Is the Over-Regulation of E-Cigarettes Leading to an Unhealthy Fear of Nicotine?
Much like the United States, Canada is currently trying to implement a series of new e-cigarette regulations that are, on the surface, designed to protect the Canadian people.
The Canadian government has recognized that the vaping industry is growing rapidly, so they have decided to place new restrictions on those who sell vaping products as well as those who use e cigarettes and e juices.
The problem, though, is that many Canadian health experts believe that the government might be over-regulating e-cigarettes and unintentionally steering some people back towards smoking regular cigarettes. It’s one of the worries that these experts have when they talk about the new e-cigarette regulations.
Mark Tyndall, the Executive Medical Director of the B.C. Centre, is one of the experts who has spoken out against some of the new e-cigarette regulations that are going to be put into place soon.
In his opinion, the Canadian government is giving e-cigarettes a bad name with the regulations that they have created. Furthermore, Tyndall believes the government is giving nicotine—one of the substances found in both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes—a bad rap by warning people against using it.
Because while Tyndall admits that nicotine can be addictive, he also says that it’s a substance that affects people psychologically more than it does physically.
Over the last few months, Tyndall has done interviews on CBC Radio and with other media outlets and expressed his concern with regards to the over-regulation of e-cigarettes.
In his mind, the Canadian government is making a mistake by creating new regulations, and rather than putting a strain on the vaping industry, he thinks the government should make a stronger effort to educate themselves about nicotine as it pertains to e-cigarettes.
If they do that, he feels as though they would better understand why e-cigarette regulation is not necessarily the answer in Canada right now.
Why Is Everyone So Afraid of Nicotine?
If you ask the average person to tell you why cigarettes are so bad for you, many of them will undoubtedly mention nicotine at some point.
And while it’s true that nicotine is addictive and is the thing that keeps people coming back to smoke more, nicotine is, as Tyndall explains, not necessarily the problem with cigarettes.
Tyndall says that nicotine is actually one of the safest chemicals found in cigarettes, which is why people shouldn’t be scared of it. Instead, they should be scared of the tar and the other toxic chemicals in cigarettes, since those chemicals are what cause serious health problems.
Based on that belief, Tyndall believes that, by using e cigarettes, people are actually cutting out a lot of the toxic chemicals found in cigarettes while still providing their bodies with the nicotine they crave.
That, Tyndall says, is why he thinks e cigarettes may ultimately prove to be significantly safer than regular cigarettes. “We know the toxins in combustible tobacco that cause disease, and they’re just not present in e-cigarettes,” he said on CBC Radio recently. “There’s no reason to believe that they are anywhere near as dangerous as combustible tobacco.”
It’s still too early to tell whether or not e cigarettes are really a safer option than regular cigarettes, but at the moment, Tyndall says there are, at the very least, studies that suggest e cigarettes could be a better option for people.
And it really has absolutely nothing to do with nicotine or any of the properties of it, regardless of what you might think you know about nicotine.
Does That Mean Nicotine Is Good for You?
Due to its close ties with cigarettes, nicotine is a substance that has never been considered “safe.” Most doctors and scientists will tell you that it’s not a good idea for you to get hooked on nicotine because it can be very difficult to stop using it.
But Tyndall argues that nicotine may have some redeeming qualities that people should consider before they discount it.
Tyndall does not believe that underage people should be exposed to nicotine under any circumstances, but he suggests that nicotine is something that is no more harmful than caffeine.
While it does cause temporary changes in your body when you use it, there might actually be some health benefits to using nicotine in moderation. One study at Texas A&M University even found that nicotine could potentially reduce the effects of aging on the brain.
Additional studies into the benefits of nicotine are still being done, so it’s too soon to say that the substance is “good” for you. But there’s a chance that the pros of it could far outweigh the cons and that if you’re getting nicotine through e-cigarettes, you could actually be doing something good for yourself.
It’s why Tyndall and many other experts want the Canadian government to reconsider the regulations they are placing on e-cigarettes.
Is Over-Regulating E-Cigarettes Really the Answer?
As of right now, the Canadian government seems hellbent on regulating e-cigarettes and making it more difficult for vapers to use them. Tyndall thinks this is a mistake. While some regulation is okay, he feels as though over-regulating the vaping industry is going to turn people off and send them back to smoking cigarettes on a regular basis.
So rather than simply regulating e-cigarettes, Tyndall wants to see the government taking a closer look at studies that are being done and determining whether or not regulating e-cigarettes is a good idea.
In his eyes, the government could be making a grave mistake by jumping the gun on regulating e-cigarettes at the moment.
“It would be crazy for us to be sitting here in 20 years still waiting for the results of a study to come out so we can say, ‘A-ha! They’re not as dangerous!’ and meanwhile countless thousands have died from tobacco,” Tyndall told CBC Radio.
“If tomorrow, everybody threw away their combustible tobacco and started using e-cigarettes, we’d notice almost instantaneous improvements in people’s health and fairly quickly see improvements in our health care system.”
It’s something that those government officials inside and outside of Canada should consider before placing more regulations on vaping and doing irreparable harm to an industry that could prove to help a lot of people in the future.