Vaping VS Smoking

Choosing the Lesser of the Two Evils?
Vaping vs. Smoking

Vaping is often seen as a safe or safer alternative to smoking. It is also relatively new to the market, only hitting the mainstream over the past decade or so. Because it hasn’t been a part of the public consciousness for as long as cigarette smoking, there is a lot that people and even smokers do not understand about it. Here, we will compare a few different aspects of the two habits Vaping VS Smoking to help people get a better understanding of how they are similar and where they differ, and whether one is safer than the other or not.

Smoking vs Vaping – This is How They Impact Your Body

In the vaping vs. smoking standoff, most people believe it’s the case where the lesser of the two evils wins. But is vaping really an evil that falls in the same category as smoking? The answer becomes clear when you take look at how each of them affects human body:

Smoking:

In addition to tar – which is a collective term for various particles that have a wide variety of carcinogens – the smoke of tobacco cigarettes contains thousands of harmful chemicals, at least 70 of which have been proven to be cancer-causing agents. When these chemicals enter your body, they impact every organ they come in contact with, and several organs they don’t even come in direct contact with.

It’s an established fact that smoking can cause all sorts of diseases, from minor health issues like a cough to lethal disorders like lung cancer and heart diseases. In fact, smoking tobacco is the biggest avoidable cause of death around the globe. According to Cancer.org, smoking kills about six million people around the world every single year, with at least 30% of the deaths caused by cancer and other lethal diseases as a result of smoking.

Vaping:

vapingWhile many people claim there are several potential health risks that vaping can cause, the biggest proven harm e-cigarettes can cause is dependence, as most e-liquids contain nicotine. Can we even compare this with the likes of cancer and heart attack? So far, no scientific study has given any solid proof that vaping can have life-threatening consequences like smoking.

The only notable study that tried to paint a scary picture of vaping was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, back in early 2015. The study showed that when someone vapes at very high temperatures, a chemical called Formaldehyde – a known carcinogen which is actually a degradation product of propylene glycol – can be produced and inhaled. However, the same study also showed that when vaping is done at moderately high temperatures, no traces of Formaldehyde were found. And ironically, nobody wants the bad burnt taste or aftertaste that’s produced when you vape at ridiculously high temperature. In other words, this study, which has been manipulated by many for personal gains, actually removes the stigma attached to vaping. 

However, since vaping caught the spotlight only in the mid-2000s, there is not enough data on the long-term effects of vaping. Hopefully, more researches and studies will offer better understating of how vaping affects our body.

Is vaping safer than smoking?

smokingThere’s an ongoing debate on whether vaping is safe or not, and if it is an effective smoking cessation method or not.

According to a report sponsored by UK’s Department of Health and published by Public Health England – a prestigious group of highly qualified scientists, researchers and public health professionals – electronic cigarettes are at least 95 percent safer than tobacco cigarettes. The report also recognizes their potential as a viable approach to quitting smoking. 

In the US, however, electronic cigarettes are looked upon nearly as evil a product as tobacco cigarettes. Quite interestingly, the American Heart Association (AHA) took a rather cautious stance in contrary to the popular belief in the country. In the 20-page statement published in 2014, the AHA suggested that e-cigs are less hazardous than tobacco cigarettes, and vaping can actually help smokers quit. Here’s a small section copied from the report:

“E-cigarettes either do not contain or have lower levels of several tobacco-derived harmful and potentially harmful constituents compared with cigarettes and smokeless tobacco… [e-cigarettes] present an opportunity for harm reduction if smokers use them as substitutes for cigarettes.”

Vaping vs Smoking – A Head-to-Head Comparison on all Fronts

Health and Safety

Vaping is still dangerous, and many vaporizers employ a liquid known as e-liquid or e-juice that contains nicotine, but usually not in the high concentrations that represent in cigarettes. The biggest change in safety comes from the way the product is produced and delivered. In smoking, the contents (usually tobacco and about 4,000 other ingredients) are combusted. They are lit and they burn and the smoke is inhaled by the user.

