It seems like traditional cigarette smoking is a trend and addiction of the past, only to be replaced by electronic cigarettes in the form of “vaping.” But, isn’t this just as bad? First and foremost, understand that a traditional cigarette contains at least 600 ingredients, but resulting in 4000+ chemicals when smoked with 69 known cancer-causing agents. An individual will absorb around 1 mg of nicotine per cigarette. On the other hand, an electronic cigarette typically contains around 5 ingredients in its “e-juice”: vegetable glycerin, polyethylene glycol, food grade flavorings, 0% to 2.4% nicotine, and distilled water. A typical bottle of e-juice contains 3 mg of nicotine in a 30 mL bottle but lasts around 5 days for most users, which ends up being much less nicotine consumption than traditional cigarettes and, of course, more importantly, an incredibly less amount of carcinogens.
When professional photographer and e-cigarette educator, Michael Musacchio, inquired Kiss My Wellness about the potential benefits of utilizing electronic cigarettes (vaping), I didn’t want to, as a health and wellness promoter, encourage everyone to go out and vape up just because there are less cancer-causing chemicals in e-cigarettes. What I wanted to do is offer a mindful approach to help you decide what is best for your overall health.
Mindfulness is all about trying to create an overall quality experience, and it’s based on choice. The choices of vape flavors are endless (you can often find these in nicotine-free form as well). There’s rose, melon, lemon, rum, mint, vanilla, chocolate, and even tobacco flavor just to name a few. The “menu” often looks like something you’d see in an upscale, gourmet dessert bar. From a consumer psychology approach, it gets the olfactory system excited. This also results in individuals paying attention to what is being put in their body – albeit, this is about focusing on the flavors. Maybe this results in e-cigarette (versus traditional cigarette) users to create a philosophical shift about their diet in general, like tasting real flavors from whole foods or even buying different foods at the grocery stores than the typical stuff they’ve been eating for the past decade or two. Sequentially, this mindfulness approach could give individuals a sense of awareness which could be applied in other aspects of their lives when it comes to making choices.
The flourishment of these senses will also encourage individuals to educate themselves about e-cigarettes. The science on the risks and benefits of vaping is still young. So, it is essential that users and potential users educate themselves on the up-to-date research, and steer away from pseudo-studies or surveys. This can be done through more trusted organizations like Scientific American or National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Inevitably, this creates a foundation in the vape community which encourages shops to provide advocacy material on the potential threats e-cigarettes may cause to their clients. This, in general, could push vape users and companies to promote “healthier” products for the community and be on the lookout for each other. We definitely don’t see the traditional cigarette users and companies empowering each other. Instead, you see more empowerment in the e-cigarette community. Feeling empowered is key to behavior change.
P.S. I am in no way telling you that it is okay to smoke anything! I’m just giving my perspective of how e-cigarette users could potentially create a positive experience to better their overall quality of life.
Share your thoughts with me and comment below!