On This Great American Smokeout: Let's Finish It

November 20, 2014 11:55 PM

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Rudyard Kipling once said, "words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind." Fast forward to 2014, words are still considered one of the most powerful drugs, and they might be exactly what we need to combat on of the most addictive drugs -- nicotine. Rates of nicotine consumption and tobacco use remain high in the United States, and it's no surprise that with the rising popularity of electronic cigarettes, "vape" has now entered one of the most respected lexicons of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary. The word was first coined in the 1980s when the tobacco industry was experimenting with smokeless cigarettes. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a gap existed in the lexicon as a word was needed to differentiate the act of smoking conventional cigarettes from the act of using electronic cigarettes. "Vaping" rose to fill the gap and it has proliferated along with the rising use of e-cigarettes. Now "vape" has been singled out as "word of the year" for 2014.

To those in public health, this is no big surprise. The e-cigarette debate has put the tobacco conversation at the top of the radar, from local communities to college campuses to workplaces, all the way to the halls of Congress. While the product is yet unregulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administ...

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