This also creates secondhand smoke which causes numerous health problems on its own. Overall, it is a very unhealthy situation, and that combustion creates a lot of the carcinogens present in cigarette smoke.

In vaping you usually don’t have that. You have to say “usually” because not all vaporizers manage to heat their product without combusting it. But once you eliminate the combustion, you do make the product safer. Instead of smoke, you would be inhaling vapor or steam. It’s likely much safer, but you are still inhaling a lot of chemicals that aren’t very good for you.

Availability

Cigarettes are pretty much everywhere. You can find them at the grocery, the gas station, online and in many of the shops you frequent. They have been a part of public use for so long that most people just accept that they are there.

Vaporizers are a little harder to come by. Back in the olden days of vaporizer sales, you could only find them in mall kiosks and mail-order catalogs. Now they have a huge presence online, and you can even find them in some markets and many tobacco and vaporizer specialty stores.

But you will have a much harder time finding vaporizers and their assorted product lines than you would find cigarettes and smoking paraphernalia. As vaping becomes more popular, it is increasingly easy to find them.

Legal Status

Here is where the debate between the two really heats up. Cigarettes have been banned in some form or another ever since they appeared. They were first banned on airlines, then in government buildings and later in pretty much every public location. Some states have looser restrictions than others, but for the most part, if you are in a public space, you either have to find a designated smoking area or just wait to smoke until you get home.

Vaping is a bit more complex, but it is slowly going the way of cigarettes as far as public tolerance. While those who vape claim that the secondhand vapor is not as dangerous as secondhand smoke, the research behind such claims is not conclusive. The public often perceives vaping as the same thing. It appears like smoke is emanating from the vaporizers, so non-smokers feel like they may be in danger while vaporizers are in use around them.

What this has meant for those who vape is that the use of vaporizers is slowly being outlawed in public places, city by city. These bans don’t seem to ever lift, so unless new research is discovered it is likely that the bans will continue until vaping is just as prohibited a smoking is.

Cost Effectiveness

When we compare smoking vs vaping in terms of cash you have to spend, vaping comes out as a clear winner. Although there are many cheaper options, the very best, high-end vaporizers can cost somewhere around $250. After that, all you need to buy is your favorite e-liquid, and almost all e-liquids come at a nominal cost. As for cigarettes, let’s suppose you’re a pack-a-day smoker, your monthly cost will be somewhere around $300 depending on where you live. So, in the long run, you’ll be saving big bucks by switching to vaping.

Social acceptance

Vapor doesn’t smell bad like smoke, neither it discolors your teeth or makes your breath smell bad. In fact, vapor usually smells good like candy or vanilla, depending on the e-liquid. So, with e-cigs, you don’t have to slip out of a gathering, your office, or even your own living room to smoke. Vaping is obviously more socially accepted, but before vaping in public places, make sure you know the local laws as several states don’t allow it.

Conclusion

E-cigarettes are clear winners, in almost every aspect. We will have to wait for a few more years to know the true long-term effects of vaping, but now it seems that they potentially can be a safer alternative to smoking than smoking. However, when you vape to fulfill your cravings, make sure you don’t break any laws or disturb other people. Moreover, most e-liquids contain some percentage of nicotine, which can be dangerous if ingested. Therefore, always keep your vaping gear away from pets and children.

46 Comments

  1. In the device of e-cigarette, you will get nicotine vapor controlling device that helps to regulate the vapor. Thus, by the help of willingness of leaving the habits of smoking, you can reduce the vapor and can leave it permanently.

  2. Smoker for 37 yrs tried vaping a week ago and haven’t looked at cigarettes since transitioning was easy as long as you have people like the owners of kocky dog to direct you properly
    Vape on

    • I smoked for 30 years and tried to quit so many times I can’t keep count. I tried vaping and started with 6mg of nicotine. Two months later I am down to 1mg of nicotine and I will probably stop vaping in the next few months. Immediately after vaping, I hated the smell of cigarets and I had no desire to ever smoke one again. I can not praise vaping enough. I wish people would stop demonizing it and recognize it as the miracle cure to stop smoking that it is. I do understand that people including children who do not smoke should not think about trying it but smokers that want to quit should try it.

