There’s an ongoing debate on whether vaping is less harmful than smoking. While some people are convinced that electronic cigarettes are the best alternative to tobacco cigarettes, others are quite skeptical when it comes to advantages vaping has over smoking. In this post we will dot the i’s and cross the t’s of the issue: vaping versus smoking.
When looking to the past, we see that smoking left a black mark in the history of mankind. Initially smoking was considered to be a spiritualistic and medical procedure. Therefore tobacco became very popular in Europe in the 16th century. The automatic manufacture of tobacco cigarettes in the 20th century triggered a bigger increase in popularity of smoking. When almost millions of people around the world became addicted to tobacco smoking, there was established an accurate connection between lung cancer and smoking in the 1950s. Thus the middle of the last century marked the beginning of anti-tobacco campaigns as well.
In the 1970s people from developed countries began to refuse smoking. And here the first nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products appear such as nicotine chewing gums, plasters and inhalers. These products allowed smokers to receive a small amount of nicotine, however they did not manage to satisfy peoples’ nicotine cravings. As a result, the number of people who refused smoking due to NRT products remained negligible.
And here electronic cigarettes and vaping products enter the game. The e-cigarettes mimic the sensation of smoking very closely helping millions of people to quit.
And it’s practically proved that vaping helps people quit smoking. Moreover, there are scientific data claiming that electronic cigarettes cause less harm than smoking. Public Health England (PHE) with their expert independent evidence review concluded that e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.
British physicians of the Royal College of Physician and Public Health England outlined the positive effects of e-cigarettes, as opposed to tobacco consumption, in their 2016 article “Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction.” According to the German e-cigarette lobbyists, “91% of all e-cigarette users are former tobacco smokers” and “8% use both the e-cigarette and the tobacco cigarette and fall thereby into the category ‘dual-user’.”
The smoke produced by traditional cigarettes is thoroughly studied, and it’s proved that the burning process of tobacco cigarettes produces thousands of substances. Tobacco smoke contains more than 5000 different chemicals, 150 toxic substances and 44 – cancerogenic ones.
A small part of them is included below:
- Nicotine – an addictive chemical, gives the user the desire to want more. When people say they’re addicted to smoking, this means they’re addicted to nicotine.
- Acetone – Flammable solvent
Tar – a sticky brown substance that forms when tobacco cools and condenses, accumulates in lungs and causes cancer.
- Ammonia – is a toxic, colourless gas with a sharp odour. It is used in cleaners and fertilisers. It is a common cause of respiratory diseases
- Benzene – the Known carcinogen / mutagen, is used in chemical industry
- Cadmium – Is known as carcinogen in heavy metals
- Arsenic – Is known as carcinogen in heavy metals, is commonly found in rat poison.
Carbon monoxide – an odourless, colourless and poisonous gas. When it is inhaled it enters the blood stream and interferes with the working of the heart and the blood vessels. Up to 15% of a smoker’s blood can be carrying carbon monoxide instead of oxygen.
This list makes up only 10 chemicals out of 5000. Most of them are narrowly used in production industries, and are life-threatening, not to mention the negative effect they have on human health.
The e-cigarettes produce vapour due to e-liquids or vape juices. This is a special fluid that is converted into vapor by an e-cig device. Despite the fact that e-cigarettes appeared long after analogues, the e-juice ingredients are thoroughly studied as well.
The ingredients which are contained in each small bottle of e-liquid are included below:
- Propylene Glycol (PG) – It is a part of inhalers against asthma, has pharmaceutical assignment; Some people may be intolerant to PG.
- Vegetable Glycerin (VG) – Organic compound of a plant origin, has pharmaceutical assignment;
- Nicotine – Is optional, as many e-liquids out there are nicotine-free;
- Flavouring additives – Are used in the food industry, are proved to be not harmful upon inhalation.
Many of these ingredients are found to be food grade and typically safe to consume.
In smoking, the amount of nicotine is generally fixed, and how much you get depends on how often you smoke. In vaping, the amount of nicotine depends on the strength of e-liquid you choose, and you are the one to decide whether to use nicotine or not.
E-cigarette users do not inhale tar. They often have fewer throat inflammation issues than tobacco smokers; they cough less and their sense of taste improves again.
The smoke produced by traditional cigarettes spreads a strong unpleasant smell, which is absorbed into the clothes and hair of bystanders. Typically the smoker himself does not feel it, but people nearby do not want to tolerate this terrible smell, which is difficult to get rid of afterwards.
E-cigarette usually have gentle-sweet smell, which is not absorbed into hair and clothes.
Tobacco or menthol… This is the whole choice that tobacco cigarettes can offer. One of undeniable advantages of vaping e-cigarettes is their huge assortment. Hundreds of flavour options range from virgin tobacco flavours to fruit and dessert tastes. Also the industry offers an incredible choice of devices, which will provide the most sophisticated user with the device/taste/fortress suitable for him/her.
It’s obvious that tobacco smoking is an extremely anti-social process (you can compare it with raw onions). Non-smokers do not want to volunteer to be near the smoker when he releases this unpleasant carbon gas. Not to mention the cigar breath. Tobacco smoke coats the inside of your mouth, gums, teeth, and tongue. As any nonsmoker who has ever kissed a smoker will tell you, cigarettes make your breath and mouth smell like a dirty ashtray.
Vaping is definitely more social friendly process: there is no danger of passive smoking, there is no unpleasant smell. And you join a big and friendly society called ‘fellow vapers’.
If summing up:
|4000+ chemicals and toxins||No toxins; Only 4 common ingredients found in food and plants|
|Leads to lung diseases and is proved to cause cancer||Some people may be sensitive to PG.|
|Harmful byproducts due to combustion||No combustion|
|Over 6 million deaths yearly||No deaths because of vaping|
|Max 2 flavours to choose from||Thousands of pleasant flavours to choose from|
|Second hand smoking||No second hand smoking|
The main difference between smoking and vaping is that smoking delivers nicotine by burning tobacco, which can cause smoking-related illnesses, while vaping delivers nicotine by heating a liquid in a much less harmful way. The majority of health benefits are seen when people quit smoking completely. Vaping is not absolutely harmless, but it is much less harmful than smoking.
The healthiest option is not to vape or smoke in general. Don’t vape if you don’t smoke – start vaping only to quit smoking. Purchase your first vape starter kit here.