Although "vape" was named Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year for 2014, and disposable and rechargeable electronic cigarettes have been recognized as some of the most successful smoking cessation products on the market, they haven't been free from controversy. While the use of e cigs is catching on throughout the world, especially in the United States, many in the scientific, medical, and political communities are debating the safety of electronic cigarettes. Here's a look at some of the biggest vaping
stories of 2014, especially where the safety of electronic cigarettes is concerned:
Bans of sales and public use of e cigarettes
As vaping has become more popular, several state legislatures have debated limiting the use of e cigs in public. Restaurants, bars, and parks are just some of the places where such bans have been enacted, with lawmakers citing safety concerns for those who would breathe in secondhand vapors, so to speak. However, some of these measures have also been included to ban the sale of e cigs to minors, despite the rising number of teens who vape instead of using tobacco. No matter where one's opinion falls on these controversial issues, these debates are likely to continue into 2015 and beyond.
Formaldehyde in e cigs?
The science of electronic cigarettes made the news in 2014 when Japanese researchers discovered that one brand of electronic cigarettes produced 10 times the amount of formaldehyde as a tobacco cigarette. Many news outlets reported that this was true of all vapor cigarettes, which caused an outcry against the products. However, the Ecigarette Research Advocates Group pointed out the flaws in the study's methodology. Namely, just one product produced this amount of the carcinogen, and it was an outlier when compared to the significantly lower amounts produced by the other products tested. In short, users needn't worry: the risk of ingesting this dangerous chemical is minimal when compared to the use of tobacco.
E liquid poisoning
During the month of December, tragedy occurred with the first recorded death from e liquid. A one-year-old in New York state is thought to have accidentally ingested a bottle of e liquid, which contained nicotine. While the proper use of e liquid in an e cig wouldn't give users anything to be concerned about, the toddler's death did bring awareness to the issue of childproof caps on e liquid bottles. Many e liquids have bright colored packaging and come in a variety of candy-like flavors, which could explain why kids want to get their hands on them. The incident also serves a grim reminder for vape users who have young children: always be sure to keep these substances out of reach in order to prevent a trip to the hospital.
What do you think the biggest vaping stories of 2014 were? Tell us in the comments.