Are "Vapers" bringing the sexy back to smoking? No.

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E-cigarette, fancy

Never mind that the New York Times Style section today can t seem to tell the difference between smoking and vaping. The latter is the term that has been adopted by the majority of the large and growing e-cigarette community, and at least for the foreseeable future will pass as an adequate substitute for the thoroughly inaccurate smoking.

As someone assigned to write an article about the latest chic trends among young people, the author of this piece Smoking Is Back, Without the Stigma one Steven Kurutz, should be forced to write Vaping is NOT Smoking on the blackboard one-hundred times before being allowed out in the schoolyard again. His editor should do it 200 times. The whole point of vaping is to not smoke. It may be that e-cigarettes the electronic battery-charged devices that supply ex-smokers with their craved nicotine in water vapor, along with flavorings have taken on some of the cachet that Marlboros had in the bad old days of the last century, but that does not portend a return to smoking.

Quite the contrary in fact! The raison d etre of the devices, which are most commonly sold as cigalikes, resembling real cigarettes down to their LED-glowing (yet cold) tips, is to help addicted smokers quit cigarettes. While reliable data on their long-term efficacy and even safety has not yet been accumulated, these facts speak loudly for themselves:

*Cigarette sales are in previously unheard of rates of decline, in the western world anyway;

*E-cigarette use is skyrocketing;

*The components of the vapor inhaled (and exhaled, for that matter) are well-characterized substances that should, rationally, have minimal toxic effects long-term especially when compared to the very well-known effects of inhaling tobacco combustion products: smoke and tar.

*Currently FDA-approved methods fail over 9 times out of 10 in helping smokers quit, leaving the 45 million adult smokers in the U.S., three-quarters of whom want to quit, without other reliable help; over 400,000 of them die each year due to cigarette smoking.

ACSH s Dr. Gilbert Ross had this to say: While this chatty Times piece was devoid of salient facts that might give a smoker pause when contemplating trying e-cigarettes, the somewhat flip tone may be a distraction to some. My advice to smokers would be: vape away, anything s better than smoking.

ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan is equally enthusiastic about e -cigarettes: The growing popularity of e -cigarettes use among smokers is a potential public-health miracle even though none of the official agencies or big nonprofits will acknowledge this stunning achievement. We can look forward to seeing declining rates of smoking-related morbidity and mortality in the near future.