Use of e-cigarettes soars

E-cigarettes have risen in popularity over tobacco products, specifically among a younger demographic.  (Photo provided by TBEC Review via flickr)
E-cigarettes have risen in popularity over tobacco products, specifically among a younger demographic. (Photo provided by TBEC Review via flickr)

The Oswego State campus may be tobacco free, but that doesn’t stop people from using e-cigarettes, or e-cigs, around campus.

E-cigs were made available in the U.S. in 2006, according to cancer.net. Many things remain uncertain about them, but it is becoming more and more apparent that they are giving tobacco companies a run for their money.

More teens have been buying e-cigs in the last couple of years. The e-cig habit costs less for people, does not have the same smell or stigma as regular cigarettes and may be better for people in the long run.

As of now, the effects that e-cigs have on the body are unknown, according to WebMD. They have not been out long enough for major research to be conducted. However, initial research is showing they are safer than regular cigarettes.

When the two are compared, there are many differences. One of the biggest differences is that people do not have to risk burning themselves or others to smoke. An e-cig is battery operated and in the end you only smoke vapor. In addition, you do not have to deal with cigarette butts. No litter, ashtrays or chance of something burning down.

It is much cheaper to be an e-cig smoker than it is to smoke a carton a day. According to Vape Ranks, a carton of cigarettes in the U.S. costs approximately $8 to $12, which can vary based on the state you are in and the amount of tax you have to pay. This means if you wanted to smoke a carton a day, you would have to spend around $300 a month. An e-cig starter kit can range from $20 to $60, and refill packs only cost $20 to $40. So at most, $100 would be spent compared to $300.

When you look at the products, they have some things in common. Both still have nicotine in them to get users addicted. Withdrawal from the products has negative effects on the body, such as depression, stress and weight gain.

Both also use other harsh chemicals in their products. E-cigs reportedly may have antifreeze in some of their refill packs.

Steps have  been taken to begin regulating e-cigs more. Like other tobacco products, you must be 18 in order to purchase them in a store. In addition, e-cigs are a part of Oswego State’s smoke-free initiative, but this doesn’t stop students from using them on their way to class. Some claim they use them to quit smoking and because of this, they have been allowed to continue.

E-cig use is only going to continue to grow. The fact that many find them healthier, cheaper and they don’t have the same negative image associated with them as regular cigarettes only makes them more desirable to people. Tobacco use continues to fall, but at the moment, e-cigs will continue to rise.