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Issue Exploration Essay and Annotated Bibliography

The Truth About Vaping

He looks up in response, cigarette held loosely by his lips. Bond, he says with a click of his

lighter and a puff of smoke. James Bond. Flash forward almost forty years later; a handsome lonely

stranger on a train in Venice smokes a cigarette powered by a battery while reading a spy novel. He

releases a puff of- not smoke, but water based vapor as a mysterious beautiful lady approaches him.

We are fascinated but slightly perplexed; over the past 40 years science and research has taught us

that smoking has serious health consequences, not to mention the significant impact on a persons social

life and self-image. As technology progresses, new developments are made and suddenly a new,

seemingly improved cigarette device explodes across the market. Your friends are vaping, your

classmates, fellow employees, parents and siblings are vaping too. How do we respond? Well, you might

ask yourself; what is the social impact of this new trendy fad, will it affect our health and the health of the

ones we love, and what does it mean for the future of society?

Some people may ask; is vaping bad? Its a valid question, but that answer is hardly a simple one.

You might also ask; is vaping good then? And once again, the answer is more complicated. Visual

aesthetics, societys expectations and peer acceptance, and its unavoidable connection to tobacco

cigarettes are just a few of the ways vaping impacts society. Whether that impact can be considered good

or bad is usually unique to certain situations. The same advertisements that depicted the suave

sophistication of celebrities with cigarettes forty years ago are now advertisements that draw people to

vape. This time however, we are told that this highly romanticized habit can be done without the

drawbacks of traditional smoking. We are surrounded by attractive people who can do cool tricks, join

vape clubs and participate in vaping tournaments. Popularity seems to be at our finger tips. Consider this

advertisement put out by a vape shop in hopes of attracting more business.


Tired of being the wallflower at parties and social gatherings? Well have we got a solution for

you! You bring your e-cigarette everywhere you go anyway, so why not use it to help boost your cool

points? Practice these cool vaping tricks and show them off at the next social gathering. (Impress Your

Friends)

Clearly, vaping is the answer to all your problems, right? Especially if youre also provided with a list of

tricks that you can do with your e-cigarette. As humans, we are naturally attracted to what makes us fit in

and we want to be a part of something that looks cool and is endorsed by our favorite celebrities. The

younger generations are specifically susceptible. According to a study done in Southern California, E-

Cigarettes have gained popularity in recent years, in part because of availability in a wide variety of

flavorings that may be appealing to adolescents and young adults (Pediatrics ). Younger kids want to

try the new technology that will help them fit in and the unique flavors make it that much more appealing.

Consequentially, some areas have imposed flavor bans to discourage smoking. There isnt much long-

term research about the effects of vaping, so kids dont usually see any argument against it and will often

succumb to these other appeals. If nobody has presented any contrary information about vaping, why

face up to peer pressure? Vapers experience a sense of comradery and social acceptance within the vaping

community. Without the negative stigma attached to traditional cigarettes, we are presented with a

contrast that depicts vapes as safe, even though we still dont know much about the effect of the

chemicals that are being inhaled or the effects of secondhand vape smoke. Ultimately, the appeal and

popularity of vaping thats encouraged by aggressive advertising combined with pressures to fit in and be

part of something cool has caused the vaping industry explode.

Another big aspect of vaping is the health impact; what are the health risks and do the advantages

really justify the disadvantages? While vaping may not be as bad as the use of traditional cigarettes,

studies show that the ultrafine particles that are inhaled can cause inflammations throughout the

cardiovascular system, which puts vapers at higher risk of heart disease. Basically, our lungs arent made
to handle anything but air. Vape liquids almost always contain nicotine and we have plenty of research

available that tells us nicotine addiction can have serious long-term consequences. Regular nicotine usage

can also cause immunity impairment and we have no idea what to expect from mixing nicotine with the

other chemicals in vape liquid. Many people say that there are advantages that justify the health issues;