      Just my opinion. I wish there was a way to only sell it to hooked smokers. If you don’t smoke please don’t try it. Only a dummy wants to get hooked on nicotine.

  3. Hello i am a long haul trucker hrs behind the wheel lead me to a 2 pack a day habbit that was destroying my health .i tryed to quit smoking many times only to fail after 21 years of smoking and escalating .i finally found the help i needed to quit .i vape and have not smoked a cigarette in 3 weeks and dont crave smoking a cigarette vaping cures the craving if you purchase a good quality vaporizer and a liquid that is palatable. With a small amount of nicotine and a good quality vaporizer you can quit smoking tobacco it can be done
    Thanks for the write up here good info
    Mr nim

  4. I started vaping before 2 years and now I don’t want to comeback to smoking ever! You don’t stick, don’t feel bad, can make exercise. Different man. And finally you break the pattern, because when you vaping you do different action with your hand.

  5. I’m an 18 years heavy Shisha “or hooka” smoker… after i’ve been introduced to vaping i quite it.. not a single hooka since 2 months now…
    Of course u need to choose wisely your ejuice!
    I really hope one day I completly stop inhaling any kind of chemicals, but for the time being I feel much better without tobacco and charbon..
    Thank you for the post

  6. Hi, I would just like to say thank you for the option of vaping instead of cigarettes. I bought my vapourizer back on oct. 10th 2016 and haven’t looked back since then. I have not touched a cigarette nor do I have any craving for cigarettes. I use an e-juice with 3 or 6 mg of nicotine in it. I jump back and forth , hoping to some day cut out the nicotine all together. My wife loves the fact that I have switched and am doing this and she loves the fact that there is no smell of smoke coming from me at all. Once again thank you for an alternative to smoking cigs.

    • I don’t have a craving as such but as I smoked for 24 years I see cigerettes some times and think I want 1 (when I’ve been drinking) but a few puffs makes me realize how bad horrible n burnt they taste and I soon put it down without smoking it and go back to my vapor

  7. Like David, vaping has helped me successfully stop smoking after everything else didn’t work for me.
    I’m 47, quite overweight and lead a sedentary lifestyle.
    I have been smoking daily since I was about 17.
    I did manage to quit for 10 years, pretty much all my 30’s. I started again about 6 years ago during a stressful period in my life.
    I had been unsuccessful in quitting the second time around despite finding it relatively easy to quit the first time around (in 2001).
    I tried cold turkey.and patches.
    This time around I bought a simple but effective and good quality vaporizer for under $50 and was given a variety of e-juice samples by a family member who’s an experienced “vape’r”. I also bought some nicotine gum. I chew the gum when I crave a cigarette but am in an environment where vaping would be inappropriate. I use e-juice with 6mg of nicotine and will cut down to 3mg soon. I may cut down to 1.5mg (by diluting my e-juice), I might cut out the nicotine completely and still vape. I may stop vaping. I’m not sure as yet.
    However, having not “smoked” for 3 weeks I consider *very* unlikely that I will take up smoking again. I realise that 3 weeks is a short period of time, however I know from my previous successful attempt that this is going to stick long-term.
    Vaping may not be “healthy” but it’s cheaper, cleaner, pretty much odourless and common sense says that compared to smoking it’s a much safer choice.
    Thanks for the unbiased and contemporary “scientific” comparison, such as it is.

