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Should Electronic Cigarettes be Allowed in Public Places?

Posted June 26th, 2013 in News by Steve

When electronic cigarettes were first introduced to the market, it was apparent that they had a number of potential benefits, including the possibility that they could be used on airplanes, in movie theatres, and in other public places where smoking is prohibited. The reality was a bit different. E-cigarette users found that some public places would not allow them to use their product indoors. Instead, they found that their device was regarded as just as bad as a tobacco cigarette!

It’s just vapour!

In many countries, there are strict limitations on where tobacco cigarettes can be smoked. Most people would agree that these limitations are a good thing, and serve to protect non-smokers from the dangerous health effects of passive cigarette smoke. Specially designated smoking areas can be found in most places where smokers can indulge in their habit without harming others.

Where does this leave electronic cigarettes? The biggest difference between tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes is that the latter do not create smoke, but rather a harmless vapour. Thus, there is no risk of passive cigarette smoke harm to anybody in the vicinity of the electronic cigarette user. The vapour is almost odourless and does not sting the eyes like tobacco smoke. Indeed, a person standing next to a vaper would not smell anything coming from the device. There is really no reason from a passive smoke perspective to treat e-cigarettes in the same way as tobacco cigarettes.

There’s no ash whatsoever

Since an electronic cigarette does not burn anything, it does not product any ash. It is understandable that many public places outlaw regular cigarettes due to the excessive amount of ash and cigarette butts produced by smokers. With e-cigarettes, however, you do not get this. The battery is re-chargeable like the battery of a mobile phone, and the cartridges are re-fillable so very little waste material is produced to pollute the environment. Electronic cigarettes are far more socially responsible, both from a public health perspective and from an environmental perspective, than tobacco cigarettes.

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