Vaping vs. Smoking: The Safety Debate

Vaping vs. Smoking: The Safety Debate

November 07, 2017

There are many unknown factors associated with vaping. We think that's why some health experts hesitate to recommend e-cigarettes to those who currently smoke. Nicotine replacement therapy, on the other hand, is well studied and known to be essentially safe for those who already use nicotine. The problem, though, is that nicotine replacement doesn't work for the majority of the people who try it. If you can't quit smoking -- or don't want to quit -- we believe that vaping is the next best option. Continue reading to learn why.

 

Many Leading Health Officials Support Vaping

Governments of many of the world's nations have waged a war on tobacco that has spanned decades. Smoking is a known health risk -- the most common preventable cause of death -- and it costs the healthcare industry $170 billion per year in the United States alone. It also costs U.S. businesses more than $150 billion per year in lost productivity. Educating the public has helped to reduce smoking rates -- but it hasn't done enough. Health officials have begun to realize that it may not be possible to eliminate smoking completely. The next great step forward in protecting public health may come from reducing the harm that smoking causes. What are health officials saying about e-cigarettes?
  • In 2017, the United States Food and Drug Administration announced that it would delay e-cigarette regulations to "encourage innovation that has the potential to make a notable public health difference."
  • In 2017, the United Kingdom National Health System said that "e-cigarettes are a great way to help combat nicotine cravings and carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes."

Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes: What We Know

When talking about tobacco cigarettes, many people have noted that although the nicotine addicts you, it's actually the tar that kills you. Cigarette smoking is so deadly that more than half of the people who begin smoking -- and never stop -- will eventually die from smoking-related causes. Cigarettes contain thousands of known chemicals. More than 60 are carcinogens. As deadly as cigarettes are, it is actually the smoke -- not the nicotine -- that makes them dangerous. Nicotine is a poison, and a nicotine overdose can potentially be fatal. Nicotine isn't known to cause cancer, though, and moderate nicotine usage isn't known to cause any serious health problems. Nicotine is the only active ingredient in e-cigarettes.

 

Cigarettes and E-Cigarettes: What We Don't Know

Considering everything we've just said about e-cigarettes, you're probably thinking that health authorities would have to be crazy not to recommend vaping to those who already smoke. We agree -- but there's still a lot that the world doesn't know about vaping. To name a few examples:
  • Could any flavoring agents potentially be harmful? Are people who vape better off using certain flavors rather than others?
  • Does a hot e-cigarette atomizer release metal or other fine particles into the lungs?
  • Could an e-cigarette generate dangerous substances if the atomizer coil is old and dirty?
  • Could inhaling propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin have any negative health consequences?

Although many medical professionals have studied e-cigarettes extensively, the fact is that no study could possibly account for all of the different e-liquid and equipment combinations that people use. Since there's still so much that we don't know about e-cigarettes, some health authorities don't recommend them.

 

Still Undecided? Ask Your Doctor for Guidance

If you're a smoker and aren't sure whether making the switch to vaping is the right decision for you, we recommend reading the many e-cigarette studies available and coming to your own conclusion. Although it seems unlikely that inhaling e-cigarette vapor is as safe as inhaling plain air, the available information suggests that e-cigarettes could potentially be far less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. If you do not smoke already, you definitely shouldn't start. If you already smoke and can't quit, though, vaping may be a far better way to consume nicotine. If you smoke, ask your doctor if switching from smoking to vaping is the right choice for you.



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