E-cigarette smoking effects still in contention

E-cigarette smoking effects still in contention

E-cigarette smoking effects still in contention
February 11
23:56 2015

Kelly Benjamin / Staff Writer

In recent years, electronic cigarettes have become a popular alternative to regular tobacco products. While many believe they are a cheaper and safer alternative, the long-lasting effects of continued use are currently unknown.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, e-cigarettes can increase the risk of nicotine addiction among young people and their children. The products may also contain ingredients that are known to be toxic to humans.

“Basically, most of your e-cig liquid consist of a mixture of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin and then some food-safe flavorings and then nicotine,” said Micah Perkins, who works at The Zebra’s Head tobacco shop on Fry Street. “There’s a lot of concerns as far as the way it interacts with your brain and the way the propylene glycol or vegetable oil break down with the combustion or vaporization of what’s going on.”

Perkins said he was not saving any money buying e-cigarettes.

“I personally prefer cigarettes,” Perkins said. “In the time that I did use e-cigs I was dumping the same amount of money for a less pleasurable experience.”

He said the costs also continue from the initial purchase.

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Illustration by Jake Bowerman – Senior Staff Illustrator

“You’re gonna be buying a battery, or two. You’re gonna buy a tank, or two, and you gotta buy an atomizer every week or every other week,” Perkins said. “So your basic start up cost, you’re talking $20 for your cheap, single-battery set up.”

Perkins said these costs could reach close to $100 for larger vapor cloud tanks.

He said e-cigarettes do have side effects when using them before switching back to cigarettes. Perkins said, however, when he used them eight to nine months ago, the technology was not as good as it is now.

“My experience was probably not what people are going to experience now,” Perkins said. “But I definitely got that sore throat, upper respiratory issue from using it.”

Perkins was not the only person to have issues with e-cigarettes.

“Kind of the same with smoking you kind of get like a phlegm,” advertising senior Christin Workman said. “It’s kind of hard to tell if it’s from smoking or from the e-cig.”

Workman said the cost he experienced was still cheaper than buying cigarettes.

“I used to smoke American Spirits. They’re like $8 [a pack]. I’d buy one every two days, so it’s around $40 a week,” Workman said. “You buy the entire setup for an e-cig and it’s around $100. Mostly you replace the atomizer and the juice, and the juice lasts around two weeks.”

Advertising senior Daniel Heuer said he has had no issues with using e-cigarettes for the past few months, and said he was also saving money.

“I feel fine,” Heuer said. “I haven’t smoked regular cigarettes for four months.”

He also said e-cigarettes can be used for their oral fixation benefits rather than just strictly nicotine.

“People that I know have their e-cig and eventually get to where they have the e-cig with no nicotine,” Workman said. “I guess it keeps the mind at bay, because you’re still taking part in the notions of it, but you don’t really have to reap the negative effects.”

Featured Image: Matt Fallard works at North Texas Vapor Shop. Photo by Evan McAlister – Staff Photographer

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