Breathing water

I have to say that when I first heard of e-cigarettes, I thought, What a great idea!  No tar!  What could be the harm of breathing in water vapor?  We do it all the time.  And as far as the nicotine is concerned, is nicotine any more harmful or addictive than caffeine?  Probably not.

But now, in light of the rising number of vaping-related illnesses and even deaths, it might be time to rethink.  Of course, health officials are not quite sure of the specific cause of the problems.  But the CDC is recommending that you stay away from vaping until they can figure out what’s going on.

I can sort of understand why people don’t want to quit smoking even with all the stuff about lung cancer.  That’s more of a “down the road” effect, and sometimes that isn’t enough for people to change their ways.  We don’t respond that well to long-range good or bad effects.  That’s why people have a hard time losing weight.

But in the case of vaping, the negative effects — whatever their specific cause might be — are pretty short term!  Vaping hasn’t been around for that long and people are having real problems.

Some advocate outlawing it, but we know where that got us with prohibition.  It gave a real boost to organized crime and pretty much didn’t really slow down people drinking.  I don’t know if we want to see a whole bunch of vaping “speakeasies” around.

In some ways, vaping is like sitting in a steam bath, but you wouldn’t sit in a steam bath all day every day.  I guess we just have to trust people to do what makes sense.  It might be a question of amount.  Except for you fish out there, maybe people should consider dialing back the water breathing a little.