Demystifying Medicine One Month at a Time

To Vape or Not to Vape

Chances are these have sprouted up in your city.

Chances are shops like these have sprouted up in your city.

This e-cigarette thing is getting interesting.

Proponents: They’re an alternative to smoking. They’re acceptable in public, even indoors. They have no tar, tobacco, or carcinogens. They help people QUIT smoking. [They’re cool.] They’re collectible. They will do to cigarettes “what the computer did to the typewriter.”

Opponents: Nicotine, whether in an e-cig or a tobacco cigarette, is still bad for you—and addictive. There’s no EVIDENCE [yet] that e-cigarettes are safe. There’s no EVIDENCE [yet] that they help people quit smoking—that’s just marketing hype. The vape (yes, verb form of “vapor,” gerund form: “vaping”) industry has already been co-opted by Big Tobacco and it’s marketing muscle, and e-cigs are already being marketed at kids, to get them hooked early.

We’re living in the Wild West, as far as vaping is concerned. Enjoy all the rhetoric around vaping for another year, until scientific evidence builds. Trust that it will. There’s a lot of money at stake.


  1. William Geffen

    There is some preliminary data that some of the flavorings used in the vapor may be carcinogenic. On the other hand, use of e-cigs does seem to cause the problems related to second- and third-hand smoke exposure. The effects on the fetus may raise other issues, but probably no more than nicotine patches or gum.

  2. Tony Mandarano

    I’m curious to know if you have taken a more recent look at the vaping landscape. There are many opinions and still very little scientific data.

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