vaping is commonly used as an aid to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. The nicotine in vapes help users

de-stress and get the hit they need without tobacco smoke. I think that we can appreciate the help that

vaping provides for people who are trying to quit smoking, but research shows that most people who vape

are dual users. People will pick up vaping in addition to smoking and vice versa. Dual usage eliminates

any benefits you might have enjoyed by quitting smoking and adds the disadvantages of vaping. Another

aspect of vaping that few people consider is the learning curve. Vapes are a new, quickly developing

technology with a lot of variety. Its surrounded by unknown technical dangers, and in some cases a lack

of understanding about how the e-cigarette is used can cause them to malfunction and explode. Because

the development of these devices is advancing faster that research and regulation can keep up with, there

is no set way of dealing with e-cigarette safety. This only emphasizes the fact that there is still so much

that we dont know and we need to be especially careful.

The future of vaping is smoky and unclear, but there are some things that we do know. Vapes can

be a useful tool for quitting or a gateway to start smoking tobacco cigarettes. It could go either way, and

only time will tell. We do know that there was a steady decline in smoking until the emergence of vapes,

and oftentimes switching to vape will eliminate the desire to quit smoking completely. People who may

have been able to overcome their nicotine addiction will simply settle into the substitute instead. E-

cigarettes came out less than fifteen years ago and we just dont know what to expect. Will there be more

unseen health risks associated with vaping? Will the traditional cigarette become obsolete? With big

tobaccos efforts to keep the cigarette industry around, we dont see it going anywhere anytime soon.

However, the impact of big tobacco on the economy is sure to fluctuate as vaping continues to gain

popularity. Increase in vaping means a threat to the pharmaceutical companies that market their own
smoke cessations aids. The government makes so much money off the tobacco industry that it would

make sense that they would try to protect it. At one point, vaping technology was too expensive and hard

to come by for the average person, but now it is easily accessible. Does this mean we may be using e-

cigarettes to get other drugs into our system? Its possible that over the counter drugs could move toward

vape methods to expedite the process of getting drugs into the blood system. Its impossible to ignore the

impending changes that this new industry means for our future as a society. There are definitely risks that

we are aware of, but there are also many things we dont know yet, the anticipation of fluctuation in the

economy, and potential changes for big pharmaceutical companies.

There are two sides to every coin, and its clear that there are many benefits attributed to vaping.

It can draw people together and give them something in common, it can help tobacco smokers quit and it

can save you money. But at what cost? 50 years ago, traditional cigarette smoking was cool and trendy

and it could make you look and feel cool. Over the course of time, we learned that there would be severe

drawbacks. Vaping can be used to quit smoking, but it can also be a gateway to start. With the vape

industry targeting young people who are easily influenced by peer pressure and appealing aesthetics, the

social impact is huge and will continue to grow. Vaping might be better than smoking, but that doesnt

make vaping healthy by any means. Nicotine is still bad for you and vaping increases risk of heart disease

and breathing problems, not to mention the new technology has been known to malfunction and cause

harm to the user. We dont know where this new vape culture is taking us. The future is as foggy as a

plume of cotton candy smelling vapor and all we know is that there WILL be long term affects. While

vapers and vape propaganda insists that the bad publicity is due to a big push back from pharmaceutical

companies eager to protect their monopoly on medicine or the governments economical concern for the

smoking industry, we might have to wait to see whether those are the real dangers of the future for

vaping. In the meantime, I think I will stick to good old-fashioned oxygen and let the more adventurous

and risk-taking members of society determine whether the benefits were worth the consequences in the

long run.
Annotated Bibliography

Barrington-Trimis, Jessica L., et al. E-Cigarettes, Cigarettes, and the Prevalence of Adolescent Tobacco

Use. Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, 11 July 2016,

pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/07/07/peds.2015-3983. Accessed 24 Sept.

2017.