  8. I smoked for 24 years I quit for 4 months once I have been vaping for the past 8 months now and I’m not gonna lie I still sometimes get the urg for a cigarette but if I take 1 it tastes so bad burnt horrible rubbish and I realize vapor tastes so much better I feel so much healthier I’m not going back

  9. I stopped smoking cigarettes on the 1st of October I’ve never had a cigarette since although bought 10 then snapped them. Its never bothered me since although I’m on 18mg. So reading other comments need to drop down to 11mg and so on. I’m enjoying the cola cubes when I normally smoked menthol previously. Feel so much better in myself too

  10. No way, true blue is 100% correct. Vaping causes cervical cancer in men and prostate cancer in woman. Every step forward is two steps back.

  11. Had my last cig on Oct 28th, and haven’t looked back! Started with an inexpensive all in one unit, just bought my first full box wt subohm tank. It feeds my desire to smoke, and my need for gadgets! 🙂

  12. I have smoked for nearly 30 plus years. And I’m now vaping and cigarette free for 2 weeks and 1 day. I couldn’t have done this without vaping. Leave vaping alone! Please!

  13. Im 17. I smoked sigarets for 5 years and i switched to vaping. Im still smoking sigarets but not as much as i use to. The only sideafect i have with vaping is im shivvering everyday

  14. I just wanted to put out there I chew regularly smoke when I’m trying not too chew and have been doing so for 9 years, might I add I’m 24. Long story short picked up a cheap vape kit and giving it a try after working through the quirks so far I’m loving it. I’ll save the site and repost with the month with the progress

  15. I’m 29. I smoked for almost 10 years on an average a pack of 20 cigarettes a day & I tried to quit smoking many times but everytime i was only able to quit for a day lol. I bought my vapor 10 days before & I’m glad to say that now I don’t even feel like smoking disgusting tobacco since I started vaping this delicious peanut butter chocolate flavoured ejuice. Right now I’m using 8mg nicotine ejuice & it’s good enough for my craving. I will try more flavours with less nicotine once I will finish this bottle. Definitely vaping is not completely safe but much less harmful than tobacco (as per all the research I did) & the best part of vaping is that my clothes, my living room, my bathroom doesn’t smell of cigarette anymore. I had drinks a day before & vaping with it was not bad at all. Thumbs up for this technology. It totally worked for me.

  16. I’ve been a smoker since like 10 years now. At least 15cigs/ day Tried various methods to quit smoking, and since last 2 years, I’ve been addicted to both nicotine chewing gums and smoking. I’m glad I somehow came across this vaping thing and it’s been around 4 days and I haven’t smoked nor do I feel like smoking anymore.
    Let’s just not demonize this thing and understand the benefits of this for chronic smokers.
    Wish you all a quick and happy recovery.

  17. I have never been a smoker because both of my parents were heavy smokers while I was growing up and I watched it destroy their health, not to mention I hated the way my clothes always smelled, as well as our house! My kids were raised in a smoke-free home, but unfortunately, all 3 of them picked up the habit. My son was a heavy smoker, not sure how many packs a day. He started vaping about 2 months ago and hasn’t touched a cigarette since. He said he feels a lot better since he quit smoking. He started with 6% nicotine in his e-juice and is now tapering down. He bought a higher end vaporizer and a high quality juice. Now my daughter has just started vaping because she also wants to quit. If this helps smokers quit for good and save their health, I’m all for it!

  18. I was a half a pack a day smoker for the last 20 years. Picked up a vape and havent touched a cigarette since. The smell of burning tobacco I now find to be completely disgusting (how did I ever tolerate it before?). I started with 6mg and I am slowly diluting it down to try and reduce the nicotine rush. I started going back to the gym, because now my lungs are clearing up and I can breathe better. I am feeling so much more healthy. The key is to use a good vape and high quality juices. I am considering trying a CBD based juice to help me with stress and anxiety.

  19. I’ve been a heavy smoker for the past 10 years. I tried everything to quit, even hypnosis and just coulfnt beat the craving for smoking. My problem is i really enjoy puffing smoke and obviously am very adicted to nicotine ( betwen 1 and 1/2 packs to 2 a day and when i drink it can go even higher.

