So, every smoker who wants to quit has several questions in the back of their mind: are e-cigs bad? Is vaping bad? Are nicotine-free e-cigarettes safe?
This guide will explore the answers to these questions, but first, let’s take a look at the results of some of the latest researches and studies:
Are e-cigs bad for you? What science says
Ok, let’s get some facts straight.
- In the United Kingdom, smoking is the biggest avoidable cause of death and disability. People smoke because they get addicted to nicotine, but end up suffering from other chemicals found in tobacco. E-cigarettes appear to be an effective and potent harm-reduction method for smokers who want to quit. (Source: Report by Royal College of Physicians, Published: April 2016)
- “E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes, and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether.” (Source: Report commissioned by Public Health England Published: August 2015)
- Mainly because they offer a similar sensation like smoking a traditional cigarette, e-cigarettes are considered to be 60% more effective than other smoking cessation techniques such as gums and patches. (Source: Research Report Published: AUG 2014)
First thing first
Since not a single study has shown any serious hazards caused by e-cigs, the biggest argument used by e-cig antagonists is that these devices will be a high-tech means of hooking our new generation to the obnoxious nicotine addiction. While this can be a concern, therefore e-cigs and vaporizers are targeted at ex-smokers only and should not be used by anyone who is a non-smoker. In the entire article, we’ll talk about e-cigs in comparison with traditional tobacco cigarettes, so if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.
Then why so much hype?
You might think if e-cigarettes are safe, why is there so much debate in the first place? Well, there are reasons other than public health and safety, and the biggest reason is money. Tobacco companies see electronic cigarettes as a huge threat to their mammoth earnings, so does the government which gets huge amounts of money in terms of taxation on tobacco cigarettes. So, it is obvious why FDA and tobacco companies are peddling questionable negative info about e-cigs.
How E-Cigarettes Work
To understand why e-cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes, we need to discuss how they work. Although some of them look just like the real thing, they work in a totally different way. Some cig-a-likes look pretty much like a traditional cigarette, one end glows, you inhale from the other, and when you exhale, a large plume of vapor (which looks somewhat like smoke) comes out.
So, it might look similar, but here’s the difference: while tobacco cigarettes burn, there is no combustion in e-cigarettes. Instead, the materials (such as e-liquids, dry herbs or waxes) are turned into vapor by extremely hot chamber (usually made of ceramic) or by blowing hot air through them. The vapor is then inhaled by the user and then large plumes are exhaled. Moreover, there is no tobacco, and thus you don’t inhale the hundreds of hazardous chemicals produced by its combustion. Also, the exhaled vapor doesn’t smell bad like the smoke.
Are e-cigarettes safe? Like really 100% safe?
Researches and studies so far show that e-cigs lack virtually all the hazardous chemicals of a tobacco cigarette, and there is no evidence that they cause cancer, or are even bad for your teeth or lungs. Still, as we said earlier, if you don’t smoke, don’t use e-cigs. Some c-cigarettes do have nicotine, and when you eventually stop using them, you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as depression, restlessness, and anxiety. There are some e-liquids that lack nicotine altogether while some allow you to choose nicotine strength. Since nicotine is addictive, choosing nicotine free e-cigs or e-cigs with very low nicotine strength is ideal, however, they might not satisfy your cravings if you’re addicted to nicotine. Remember, just like tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs have the same minimum age restriction.
But There are Studies Claiming Ecigs are Bad…
Ironically, there are a couple of studies that try to paint a scary picture that e-cigarettes and vaping is bad. For example, in 2015, five scientists of Portland State University, Oregon published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine that vaping is worse than smoking, as e-cig aerosols contain huge amounts of Formaldehyde – a cancerous element. But taking a closer look at the study actually quashes the claim of the scientists. Let me explain.
The study showed that when vaped at moderately high temperature, no traces of Formaldehyde were found in the vapor, however, as the temperature was raised, the cancerous element was found in the e-cigarette aerosols. Remember that e-cig aerosol is generated when the e-juice reaches a temperature of about 500F. While most people will cringe at that, but if you look a little closely, you’ll realize nobody vapes at the temperatures that were used during the experiment because it ruins the flavor by burning the e-juice.
Not all e-cigs are created equal
Most e-cigarettes and vaporizers made by reputable manufacturers are made from high-grade materials and don’t pose any serious threat to their user, however, there are countless brands as well as clones available on the market which can be hazardous. Since there’s no government oversight and FDA doesn’t regulate e-cigarettes either, there are more than 500 brands and thousands of e-juice flavors available on the market. Just like the e-cigs, e-juices come in a variety of flavors and qualities. It’s always good to read the labels and know the ingredients of the e-juice you’re using. Avoid using e-juices that don’t clearly label all the ingredients.
A lot of research needs to be done to find out how e-cigarettes affect our bodies, however, currently, there is no evidence that they are dangerous, let alone a life-threatening product like their tobacco counterparts. If you’re replacing cigarettes with e-cigs, always go for well-known brands and high-quality products because saving a few bucks at the cost of risking your health is not a good idea. Know what’s in your e-liquid, know the rules and regulations about e-cigs in your area, make sure others are not disturbed by your habit, keep all vaping gear away from children and pets, and vape responsibly. Although things will be a lot clearer in near future, but in case you wondered if e-cigs are bad for your health or vaping is bad, now you know what the researches and studies suggest.