Page 110 - Cityview May-June 2017
P. 110

devices can introduce with lifelong
use. The harmfulness of secondhand vapor is unknown, and, because vapes are currently unregulated, the labeling of actual nicotine concentration in the vapors could be much higher than what is printed.
Since the use of vapes is a relatively new phenomenon, the legality of certain practices remains a little foggy: because they are not regulated as tobacco products, their use does not generally follow the same rules as cigarettes. As recently as 2015, some states did not have laws banning their sale to minors, and there is no current legislation to subject the sale of vape products to taxation, a practice which has been proven in the past to hinder tobacco
use in both adults and minors. Whereas the legal regulation of indoor smoking has long been established, the legality of indoor vaping is also something of an unknown quantity. Many states do have regulations on whether or not you can vape indoors, but Tennessee (along with Nebraska, Rhode Island, and Nevada)
is one of only four states that have no guidelines whatsoever on the topic.
Much of the legal attention to
vaping in the state has been focused
on deterring use among minors, one
of Dr. Powers’ other concerns. “Using flavors that are fruity or like candy can appeal to children, which can lead them towards smoking tobacco,” he says. A study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded
that 29 percent of high school students have used e-cigarette products, and also reported that vaping doubles the chances of users smoking cigarettes. Underage smoking is something the Knox County Health Department has been specifically trying to address. Their 2014-2015 Community Health Assessment centered on lowering the rate of every type of smoking within the region, especially for pregnant women and children. A great deal of concern has generated about minors using electronic cigarettes due to the fact that the rate of use among middle and high schoolers tripled from 2013 to 2014.
The Variety of Products
and the Future of Vaping
The vaping experience can be a varied on, depending on what style of vaporizer you use and the type of juice you burn.
Consumer choice is based on several different factors including flavor, mouth and throat-feel, and concentration or presence of nicotine. Vape pens are
the most common device, and usually resemble traditional cigarettes in shape, though they may more closely mimic the look of an actual writing instrument. They use concentrates, which are waxes and oils, and cater to a wide variety
of tastes with candy, soft drink, and tobacco flavors available. Concentrates are known for clogging up vape pens, however, which requires significant maintenance. Vape pens can also use e-liquid, though it comes in canisters proprietary to the maker of the pen.
Another type of vaporizer is the portable vape. These are slightly
larger than vape pens and are not as easily concealed, but they also have a significant advantage. They are highly customizable in terms construction of the vaporizing device, type of juice, and size of the canister containing the liquid. One can order custom vaping “rigs,” but this gives the product a significantly higher price tag. Many experienced users, however, consider it worth it to pay more for greater functionality. As one might expect, there are significant style and aesthetic choices to be made when putting together a custom vape rig.
Neither type of e-cigarette offers unique health benefits, and their
overall value as substitutes for tobacco cigarettes remains to be seen. It would appear that people are able to stop smoking cigarettes when vaping, though to what degree and how long a term
is unknown. Knowing whether or
not switching from the inhalation of combusted tobacco to the inhalation of combusted liquid makes a difference
to one’s health will depend on future research on long term effects. For now, it does not seem safe to say there is a definitive difference or tangible benefit. Indeed, it would seem prudent to note that regardless of the specifics or the sexy language, vaping is still the practice of inhaling smoke.
Peter McCarville is a writer and musician living and working in Franklin, Tennessee.
MAY  JUNE 2017

   108   109   110   111   112