    I started vaping on november 23/2016 and cannot praise this miracle enough. I don’t even like cigs anymore, they taste like charchoal to me. Vaping is amazing, people should be rejoicing for this amazing technology. I’m shure more testing is required but if the efects im experiencing, such as better sleep, more stamina, no coughing, and a general feeling of wellnes are to be taken into account i believe more people would be convinced.

    I hope that people open their eyes and minds to vaping, couse it is real! And it does help!

    Hope to see more articles in the matter

    Oh and try the ronnin ejuice brand. The TSUNAMI flavour is amazing!

  20. I’m 50 and have smoked on and off since 9th grade, quitting for a year here or there, but always returning at some point to cigarettes. My 17 year old son and his friends vape in the house while complaining of my cigarette smoke. I would occasionally take a hit from my son’s vape but would always choke on it. (He has a Smok; the amount of vapor varies depending on the device, heat, etc.)

    Just before Christmas this year I was at a local smoke shop buying Christmas gifts for friends and juices for my son’s Christmas stocking and decided to buy a smaller vape pen for myself and Hard Candy juice by XXX. I didn’t buy it with the idea of quitting smoking at all, but since purchasing my pen and learning to use it, I just haven’t wanted cigarettes.

    I Googled “smoking cigarettes vs. vape” and found this article and appreciate the information it provides. Yes, I’m sure after more time has passed and there is more data to analyze regarding long-term affects of vape I may reconsider my stance on this, but for now, I’m a firm believer that vaping is a much better alternative to cigarettes, and since there are so many juices available minimal, and even zero, nicotine, I feel better about vaping than smoking. I was amazed that I had no desire to light a cigarette once I started vaping. I highly recommend this as a great way to quit smoking Furthermore, as my son is at that experimental age, I much prefer that he chose to vape over the alternative.

    And, finally, these are a few cool perks I’ve thought of since switching from cigarettes to vape:

    My new MKZ doesn’t smell like an ashtray; even though the vape smoke has an immediate mild, candy-like scent, there is no residual smell at all.

    Planning to use a whitener on my teeth because I know they will stay white since the vape doesn’t discolor them like cigarettes do,

    My gym workouts are already better since I’m not smoking anymore.

    I don’t have to worry about my clothes, coats, or house reeking of cigarettes anymore.

    If I keep vaping instead of smoking, I will save myself about $2800 annually. Here’s the breakdown: I smoked between 4 to 5 packs of cigarettes a week at $8.05 a pack, annually that’s close to $3000. My vape pen was $50 and the juice I like is just under $9 . One bottle will last about a month, so my annual vape-related cost will be less than $200. Wow!

    Unlike cigarette smoke, vape smoke (which is like steam, pretty much) will not damage my face/skin or make it age more quickly.

    Using a smaller, less vape-inducing pen makes it less noticeable; I can use it in more public places than cigarettes.

    I always tried to hide the fact I smoked cigarettes since it is increasingly frowned upon (and for good reason) but I don’t feel the need to hide the fact I vape regardless of society’s lack of understanding of the differences between the two. I feel that eventually vaping will be more widely accepted in America.

    The amount of nicotine, if any, is controllable in the vape, and since my pen heats at a lower temperature than some vape devices, I know I’m not exposing myself or others to any carcinogens.

    I will soon be able to consider myself a non-smoker!

    I can date non-smokers without feeling guilty that my breath smells like an ashtray or that my mouth tastes like one.

  21. I agree with everyone else on here. I’ve been a pack a day smoker for over 20 years and love smoking! However since my wife quit years ago she’s always complaining how bad i stink and how bad it is for me. I’ve tried everything to quit over the years and always craved cigs when i was in the process. Since my friends convinced me to get a good quality vape and get tasty juice I have not looked back and it’s been just over a year now!
    The key is a good vape, you don’t need one of those small things that looks like a ciggy, you need something that can crank out the clouds of smoke. A good juice, you do not want a tobacco flavoured juice since if it doesn’t taste just like the cigs your used to it won’t cut it and you’ll go back to smoking. Get a tasty vanilla or fruit punch! Keep smoking cigs but use the vape as much as possible, after 2-3 weeks you won’t be able to stand the taste of the cigs and will much prefer the delicious vape! Change your coils every week or it can get a bit harsh on the throat and enjoy!!!
    There’s lots of great youtube video’s or even search best vape setups and learn as much as you can about vaping and you will truly enjoy it! I started at 12mg and am now down to 1mg. Might quit all together or might vape 0mg for the rest of my life, doesn’t matter to me but I feel so much healthier now and don’t have that terrible morning cough.

