Earlier this year we challenged LiveTribers to quit smoking with World No Tobacco Day now we look into vaping, something people have started to call a healthier alternative to traditional cigarette smoking.

Vaping may have entered into the public consciousness a few years ago as a fad, but it has long since proven itself to be anything but. Now it is more popular than ever, especially among teenagers. In fact, it’s estimated that users have grown from 7 million to 35 million between 2011 and 2016. But what exactly is vaping, and is it really safer than cigarettes?

What is Vaping, Exactly?

Vaping” is a term that describes the use of e-cigarettes (also referred to as electronic cigarettes) in a way that is actually quite similar to traditional smoking. Only instead of lighting a cigarette and inhaling tobacco and other carcinogens, these devices – which can resemble anything from a traditional cigarette to a unique-looking pen – are used to inhale a variety of flavoured juices, instead.

An e-cigarette has a small container attached that is filled with “vape juice” – usually comprised of nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals, like formaldehyde and diacetyl. A small heating device is used to turn that liquid into a vapour that can then be inhaled by the user.

E-cigarettes and vaping, in general, are typically marketed as “a healthier way to get your nicotine fix without smoking,” but the verdict is still very much out on that one.

The Dangers of Vaping: Breaking Things Down

Vaping may technically be a safer alternative to smoking, but that doesn’t make it a health product – far from it. For starters, many e-cigarettes still contain nicotine, which is still just as addictive as it would be in a traditional cigarette. Nicotine has also been proven to harm the developing brains of kids in a way that could affect everything from their memory to their attention span. The presence of nicotine is what does this – at that point, the delivery mechanism is totally irrelevant.

Likewise, some of the aforementioned chemicals like formaldehyde are used in building materials and diacetyl has even been linked to cancer in some studies.

There is still an intense amount of research being done on the “safety” of vaping and there’s still a lot of work to be completed. But one thing is very much for sure — if you’re looking for a way to “have your cake and eat it, too” in terms of smoking, vaping is probably not it.

A large part of the argument in favour of vaping is that cigarette smoke has 20+ chemicals in it, but vaping juice only has a few. While it’s definitely true that many of these chemicals are safe to consume, it only takes one — including the ones outlined above — to do damage.

The Technology Factor

Equally complicating things is the fact that you don’t have to worry about a traditional cigarette exploding in your hand (or worse — in your mouth), while this is very much a danger with e-cigarettes. Vaping devices need to be charged the same way you might charge a smartphone or tablet thanks to the tiny battery inside. Low-quality batteries are prone to explosions and this is definitely occurring, with 243 reported e-cigarette explosions occurring since 2007. 63 happened during use, 84 happened during charging and the rest happened during transportation, storage or via unknown circumstances. Even worse, someone in Florida actually passed away from an e-cigarette explosion.

It’s Time to Make Your Voice Heard

So yes, it’s true that most people agree conventional cigarettes are worse than vaping. But this is one of those cases where you’re picking between the lesser of two evils. So, if you’re using vaping as a way to quit smoking, something that has been proven to be quite effective for some, make sure you purchase from a well-known brand. It’s also important to keep in mind that vaping is not a long-term alternative, it’s still a threat to your health that should probably be avoided.

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1 Comment

  • Vaping is a 50 – 50 it’s better than cigarettes coz it doesn’t create build up of black tar in your lungs and throat but it’s still not good for you, regardless of what is said it’s better than cigarettes it’s not nicotine is still a drug and it’s still an addiction you’re still inhaling something bad and can cause the same problems as cigarettes. I smoke I have a Vap and I smoke cigarettes I stop smoking the vap because what’s the difference one has nice flavours than the other but still I’m still causing damage to my body.

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