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Published On: Wed, Aug 22nd, 2018

Is Vaping Healthier Than Smoking?

photo/ Vaping360

If you’re a cigarette smoker, you might be wondering if you should buy into all the hype surrounding vaping. A lot of people are turning to vaping because they believe it’s better for you than smoking cigarettes. Here’s a breakdown about whether vaping is truly a healthier pick.

Vaping devices are containers that are filled with liquid that’s made of nicotine, flavorings, and other chemicals. The heating device turns the liquid into vapor that you inhale when you take a drag. Like cigarettes, vapes contain nicotine (which is the chemical that makes both vaping and smoking addictive). Some brands of vaping products also contain chemicals like formaldehyde and diacetyl, which have been linked to lung disease. Since cigarettes contain more than 7,000 chemicals (much less than vaping), they’re considered more dangerous. These toxins can include things like arsenic, lead, ammonia, and hydrogen cyanide, and more than 250 of them are known to be harmful to the human body. Of those 250, at least 69 of them are known to cause cancer. Additionally, with smoking, a lot of the harmful chemicals inflict damage on the body when they’re burned and inhaled. Since there’s no burning in vaping, people aren’t exposed as much to these toxins.

photo/ Sarah Johnson

With vaping, the four main ingredients found in e-liquids are called GRAS or Generally Recognized As Safe for human ingestion by the FDA. Compared to the more than 69 cancer-causing compounds in cigarettes, vape products have around 31 potentially toxic elements, which is significantly less than cigarettes. Cigarette smoke can actually be anywhere from 9 to 450 times more hazardous than vaping.

Toxic chemicals can also vary depending on which vaping products you’re using. For example, chemicals differ based on the flavorings used, the contaminants in a production environment, the purity of the ingredients, the device used (with higher wattages, wicking systems, or type of coils), and how the user interacts with the device (by using dry hits). If you’re considering vaping, try doing some research on these factors before you purchase your supplies.

While some experts speak out about the dangers of putting any chemicals in your body, there are others who think vaping is a much safer route than smoking. A review from Public Health England in 2015 stated that e-cigarettes and vaping were at least 95% less harmful than actual cigarettes. There are some researchers that also argue that vaping is helping more smokers quit the dangerous habit by allowing them to get their fix of nicotine without the other toxins. Another recent study compared toxins in vapor and smoke that can cause cancer and determined excess cancer risk from a lifetime of smoking cigarettes or from vaping. The study showed that the cancer risk from vaping was around one percent of that from smoking. It looks like researchers will continue to study the differences between smokers and vapers as time passes and their findings will be more substantial once they’re able to draw from a wider pool of people.

As far as secondhand smoke goes, there isn’t a whole lot of research yet to determine the effects of vaping. However, some research has suggested that secondhand exposure to nicotine and other particulate matter is lower from vapor than from cigarette smoke. There’s also little to no sidestream smoke that occurs with vaping (this is the smoke that comes from a burning cigarette – about 80% of secondhand smoke is from sidestream cigarette smoke.)

Of course, it’s always better for your body to not be ingesting any chemicals at all, but if you want to hang onto your smoking habit, consider vaping as a somewhat healthier alternative.

Author: Erin Konrad

Erin is a freelance American writer who specialises in tech, apps and health – let me know if you need any more information.

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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  1. […] Is Vaping Healthier Than Smoking? – The heating device turns the liquid into vapor that you inhale when you take a drag … the cancer risk from vaping was around one percent of that from smoking. It … […]

  2. […] Is Vaping Healthier Than Smoking? – The heating device turns the liquid into vapor that you inhale when you take a drag. Like cigarettes, vapes contain nicotine (which is the chemical that makes both … […]

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