Sunday, April 21, 2024

Vaper vs. Smoking: Is Vaping the Future of Smoking


There are many questions that the use of vaping as an alternative to cigarette continues to raise, and they are all quite similar: What is worse, cigarettes or tobacco? Which is better, cigarette or electronic cigarette? Is vaping or tobacco worse?

The truth is that, although it has been shown that the electronic cigarette is much less harmful than tobacco, doubts remain about its safety and effectiveness. Many consider the bad publicity of the vaper to be part of a strategy by Big Tobacco to continue selling tobacco, while others consider the vaping industry to be as heartless as the first.

Between debates, controversies and scientific studies, today we will try to answer these doubts, with the information we have so far in this regard.

What is the difference between smoking and vaping?

First of all, we must clarify the differences between smoking and vaping:

When lit, the cigarette burns the tobacco, which produces a series of chemical reactions. When you inhale smoke, you inhale more than 7,000 toxic substances, including carbon monoxide, tar, and nicotine . Tobacco smoke is also harmful to those around the smoker, since it contains almost the same amount of harmful substances. The phenomenon of passive smoking is as worrying as that of active smoking.

What is vaping?

Disposable or rechargeable electronic cigarettes , with which vaping is performed, do not burn tobacco. The vaporization process occurs at a much lower temperature than that necessary to produce combustion, and therefore, the toxic chemical reactions of tobacco smoke do not occur . E-cigarette vapor does not contain nicotine, and in many ways is no different from the fog produced by vapor machines in clubs and discos, for example. Regarding the effects of the electronic cigarette on those around you, we must say that there is no evidence that the vapor produced by this type of device is harmful to the health of the people around you.

The main difference between smoking and vaping is that, since combustion does not occur, the vapor from the electronic cigarette does not contain carbon monoxide, tar and nicotine: These three substances are the ones that cause the most damage to the body, and therefore, it can be said that the electronic cigarette is less harmful than tobacco.

However, the vapor from the electronic cigarette does contain other harmful elements, such as carbon dioxide . Carbon dioxide is an inert gas that has no harmful effects on health, although it is an element of smog.

One could conclude at first glance that smoking cigarettes is very harmful to health, while vaping is not so harmful. But let’s see…

What harm does Vape cause?

The vape or electronic cigarette contains nicotine, which is an addictive substance and harmful to health. The WHO estimates that nicotine is responsible for 20% of all lung cancers in men and 3% in women . Nicotine can also increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, as well as other chronic degenerative diseases.

However, the main components of the vape, in addition to nicotine, are propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin. These are harmless substances that are used in many cosmetic and food products. The problem is that propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin are viscous liquids that evaporate at low temperatures. When vaporized, these substances can deposit in the lungs and cause respiratory problems .

What is better to vape with nicotine or without nicotine?

Studies on the long-term effects of vaping are scarce, but experts warn that there could be serious consequences.

This could be described as alarmist since, so far, vaping has not been proven to cause lung cancer, but it has been linked to other respiratory diseases , such as bronchitis in people with previous respiratory problems such as asthma.

On the other hand, electronic cigarettes without nicotine are not harmless either. Although they do not contain nicotine, they do contain propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, which, as we have already said, can be harmful to health.

What is worse, smoking tobacco or vaping?

In conclusion, we can say that vape is less harmful than tobacco, but it is not harmless . While it is true that it does not contain tar or carbon monoxide, it does contain nicotine and propylene glycol, which can be harmful to health. Therefore, if you are looking for a less harmful alternative to tobacco to continue the habit, the vape is not the best option. In fact, the ideal would be to quit smoking and vaping completely .

Opinions of the vaper vs. tobacco

Even with these notions, it is still true that hundreds of thousands of people have managed to quit tobacco thanks to vape, as confirmed by groups such as the ANESVAP (Spanish Association of Personal Vaporizer Users) and the British Medical Association.

These institutions confirm that, although the vape is not the perfect solution, it is a much less harmful option than tobacco and that it can help many people quit smoking.

ANESVAP, for example, points out that 90% of ex-smokers who use electronic cigarettes have managed to quit tobacco, and that 95% of them recommend its use to other smokers.

On the other hand, the BMA also recommends vaping as a less harmful alternative to tobacco, and notes that it can be useful for those people who cannot quit smoking with other methods.

Although these institutions recognize the benefits of vaping as a method to quit smoking, they also warn of its risks and recommend that electronic cigarettes only be used as a temporary tool , until the habit is completely abandoned.

In any case, if you have decided to quit smoking and are looking for a less harmful alternative to tobacco, the vape can be a good option. The important thing is that you consult with your doctor before making any decision, to avoid any adverse effects in case you have any type of predisposition to have problems with your respiratory tract.

Recommendations when starting to vape

If you decide to vape, it is important that you take certain precautions:

  • Do not use vapers with nicotine if you do not smoke.
  • Do not use electronic cigarettes with propylene glycol if you have breathing problems or are allergic to this substance. Instead look for substitutes like propanediol.
  • Do not use electronic cigarettes if you are a minor.
  • Do not share your electronic cigarette with anyone.
  • Do not smoke or vape in prohibited places. Always check if you can smoke electronic cigarettes in bars, parties or clubs wherever you are.
  • Do not throw your electronic cigarette on the street or in the toilet.
  • Respect those who don’t smoke or vape.
  • Do not buy electronic cigarettes in pharmaciesor unofficial points of sale, always seek specialized advice.
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