OPINION: Common courtesy applies to e-cigarettes

By Shaylyn Ralston

Ranger Reporter


Electronic cigarettes are becoming quite popular lately, some use it as a gateway to quitting, others as a substitution for the harmful effects of real cigarettes. But where do you draw the line for appropriate use?

In the commercials on TV or online advertisements, you see videos and photos of people smoking them in restaurants and other public places where families and children are present.

E-cigarette companies market the product as something you can smoke anywhere, so people do without considering if there may actually be a risk. They often assume that since there is no second-hand smoke, there won’t be an effect on others.

The idea that e-cigarettes are safer because they don’t contain tobacco is what turns many people on to them, but with the item not consisting of tobacco the regular tobacco laws don’t apply, including the age limit. The product is so easily available that kids can purchase them online.

There have been no tests done by the FDA to suggest that they are safer, or safe at all, anyway.

According to the FDA website, “E-cigarettes have not been fully studied so consumers don’t know the potential risks of e-cigarettes when used as intended, how much nicotine or other potentially harmful chemicals are being inhaled during use or if there are any benefits associated with using these products.”

This proves that you shouldn’t always believe what you hear. It is important to do your own research.

With this uncertainty, is it still appropriate to use this product around children and other people without their consent? I would assume not.

I have heard of e-cigarettes being used in college classes, which I find would be distracting to the other students and inappropriate for the classroom.

When smoking a cigarette, I believe that you should not use them around other people, it is the courteous thing to do to excuse yourself and not just light a cigarette when and where you feel like it. I also believe the same courtesy should include the use of electronic cigarettes.

Marketing departments obviously want to sell products and make money and they withhold some information from the public, such as the products not being tested by the FDA. They also put the idea that you can smoke them anywhere out to the public. I believe the companies and the people buying the products should be more responsible and respectful of other people.

I’m a believer in your body, your choice. If you want to smoke a cigarette or an e-cigarette, that’s your choice. But you shouldn’t subject others to that without consent, especially if you haven’t done your research.

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