The debate for electronic cigarettes is reaching a boiling point as increasingly experts are finding long term effects of their usage.

Typically, e-cigarette companies target people who want to quit by advertising it as a safe or healthy smoking alternative. The problem with these advertisements is that they are loosely based on fact. According to an article published by IFL science, recent studies are finding that e-liquid emits tiny particles that can still “irritate lung tissue and could cause disease”.

While the upside to an e-cigarette is that it does not contain the 600 additives (69 of which are carcinogenic) that a normal cigarette has, we cannot deny the study that proves e-liquid to be harmful at high temperatures. The higher voltage applied to an e-cigarette, the stronger the hit, and the closer it feels to the effect of a normal cigarette. It comes to no surprise that when at a high temperature, the chemicals in e-liquid are naturally converted to “carbonyls” such as “formaldehyde and acetaldehyde”, which are the same chemicals found in cigarettes.

Although e-cigarettes are branded as a smoking alternative, it is evident that they also target a younger smoke-free audience with their colorful and trendy mystique. Making Stephen Dorff, a celebrity actor, the face of Blu Electronic Cigarettes is also an example of how companies create this trend.

As the debate on alternative cigarettes continues, it boils down to a single question: can a healthy society of smokers exist?

Dyani Douze, resident of Brooklyn, is currently in final year at the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. She is developing her interests in the relationship between the aural and the visual media through studying sound design and film scoring alongside film editing and production, more recently with an interest in documentary.