  22. I smoked cigarettes for over 50 years. A pack + a day. Tried vapping on July 4th, 2016 and never went back to a cigarette again. I started at 12mg and slowly decreased the mg every 2-3 weeks till I was down to 0mg laces with 3mg.

    However, if you do not smoke, PLEASE don’t start. I have kicked all sorts of addictions except this one. Don’t be a fool like I was, just to look cool.

    Diane

  23. Just purchased a new vape. I tried it a couple years ago in an attempt to quit smoking. As of last week I was smoking 1-2+ packs a day depending on stress and drug/alcohol intake.

    Purchased a reatively cheap battery, a smok baby king, and some 12 mg juice. Down to 3 or 4 cigarettes a day. This thing actually works. I will be done with smoking quickly. Each day I smoke less and crave cigs less. The hard part is refraining from drug use which just instantly causes me to smoke. One hurdle at a time.

  24. I haven’t had a cigarette in over 5 yrs. I don’t miss the nasty ash, butts, smelling like an ash tray, teeth yellowing, and feeling like a$$…I can’t say it’s entirely cheaper, unless you use cheap juices and lower quality devices such as vaping pens..but in my opinion paying a little more for a quality mod and premium juices it’s well worth it for a much more enjoyable vaping experience. It definitely is more convenient and socially excepted, from my experience anyways. I highly doubt I will ever take one drag of a cigarette again, ever! I recommend it to anyone who still chooses cigarettes or is wanting to quit!

  25. Just over four years ago I began looking at ways my husband and I could quit smoking. (We had smoked for 25 years). His astomach was getting worse and I knew he wouldn’t quit if I didn’t with him. I looked at pills, thought about giving the patch yet another go…then I found ecigs online. I suggested to my husband who was in the US working at the time to grab a prefilled ecig at one of his truck stops and try it out. He did that morning and by that night, after him not having a cigarette all day, I ordered us our first vaping kits. After researching the evolution of cigarettes (which isn’t much aside from the addition of more chemicals and a filter), I decided that this was the evolution.
    Within a few days my package had arrived and I hurriedly charged that baby up, going outside for my cigarette and staring at the device waiting for the light to turn green to indicate a full charge. Then finally it was ready! I began using it straight away. My pack of Dumauriers with only 6 out of it sat by the door waiting for me to take them outside. That pack sat there for the next 6 weeks untouched. I knew I was done. I was no longer a smoker! I threw the pack out and got rid of the full carton of cigarettes from the freezer.
    There was no more morning smokers cough. I could run- and I mean RUN- after 6 weeks of vaping. My husband no longer had to use his inhalers through the day.
    We have convinced about 20 of our friends and family to quit smoking with vaping and about a quarter of them don’t vape anymore either. I’m certain we would both still be smoking if not for vaping.
    I celebrated 4 years of no smoking on January 29th of this year.

    Oh yeah…and that men’s cervical cancer thing…too funny! (I almost shot my tea out of my nose!)

  26. I’m 60, I know, to most of you “ancient”. I have smoked most of my life, only quitting once for about a year. Have had a horrible case of the flu this last week, and know it’s worse because I’m a smoker. Had a vape, so stopped and bought some juice Tuesday and haven’t had a cigarette since. Jury is still out, as with anything, but I am hopeful that this time’s the charm! Smoking sure hasn’t turned out to be as cool as I thought it was when I started as a teenager.

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