Barrington and a handful of other researchers conducted a study to understand the effect of e-

cigarette usage on tobacco product use. They specifically examined adolescents to determine

whether e-cigarettes are being used to quit smoking or if they are a gateway for those who might

not have smoked. The research was conducted in Southern California and the results show that

smoking has declined over the past two decades, but with the introduction of the e-cigarette,

young adults have started vaping independent of a previous smoking habit; e-cigarette use is

occurring in people that wouldnt have otherwise smoked.

This is indispensable information because it proves that e-cigarettes do have an impact on how

many people are smoking. It is increasing the overall number of smokers, and subsequently

increasing nicotine addiction and any other health drawbacks. This study was published by a

reliable journal designed to educate on childrens health. I appreciate the raw data that this study

provides because there is a clear correlation between the introduction of cigarettes and the incline

in young smokers. When I started researching this issue, I looked for information like this that

showed decisive evidence without biased opinion so that I could shape my view of e-cigarettes on

accurate information.

McQueen, Amy, et al. Interviews With "Vapers": Implications for Future Research with Electronic

Cigarettes. OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 12 May 2011,


academic.oup.com/ntr/article/13/9/860/1134354/Interviews-With-Vapers-Implications-for-

Future. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

In this large-scale interview, the authors describe the process of vaping and review what they

could infer based off their interviews. Their research shows that there is a learning process for

vaping because of the technology and inconsistency of various models of vapes. Interviewees

reported benefits they noticed with vaping by contrast to traditional tobacco smoking. More

research is needed and the authors conclude that those who vape are ready and willing to do their

part to accommodate more studies. The interviewees provide an insight into vape culture and the

motives and benefits of vaping.

The value of this article in relation to my research topic is the awareness of some of the benefits

of vaping perceived by people who use e-cigarettes. The vaping community is one of the main

stakeholders in this discussion and it is valuable to see where their argument is coming from. The

people participating in this study are not e-cigarette experts, so they represent the average person

who vapes. Considering this point of view was essential to shaping my argument because there is

great value in presenting both sides of the story. The researchers are thorough and reliable

informants and the article boasts reliability due its publication by the Oxford University Press.

Pearson, Jennifer L., et al. e-Cigarette Awareness, Use, and Harm Perceptions in US Adults. American

Journal of Public Health, vol. 102, no. 9, Sept. 2012, pp. 17581766. National Center for

Biotechnology Information, doi:10.2105/ajph.2011.300526. Accessed 15 Sept. 2017.

This study conducted in part by Dr. Pearson, a researcher with The Schroeder Institute for

Tobacco Research and Policy Studies, observed awareness, use and harm perceptions among US

adults in regard to the use of e-cigarettes. The study addressed some main concerns of vaping,

but in conclusion gathered that much further research is needed to close the knowledge gaps
related to e-cigarette usage, their role as a starter product that leads to dual usage, and how safe

they are in relation to public health.

This article was essential in helping me realize just how much we still have to learn about e-

cigarettes. Ultimately, this study was the most climactic research that I came across because of

how anti-climactic it was. It is very much an oxy-moron, but when presented with all the

evidence that supports or doesnt support e-cigarettes what else can we do but realize that there is

no clear answer because of the lack of research? This article helped me come to the conclusion

that the evidence we have is indecisive and we have a ways to go before we have the answers we

need on this topic.

Price, Chris. The Impact of Vaping On Individuals and Society. E-Cigarette Politics, Chris Price, 24

May 2014, www.ecigarette-politics.com/the-impact-of-vaping-on-individuals-and-society.html.

Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

Price examines some of the issues that have evolved from the overall shift away from traditional

cigarette use and toward e-cigarette usage. We are presented with some considerations such as

use of vaping as a gateway to smoking for non-smokers, impact on public health, economy and

social ideals, and vaping as a new technology. Unique to his article, Price presents a lot of

components to this issue that we might not normally think of. New ideas such as the

consequences of dependence on nicotine by comparison to some of the other dependencies we

experience in a modern urban lifestyle and short-term health benefits of smoking engage the

reader in a thought process that goes outside the box.

