How Environmentally Safe Are Electronic Cigarettes?


It is no secret that there is a major concern when it comes to second-hand smoke. Traditional cigarette manufacturers have been pressured for decades by environmentalists to change the amount of synthetic chemicals used in their products. This is request is both to minimise the risks to those who smoke and non-smokers alike.

City by city, state by state, the few years have seen more bans passed on indoor smoking. There are places in every aspect of our lives that a non-smoker can go and not be inundated with that toxic haze that smokers generate.

Nonetheless, there remains a problem with those nasty cigarette butts that get left behind. They are in parking lots, on sidewalks, and streets. And too often, they are just feet, even inches, from a public ashtray or trash bin. One would have to wonder if smoking makes you blind or lazy maybe? I akin this to my husband placing his dinner plate in the just-emptied sink when the dishwasher is not even six inches away. I know he’s not blind or unable to bend over, so I’d have to choose lazily.

There Are Less Smokers Today

While there are fewer Americans smoking today, thanks to many decades of campaigns urging the public to quit smoking, three are still a large amount of cigarette butt trash. The core of a traditional tobacco cigarette butt can take eighteen months to ten years to decay and decompose. So what?

Well, during this time, the nicotine, tar, and all the other toxins that are in a cigarette filter are leaching into the ground. And that is affecting any being, any organism, which comes into contact with it. And it doesn’t stop there.  Those cigarette butts get washed off into storm drains when it rains and overtime, get into our water sources where those toxic chemicals are released. They get into the lakes, rivers and oceans where birds and fish eat. These could be the exact same birds and fish that humans may eat.

Here Come The Electronic Cigarettes To The Rescue!

Even though electronic cigarettes are still controversial on many levels, they aren’t the same toxic burden as traditional tobacco cigarettes. There is a tiny bit of power used by these electronic devices to vaporise the nicotine that the vapour inhales. In fact, there are some e-cigs that are touted as being completely nicotine free and most electronic cigarettes have flavoured juices available to supplement that missing nicotine and help smokers wean from their tobacco habit.

The majority of e-cigs are reusable and thus, a very little amount of vapour is required to refill the cartridges. This alone makes them more eco-friendly than the production of those single-use traditional tobacco products. And sine e-cigarettes are powered by batteries that are reusable, even charged by USB ports, that eliminates those disposable lighters and matches too.

Where There Is Smoke

Since there isn’t any smoke produced by electronic cigarettes, they aren’t as much risk to non-smokers or the air quality overall. However, because the impact on a vape user’s health isn’t 100% determined yet and the FDA still won’t give their approval because of insufficient data. And there is a growing concern about the appeal e-cigs have to children because of the novelty appearance, looking like a pen or a memory stick, and the different flavourings they offer.

There are those health experts and professionals that suggest we should stay away from e-cigarettes. But there are those who say that the e-cig could provide a useful function as an intermediary cessation for a smoker that is trying to quit. So while e-cigs may not be 100% approved as safe, it would seem to be obvious that the value they offer of not being a harmful by-product to everyone, in general, would have some merit. Maybe we should look at the point that e-cigarettes are the safer option for non-smokers, thus making them the lesser of two evils.


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