I found this post on vaportalk, the authors handle is speakeasy. I was so impressed with the article that I have decided to re-post it here. It is well written and thought provoking, a very good read.
Hello to all you vapers out there....
I'm a nurse who has been smoking for WAY too long. And for quite some time now I've been looking to quit smoking. It's gonna kill me if I don't.
But I have to admit that nothin' beats a smoke after a stressful day at work. And a cigarette would sure come in handy during a long, boring flight or a road trip.
Like a number of people here, I've tried several different ways to quit, and found one thing in common with all of the most popular quiting aides on the market today. The patch, the gum, inhalers, and Chantix are all forms of "nicotine replacement therapy". Doctors, pharmacuetical companies, and even the FDA agree that the best way to quit the smoking habit is to breifly replace our means of consuming nicotine, and then slowly reduce our dependency until we have effectly weaned our bodies from it. These different forms of "nicotine replacement" are much safer for us than smoking tobacco. The patch is a transdermal system of delivering nicotine through the skin. The gum is a way of comsuming nicotine orally. And although Chantix does not contain nicotine, it does contain chemicals that affect our brains in the same way in oder to trick the brain into thinking that its still getting nicotine.
The FDA is focused on stopping the terrible effects of tobacco use in our country. And the organization is determined to do whatever it takes to stop the deadly spread of it's use among our young people, as well. Thats a good thing! I'm glad that they are concerned for the safety and health of our population. For decades, the FDA has regulated manufactures and industries in order to keep us safe. I would hate to think of where we would be without the FDA. I certainly don't want my new grand child growing up to use tobacco.
The question is, do we really need another "nicotine replacement therapy"? Aren't the products on the american market today enough? Why should we endorse another means of nicotine addiction? That is what I think the FDA is trying to say to vapers. By using this product, that hasn't been studied by the FDA, are we improving our health? Or are we causing more problems for ourselves? Is it helping us to quit using tobacco? Or are we just switching our means of consumption? And by using these products, are we saying to our young people that smoking is finally safe? Will these products cause our young people to one day use tobacco in order to consume nicotine?
Let us look at the quit smoking aides we have in place right now that are approved by the FDA. These therapys have all been tested in laboratories over several years. They have all been proven to help the smoker control his/her cravings for nicotine in the hopes that the individual's willpower can keep them from using tobacco. All of these therapys have a way of delivering a safe amout of nicotine without the possiblity of overdose, if taken as prescribed. These therapys, while effectively controling nicotine addiction, have not addressed the other habit forming behaviors of smoking tobacco. They do not do anything for the feeling I get while driving to work. The behavioral need I have to do something with my hands. Almost every person who smokes will testify that there is a certain ceremony involved with smoking tobacco. A calming and relaxing feeling that acompanys the act of smoking. Tests show that smokers tend to have a higher level of concentration while smoking. And the act also has the ability to divert our attention in times of stress. I know that nothing calms me down better than a smoke break during stressful days at work. Some people might say that it's the nicotine that you need to calm your nerves, but I don't hear too many people say, "Man, I could really use some gum right now". There are also reports done by the army that show that cigarettes played a crucial part in WWII and other wars. Many a soldier who didn't smoke before combat came home with a pack of fags in his pocket. Yes, these are all examples of the feeling we get from using nicotine, but those behaviors become ingrained in us over years of smoking and are very difficult to change, even with the use of "NRTs".
After reviewing dozens of personal profiles in this forum, I have noticed one common connection between us all. 100% of the profiles I've looked at claim to be ex-smokers. Very few of us are still using tobacco, and those of us who are, are doing so much less than we used to. Vaping is continuously proving to me to be one of, if not the most effective "nicotine replacement therapys" introduced so far. Certainly the most attractive, anyway. I believe that we are on the precipus of something truly revolutionary. Our actions and our endorsment of this product could save millions of lives. It may very well be bigger than any other human rights issue to date. And I am very excited about it. But it also scares me a little. What we do and how we respond to critisism may effect future generations of americans for years to come.
I understand that the following statements my cause concern for some of our forum citizens and for many of our suppliers of this product, but I can't help but think of how beneficial this product is for quiting tobacco. And, as a responsible person, who cares about the health and safety of our communities, and our children's future, I believe that vaping should be focused on quiting not only the terrible habit of smoking tobacco, but also the weaning of nicotine dependency and the use of any nicotine products all together. The reason you choose to vape is your own. I'm not here to tell anyone that what they're doing is wrong. I believe that if you choose to vape for the rest of your life it would be a HUGE improvement to your health when compaired to tobacco products. But I also feel that nicotine is bad too. And should be considered harmful.
That being said, I feel that vaping is most likely the greatest way to stop the abuse of tobacco. I haven't heard a single report of someone claiming that vaping has caused them more harm than good, to say nothing of the effects of second-hand smoke. I have searched the web and can't find a single instance of any negative affects from vaping. The only concern than I can find, or think of, in reference to any harm caused by vaping is that of the liquid we use to refill our ecigs. Most of the liquid out there contains nicotine. Nicotine is a toxin and a stimulant. It is classified as an alkaloid. It was used as an insecticide, but because it is also extremely poisonous to man and animal in concetrated doses, it was stopped being used in this manner. Who stopped it's use as an insecticide? The FDA. These nicotine liquids can be extremely harmful if taken in large quantities. My greatest fear is that we will soon hear about a toddler who drank eliquid and died from it. Such an instance could cause this movement of ours to be outlawed.
I believe that these eliquids are what the FDA will focus it's attention on, if they haven't already. What manufactures are putting in this liquid is what will become the focus of attention. What is the nicotine content of this liquid and how do the manufactures guard against harmful ingredients? How is it being labeled? Is it being packaged in child-proof containers? These issues I think will cause our vaping communities the most greif as the popularity of this product grows. It's not the 4' tall glass water bong thats so illegal. It's what we put in it. If we encourage our suppliers to step up and help solve some of these potential problems, than we can show the FDA, and the world, that we, as concerned consumers, are not only advocates for vaping, but also aware of it's risks. The auto industry invented the seatbelt for use in cars because we, as consumers, demanded it! And our government listened, eventually making seatbelts and other safety features a requirement. There is nothing wrong with our government making safety requirements nessesary for these products, as well. I just pray that the FDA recognizes the potential this product has in saving lives, too.