This article explores a lot of issues that we might not see at first when approaching this

discussion. For my research, I wanted to delve into new ideas that we might not normally

consider. Its easy to see the basic benefits and drawbacks, but Price does a great job of

introducing some aspects that need more investigative work. I was able to glean many new ideas
and then find different sources that were less biased and more fact based. Price provides some

reliable sources for his material, but I was skeptical at first because of the clear bias in his writing.

It was valuable to see so many strong points from the underdog in this argument and this proved

to be very useful in conjunction with fact checking with other sources.

Rowland, Matt. Big Pharma knows the future of vaping...and it's terrified! VAPES- The Cloud

Company, VAPES, 21 Nov. 2016, www.vapes.com/blogs/news/big-pharma-knows-the-future-of-

vaping-and-it-s-terrified. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

Rowland presents the idea that Big Pharma is fighting e-cigarette popularity because they are

afraid to suffer lost revenue for lack of demand in smoke cessation products and increased vape

technology that could be used as a better way to get prescription drugs straight into the blood

stream in concentrated doses.

As a vaping company, it makes sense that the article clearly communicates a pro-vape message. It

also introduces a new stakeholder; Big Pharma. This source helps to diversify the discussion by

presenting a conflict of interest between the vape industry and Big Pharma. It is not an objective

piece, but it does show that the vaping community sees Big Pharma as a road block to their

progress with developing vape technology and Big Pharma sees the new vape industry and a

threat. It helps to shape the argument because we can see that there might be ulterior motives

coming from health officials and regulators.

Suber-Jenkins, Aric. Vaping's Long-Term Effects: Here's what the experts say. Mic, Mic Network Inc.,

6 Dec. 2016, mic.com/articles/161221/vaping-s-long-term-effects-here-s-what-the-experts-

say#.rDE0Vz4cl. Accessed 16 Sept. 2017.

This article condemns vaping as a scam right off. Suber-Jenkins claims e-cigarette usage as a safe

alternative to traditional cigarettes is only a myth that has been debunked by research conclusive

to the fact that most people who vape are dual users and have no desire or plans to quit. Vaping
causes damage to the cardiovascular system, though considerably less damaging than traditional

cigarettes. This article also touches on the prevalence of young smokers emerging in the vaping

community. It concludes that there will be long term cultural and phycological effects, even

though we do not know what they are yet.

This article provided me with some basic direction for the argument against vaping. Most young

e-cigarette users insist that there are no bad side effects from vaping and that is simply not true. I

think the general public is more educated on the pro-vape argument than the anti-vape argument.

This article was a good basis for which direction to go with the ant-vape discussion. It is clearly

biased because the writers point of views is apparent throughout the article, however, it was a

good source for exploring the anti-vape perspective.

26, 2014 Posted May. Impress Your Friends with These 7 Cool Vaping Tricks. Impress your friends

with these 7 Cool Vaping Tricks, Pink Spot Vapors Advertising, 26 May 2014,

pinkspotvapors.com/blog/cool-vaping-tricks/. Accessed 15 Sept. 2017.

This references a very simple advertisement done by an online vape store. The website includes

how to tricks for looking cool while vaping. It shows a couple videos with demonstrations on

how to create shapes or unique smoke patterns using the vape smoke.

This advertisement shows the marketing strategy used by the vape industry to appeal to the basic

need to be like and accepted among our friends and peers. In many ways, this shows how the

vape industry has a big stake in whether vape continues to be an accepted part of society but at

the same time, it manifests a direct correlation between the desire to vape and the desire to be

cool or have an edge in social settings. This is clearly a biased source, but still very valuable to

my research argument. Peer pressure and the direct appeal to the younger generations is an

important aspect to this discussion.