Are e-cigarettes bad for the environment?
Teenage vaping has been a hot topic in American media, but a new criticism of e-cigarettes has taken center stage: pollution. E-cigarette pods, e-liquids, and batteries have become “the new cigarette butts.” In terms of environmental pollution, however, this comparison is quite exaggerated.
A local online newspaper in Colorado has just written an article about vaping in a Boulder County high school. Assistant director Kristen Lewis cites her discovery of numerous discarded vaping capsules throughout the school. According to her, this is a major environmental issue.
She also writes about the “vaping epidemic” amongst teenagers that is so often brought up by the FDA. Colorado has one of the highest teenage vaping rates in the USA, and the high school administration is afraid for the health of its students. While most are pointing the finger at e-cigarettes, however, nobody has mentioned the dangers of traditional cigarettes.
In the article, the county’s head of hazardous materials is also interviewed. According to Shelly Fuller, vaping pods are too dangerous to be thrown away, because they are capsules that are “poison” for children and animals.
According to Gregory Conley, the president of the American Vaping Association, these criticisms are grossly exaggerated. Pods are no more toxic than cleaning products thrown in the trash, and when it comes to e-liquids, the bottles are empty by the time they are thrown away and are not harmful to anyone.
While the opinions in Boulder County may be surprising, electronic cigarettes have not been responsible for any major sign of pollution thus far. At the same time, 4.3 billion cigarette butts are thrown into the streets every single year. Each of these cigarette butts takes 12 years to biodegrade, causing colossal damage to the environment.
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