electronic cigarettes are cancer-free or a safer alternative?
Electronic cigarettes or e-cigs are battery-operated devices that allow a user to inhale a tobaccofree vapor (Berwick). Companies that make electronic cigarettes broadcast their products,
proudly asserting that their modern electronic cigarettes do not contain the cancer-causing
tobacco. This new technology with its fruity scents, cool smoke tricks, and supposed safer
alternative appeals more to teens, causing teen usage to increase rapidly over the past few years
(Senthilingam). Although electronic cigarettes are claimed to be tobacco-free, they are still not
the best alternative to traditional cigarettes because it has not been proven to help quit smoking,
it has increased teen usage, and it has harmful chemicals.
Electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco, which is the most recognized chemical that
is known to cause cancer; this well known fact is what caused public perception that electronic
cigarettes are better for you (Beck). Angus Berwick, the author of UK Study Endorses Game
Changing E-Cigarettes for the First Time, suggests that doctors should be able to prescribe
these electronic cigarettes to help make it easier for smokers to quit with a safer alternative
rather than go cold turkey which can lead to other complications such as withdrawal. To
summarize, supporters of electronic cigarettes believe that it can help put an end to an addiction
of smoking, and if not, still allow the user to imitate the concept of smoking from a less harmful

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device. Indeed, electronic cigarettes do not contain tobacco or doesnt make ... hair smell or ...
teeth turn yellow (qtd. In Khazan), but electronic cigarettes have not only caught the attention
of smokers but it has gained attention from teens as well.
Although electronic cigarettes have claimed to help quit smoking, they have not been
successfully proven to help quit smoking. To illustrate, smokers are switching to electronic
cigarettes to help quit smoking, but because of the nicotine in electronic cigarettes, it seems as
though electronic cigarettes are becoming a the new addiction (Senthilingam). Electronic
cigarettes have not been around long enough for research to confirm long term risks. So far, only
oral health effects has been confirmed because of the propylene glycol: found in the vapor (Ecigarettes and Lung Health). Nevertheless, we should be careful with this fairly new device and
proceed to examine it with caution, instead of taking risks that can put ones life in danger.
Therefore, should we be trusting electronic cigarettes when they have not been proven to work?
Is this the new addiction that our generations will have trouble quitting, only to realize that it still
has many health risks?
Additionally, teen usage has been increasing rapidly over the past few years. Many
people agree that although electronic cigarettes may have a chance to help smokers, it should be
kept out of youths reach: while ENDS [Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems] may have the
potential to benefit established adult smokers, [ENDS] should not be used by youth and adult
non-tobacco users because of the harmful effect of nicotine and other risk exposures (qtd. In
Senthilingam). Other chemicals in electronic cigarettes can lead to stunted brain development,
bad addictions forming at an early age, and a possible gateway to smoking traditional
cigarettes (Khan). Matthew L. Myers, President of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, states that,
over a quarter of a million youths who have never smoked a cigarette had used e-cigarettes.

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This shows that teens are exposed to the public knowledge that electronic cigarettes are safer
than traditional cigarettes; this results in teens being more open to try out this modern
technology. Companies appeal to adolescents with their child-friendly flavors (Khan), such as
Sweet Tart and Unicorn Puke, which one student described as every flavor Skittle compressed
into one (Tavernise). A research had begun in the University of Pittsburgh, Dartmouth
University and the University of Oregon, where researchers surveyed adolescents who have only
used electronic cigarettes, if they would ever smoke a traditional cigarette. Picking out the ones
who claimed to have no desire, they questioned those adolescents the following year and the
results were provoking,
11 out of 16 of the e-cigarette users, or nearly 69%, had progressed toward smoking.
Five had changed their answers from definitely no, and six had smoked traditional
cigarettes -- despite their previous lack of interest (Khan).
Although the risks of electronic cigarettes are not definite, data proves that using electronic
cigarettes have a high chance of leading to smoking which is already known to have many health
risks (Khan). Therefore, we must take action for the safety of our youth and enforce stricter laws
that make electronic cigarettes harder to attain.
Ultimately, tobacco is not the only thing that can negatively affect us. Electronic
cigarettes contain many other ingredients that are toxic, poisonous, and addictive. Contradictorily
so, tobacco is not present in electronic cigarettes, but there are other ingredients that can cause
some form of cancer: N-Nitrosonornicotine, Acetaldehyde, Cadmium, Benzene, and Isoprene.
Like a traditional cigarette, electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive drug affecting the
nervous system and heart, that makes you come back demanding for more, which increases the
time you are exposed to these harmful chemicals. Besides the person vaping, secondhand

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smokers are also exposed to six chemicals in which all are harmful to the health and with
electronic cigarettes sweet, fruity scents it draws people closer rather than repel them. Exposure
to those six chemicals can result in irritations of the eyes, skin, and respiratory tract and increase
risks of cancer (Harmful Chemicals in Electronic Cigarettes). Benzene, one chemical that affects
both the smoker and the secondhand smoker, has been reported to have reproductive effects for
women and increase the chance of leukemia. Electronic cigarettes may have a lower risk of
getting lung cancer, but it affects the brain development in kids, contains cancer-causing
chemicals found in the vapor, and gets the user addicted to the electronic cigarette because of its
nicotine. This shows that society has not looked closely into its ingredients and only focuses on
the big, satisfying facts that makes electronic cigarettes easier to misinterpret. In summation, if
society is not going to take caution with electronic cigarettes, why should they put curious
adolescents at risk?
Therefore, electronic cigarettes are not the best alternative to traditional cigarettes
because it has not been proven to help quit smoking, it has increased teen usage, and it has other
harmful chemicals. With many new, modern add-ons for the electronic cigarette, teen usage of ecigarettes has increased and leads to stunted brain development, more health risks, a possible
gateway to smoking traditional cigarettes (Khan), and forming bad addictions. So help bring
awareness of electronic cigarettes; have more caution when handling electronic cigarettes for the
sake of yourself and secondhand smokers and enforce laws such as tax laws so that electronic
cigarettes could be given a second thought before making a purchase.

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Work Cited
Beck, Julie. "Schrdinger's Cigarette: Is Electronic Safer?" The Atlantic. Atlantic Media
Company, 13 June 2014. Web. 01 May 2016.
Berwick, Angus. "UK Study Endorses "Game-Changing" E-Cigarettes for First Time." Reuters
Media. 19 Aug. 2015: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.
"E-cigarettes and Lung Health." American Lung Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2016.
Kessler, David A., and Matthew L. Myers. "Its Time to Regulate E-Cigarettes." The New York
Times. The New York Times, 24 Oct. 2015. Web. 01 May 2016.
Khan, Amina. "E-Cigarettes Seen As a Gateway to Smoking." Los Angeles Times. 11 Sep. 2015:
A.10. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 01 May 2016.
Khazan, Olga. "What the New E-Cig Rules Don't Do." The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company,
24 Apr. 2014. Web. 01 May 2016.
Harmful Chemicals in Electronic Cigarettes." GASP of Colorado, n.d. Web. 3 May 2016.
Senthilingam, Meera. "E-Cigarettes: Helping Smokers Quit, or Fueling a New Addiction?."
CNN Wire Service. 16 Mar. 2015: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 01 May 2016.
Tavernise, Sabrina. "Use of E-Cigarettes Rises Sharply Among Teenagers, Report Says." The
New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Apr. 2015. Web. 04 May 2016.