My Personal Opinion About E-Cigarettes

Teenage boy smoking an electronic cigarette

THE MORE REGS, THE BETTER

I grew up in a household where both parents smoked. They both quit during my childhood -- my mother because she realized she was becoming increasingly breathless. My father went from cigarettes to cigars, then finally quit tobacco altogether when he couldn't control his coughing. All that was enough to put me off of nicotine products forever. My brother, on the other hand, started smoking in boot camp and had a devil of a time quitting later. I don't know how many times he had to quit before it finally took, but it was a lot.

MARKETING TOBACCO PRODUCTS TO KIDS
I don't know why some people start and other people don't, but I am convinced that most adults, once their brains finally fully mature, typically in their mid 20s, would not choose that habit. For that reason, I believe what most health experts insist is true -- that tobacco companies market to kids.

ENTER E-CIGARETTES
And now there's the e-cigarette industry to contend with. Manufacturers say they don't market to children, and yet, all evidence points to the contrary. Take a look at the flavors offered and the artwork on the packaging and tell me I'm wrong. It's not just the nicotine, either. Studies have shown that those flavors that make vaping taste good may actually be giving our kids a condition called popcorn lung. We aren't meant to inhale these kinds of chemicals over long periods of time. Some of the damage kids are doing to themselves may be irreversible according to some studies.

FDA TO BEGIN REGULATION
This week comes word that the FDA is going to begin regulating the e-cigarette industry, and predictably, the e-cigarette manufacturers are raising a fuss. Unfortunately, it comes late for some people who are already on a nicotine addiction path. Clearly, this topic hits a nerve with me. But I believe the measure of a society is in its treatment of its children. Hats off to the FDA, but it's not enough. Let's all call on the tobacco product manufacturers to stop marketing to kids.