(KLTV) - Recently, President Obama was caught on an open mic at the United Nations professing that he has quit smoking but still chews Nicorette gum, presumably to satisfy nicotine cravings. Smoking rates for several years have trended downward, but a new phenomenon has the potential to increase smoking rates across the U.S.
That phenomenon is the E-cigarette or the vapor cigarette. You may or may not have seen one of these devices in action but they essentially take all the offensive characteristics of tobacco smoking, while keeping the habitual and addictive properties of cigarette smoking intact. These cigarettes are battery powered and they vaporize the ingredients in a chemical insert that releases a vapor-like fog that the user inhales without the smell or offensive smoke.
It is unknown if the E-cigarette is any healthier than the regular tobacco cigarette, but one thing is certain – marketers are targeting a younger demographic with the E-cigarette. Manufacturers have added flavoring such as watermelon, bubble-gum and others in a blatant attempt to lure younger smokers and smokers-to-be to the product.
The Food and Drug Administration needs to tighten regulations on how these products are advertised sooner than later. I am for anyone choosing to smoke as long as they know the consequences and, in this case, they know what the product is and that it is not some candy alternative. Smoking, either traditional tobacco cigarettes or using one of these E-Cigarettes is, is potentially addictive and for some folks, including the president, it will take more than will power to break that craving.