e-cigarettes, are they a good thing or bad?

I‘m not a smoker, never have been, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a view on public smoking.

My brother and brother-in-law are both heavy smokers. Sometimes, the smell of it on them can be a little too much, especially for a non-smoker and especially when the children go near them.  Both my children know not to go too near to people who are smoking and they are banished from the house when they do smoke (the adults….not the children!)

My brother-in-law started smoking the electronic, non smoke, cigarettes about a year ago.  I do commend him as he went from a seriously heavy smoker to only smoking the e-cigarette. That is a huge step.  My brother also does the same.

After watching a news report recently about the effects on the public’s acceptance of smoking e-cigarettes I was wondering whether the hard work my brother and brother-in-law have done in giving up smoking is actually a socially good thing or not.  Obviously, on their health it is a massive bonus (even though the e-cigarettes does contain a small amount of nicotine, it’s not as much as a cigarette).

The argument lies in whether now that e-cigarettes have been around for a while, and it is not an uncommon occurrence to see people ‘smoking’ them in public places is it now becoming more acceptable to see people smoke? We see people using their e-cigarettes in pubs, clubs, restaurants etc, does this mean we are not ‘shocked’ anymore by smokers?

From the publics point of view, what is the difference between smoking an e-cigarette and a ‘normal’ cigarette? A child is unaware of the difference, so if they see one person banished to the cold to smoke their light up and another being accepted to stay inside and use their e-cigarettes, what impression does that give the child? Will they eventually think smoking is acceptable?

I do think it is commendable when a heavy smoker is trying to wean themselves off smoking and I can imagine it isn’t an easy task, but is an e-cigarette the best option?

http://smokefree.nhs.uk/

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