Intro to Vaping
It’s 2019 and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard something in the media about vaping. People who support vaping claim that it’s totally safe and has no potential harms while people who advocate against it claim that its toxic and even worse than smoking analog cigarettes. This post will examine whether vaping is harmful, if vaping is safe, and it will compare vaping vs. smoking.
But, before diving into whether vaping is safer than smoking, it’s a good idea to understand what vaping is. Electronic cigarettes, also known as vaporizers or e-cigarettes, deliver nicotine in a totally different way than traditional cigarettes.
Traditional cigarettes burn shredded tobacco leaves to deliver nicotine. The process of burning tobacco leaves delivers nicotine along with thousands of other harmful chemicals, including the super toxic chemical known as tar.
While vaporizers and e-cigs deliver nicotine to the user, they do not contain tobacco and do not involve the burning of any substance to deliver nicotine. Instead, vaporizers are filled with a liquid, commonly known as vape juice, e-juice, or e-liquid, that does not always contain nicotine. Once the e-cig is filled with vape juice, a small heating element inside the device heats up the vape juice, creating a vapor that the user inhales. There’s no combustion, there’s no smoke, and there aren’t thousands of harmful chemicals that you get with smoking cigarettes.
Is Vaping Less Harmful than Smoking?
According to a recent vape study published by the Royal College of Physicians in the UK, the “harm of vaping from e-cigarettes available today is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm from smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes.” Said differently, vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Those figures are measured with vaporizers available today, if e-cigarettes continue to advance, this figure could be lowered even further.
Despite the fact that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking analog cigarettes, many media outlets continue to demonize vaping, portraying it just as harmful as smoking cigarettes. They do not acknowledge it as a less harmful alternative that could save the lives of thousands, if not millions of people.
As mentioned earlier, even though vaping delivers nicotine, it does so without delivering the 4,000+ harmful chemicals and cancer-causing substances found in traditional cigarette smoke.
If you’re worried about how bad is vaping for you, take a look at a recent study released by BMJI, a leading general medical journal. The study examined the toxicity levels of vapor produced from 10 leading brands of electronic cigarettes. The study found that the level of toxic substances in e-cigarettes was 9 to 450 times lower than the toxic substances found in cigarettes smoke.
Vaping Media Bias
Many respectable medical journals have conducted studies that prove vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. Even though these studies have been peer reviewed and published, they have not received the mainstream media attention that they deserve.
Instead, Portland State University conducted a study that discovered formaldehyde being produced by using e-cigarettes are extremely high temperatures that vapers will never vape at.
NBC published a headline that read “Before You Vape: High Levels of Formaldehyde in E-cigs.” Scientific American published another headline that read “Ramping Up E-cigarette Voltage Produces More Dangerous Formaldehyde.”
These headlines forgot to mention the glaring problem with the study, which is that almost no sane person would vape at the voltages at which vaporizers were producing formaldehyde. The voltage was so high that the average person would not be able to inhale the char tasting vapor it produced.
Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos carried out his own studies, similar to the one done at Portland State University. He found that to produce formaldehyde from an electronic cigarette, the voltage had to be so high that the vapor produced would not be inhale-able due to its harshness.
Despite these facts, media outlets picked up the study and published them without informing their readers and viewers the conditions under which formaldehyde was being produced. They made it seem as if all vapers were vaping formaldehyde, when in reality no one vapes at the temperatures they used for their self-serving study.
The media is doing society a great disservice by misrepresenting the facts. Millions of people read their articles and continued smoking cigarettes over using what has proven to be a healthier alternative. Would-be vapers probably read the headlines and decided to continue smoking in fear that e-cigarettes produce formaldehyde.
In reality, almost all vapers vape and using electronic cigarettes at temperatures that do not produce formaldehyde. The author of the Portland State University even felt frustrated that the facts of their study were being misrepresented by the media and that the data was being used to spread the idea that vaping is worse than smoking cigarettes. It’s a fact that vaping is much safer than smoking cigarettes.
Are Vapers Addicted to Nicotine?
Not all vapers are addicted to nicotine because not all vape juice has nicotine. That said, most vapers tend to choose vape juice that has nicotine. Nicotine has received an enormous amount of bad press because it’s found in cigarettes that cause cancer. While we do not dispute that nicotine is addictive, nicotine on its own do not cause cancer.
This may be obvious to people who inform themselves of the facts, but to many others nicotine and cigarettes are synonymous, going hand in hand. We do not have any evidence that nicotine, on its own, causes heart disease or cancer. Cigarettes have thousand of other chemicals that contribute to the harm cause by tobacco smoking.
Many of the studies seem to indicate that vaping is a much less harmful alternative to smoking analog cigarettes. Nicotine used in vapes and electronic cigarettes on is not harmful to the extent many believe. When consuming nicotine, always be cautious because it is addictive to some extent, although much lower than cigarettes.