The Hypocrisy of Vaping

Mert Erenel

It’s funny when someone’s desires conflict with their morals, biases often surface. Specifically in the case of vaping, people often start out with a limited knowledge of the consequences and won’t believe that they are engaging in self-destructive behavior.

Vapers are often hypocritical and believe themselves to be superior to cigarette smokers on the grounds that vaping has fewer health risks compared to smoking cigarettes. Even the language surrounding vaping reflects this hypocrisy. You smoke a cigarette or a joint, but when it comes to e-cigarettes, you instead say you juul or vape. My problem is not with people who try to quit smoking cigarettes by smoking electronic cigarettes, and I am not saying that cigarettes and Juuls are the same in terms of potential health risks. I am simply saying that we should be seeking more data and research before assuming that vaping is a healthier alternative to cigarettes.

If you purchase cigarettes knowing that in the short-term and the long-term you will be damaging your body and become addicted, you’ve made that conscious choice. You know the risk but still take it. Since regulations hinder medical research on the effects of e-cigarettes, one should be wary of potential negative health effects. Furthermore, much of the existing research clashes and contradicts itself. For example, the recent NYU School of Medicine study suggesting the potentially cancerous effects of e-cigarettes was refuted because the experiment used mice and not humans; the study could not suggest a relationship between cancer by vaping for humans. However, many studies are conducted on mice, meaning that this is not an entirely valid refutation.

Without knowing the wide-range of consequences that may arise, people continue to vape under the illusion that they are not causing real harm to their bodies. Many people who vape — and even those who don’t — do not know the consequences and effects of this product from anything other than word-of-mouth and rumor. We are only scratching the surface in terms of medical research relating to the risks of e-cigarettes. We know almost nothing about the long-term effects of vaping, since at least 30 years must pass since the beginning of vaping to gather adequate research.

In the short term, vaping may seem like a better option, but assuming that e-cigarettes are far healthier than regular cigarettes is like assuming Coca-Cola Zero is far better than regular Coca-Cola. Drinking Coca-Cola Zero might help reduce sugar intake and improve your short-term diet, but Coca-Cola Zero still contains chemicals that can be harmful. You’d be better off drinking water than drinking either Coca-Cola Zero or regular Coca-Cola, just as you would be better refraining from vaping or smoking cigarettes entirely.

Vapers like to distance themselves from the title of a smoker — a taboo in American culture — and excuse themselves with the justification that their health will be fine because evidence of the risks of vaping is flimsy at best. But saying that you’re different from cigarette smokers isn’t going to change the real reason why you invest in this product: you like smoking. The products are different and the risks are different, but the vice is the same. When you’re buying an e-cigarette, you make a decision. You evaluate the pros and cons that lead to a final conscious choice. Nevertheless, it is your choice, and you will have to face the unknown consequences.

It is hypocritical to claim virtue in your vice. When it comes to vaping, this type of hypocrisy is common. Vapers are quick to look down on cigarette smokers and judge their behavior as more dangerous than their own. This is wrong. Vapers should understand and acknowledge the risks of their behavior and change their hypocritical view.

 

Opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.

Email Mert Erenel at [email protected].

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