E-cigs have emerged as a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes and although still illegal in many countries around the world, they’re gaining acceptance among governments and health organisations that recognise just how preferable e-cigs are to tobacco cigarettes.
So how did the e-cig revolution get started and how are things today? For ‘vapers’, as e-cig users are known, that depends in which country they reside and the legality of e-cigs there, because although most health organisations recognise they’re a far less damaging alternative to tobacco cigarettes, in many countries they’re still illegal and vapers can be hit with whopping fines.
The e-cig revolution can be traced back to Herbert Gilbert who patented ‘a smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ in 1963, but it was Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik who forty years later patented the first e-cig in 2003. That’s how the revolution began eleven years ago, but the e-cig revolution, or as is the case in many countries, the battle for the right to choose a healthier alternative to tobacco cigarettes, continues to the present day and will likely continue for many years to come.
There are still many tales of woe concerning e-cigs despite some good news around the world – Heathrow Airport has just opened the first airport ‘vaping’ zone in Terminal 4 – including the decision on the part of Swedish customs officials to skirt a court ruling which initially prevented them from impounding e-cigs by citing a loophole enabling them to “promote public health”.
In many countries e-cigs remain banned and will likely stay that way for many years to come unless international health organisations like the World Health Organisation stand up for the rights of people who want a less damaging alternative to cigarettes.
So how is the public reacting to vapers and their e-cigs? It seems like quite some time ago that an unfortunate vaper found himself the subject of a terrorist alert after his fellow passengers alerted the driver when they noticed smoke coming from his bag, but what’s the deal with vaping in public, is there some kind of etiquette that vapers must adhere to?
Whilst in the UK e-cigs aren’t covered by the smoking ban which prohibits smoking public places, just how free are vapers to take a pull on their e-cigs when in public places? It would appear as though there is etiquette to adhere to, but this is often somewhat confusing for everyone, vapers and non-vapers alike.
For example, many bars and restaurants have banned vaping in their establishments and vapers are forced to go outside for a nicotine fix along with their smoking counterparts, but in other places, including shopping centres, the same etiquette doesn’t seem to apply, at least not everywhere it would seem.
People want an alternative to tobacco cigarettes – smoking-related diseases and illnesses are responsible for the deaths of over 114,000 Brits every year and cost the NHS roughly £2.7bn annually – but there are still concerns about e-cigs and vaping of which one of the most notable is the effect that e-cigs have on young people. Do e-cigs glamorise smoking and therefore influence impressionable youngsters to take up the habit?That’s one of many questions that need to be adequately addressed, though it’s safe to say the e-cig revolution is a popular revolution because people want the right to buy the e cigarettes that are available at NYK. Moreover, taking into account just how harmful tobacco cigarettes are, how many lives they cut short every year, the effect that secondhand smoke has on non-smokers and the amount of money smoking-related illnesses cost taxpayers, shouldn’t they have the right to choose?