Vaping, the term given for use of electronic cigarettes, is one of the alternatives to conventional smoking. Electronic cigarettes are one of the most used tools in curbing smoking addiction. In recent years, vaping has become popular and the numbers of those who conventionally smoked tobacco products have decreased. But the question still exists, which is more harmful, vaping or smoking?
What Exactly Are Cigarettes and Electronic Cigarettes?
Cigarettes are narrow cylinders containing psychoactive material, usually tobacco that is rolled into thin paper for smoking. Cigarettes are sprayed with nicotine, extracted from tobacco scraps. One end of the cigarette is to be ignited and the smoke is inhaled orally.
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered vaporizers that simulate smoking by providing several behavioral aspects of smoking, such as the hand-to-mouth action of smoking, but without combusting tobacco. Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes use e-liquids for their devices. E-liquids contain propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavorings. In most cases, e-liquids contain nicotine, but there are e-liquids that do not contain nicotine. E-cigarettes produce vapor instead of smoke and are usually odorless.
Is Nicotine Safe?
In the past, nicotine was widely used as an insecticide, even though it is present in everyday food such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants. Nicotine is an addictive substance that makes a person addicted to cigarettes. It is also present in some e-liquids, meant to be used with e-cigarette devices to deliver nicotine through oral inhalation of vapor. Nicotine replacement therapy is also used to reduce one’s dependency on smoking. Nicotine, if taken in small amounts, has a slight analgesic effect, but if taken in high dosage, it can cause nicotine poisoning.
What are the Benefits of Vaping Over Smoking?
The most obvious benefit is vaping does not have any tobacco in its e-liquids. Smoking is usually done by igniting one end of the cigarette which combusts the tobacco, and e-cigarettes heat up e-liquid to produce vapor. The burning of tobacco in cigarettes produces carbon monoxide and tar, a toxic substance that damages the smoker’s lungs. Tar and carbon monoxide are the primary substances that cause lung disease. E-cigarettes do not have any combustion element that is why there is no tar and carbon monoxide by-product from using them. There is also no evidence so far that the vapor from vaping causes any harm to those around you, while secondhand smoke from smoking is known to be harmful to one’s health.
Deaths and Illnesses Related to Vaping in 2019, Is Vaping Fatal?
The vaping deaths and illnesses that happened in 2019 were not caused by conventional nicotine vaping. The cases were caused by black-market vape cartridges and e-liquids. These e-liquids and vape cartridges were produced in a shady way. They were not produced in well-maintained factories and they were not stored in clean warehouses. The e-liquids from these black-market sellers were concocted in their home kitchens and they were sold in the streets illegally. Most of the individuals who were hospitalized due to vaping-related illnesses were found to have vitamin E acetate in their lungs and most of them are underaged.
Most countries require e-cigarette users to be 18 or 21 years old to be allowed service in vape shops. Vitamin E acetate is used when making THC-containing e-liquids. THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects. These black-market vendors made their e-liquids with synthetic THC, therefore giving a cannabis-like effect when vaping. Vitamin E acetate, when ingested as a vitamin or applied on the skin is harmless, but when inhaled, it interferes with normal lung functions. E-cigarettes are meant for nicotine vaping, but not for THC vaping.
Should I Vape to Quit Smoking?
There are other ways to quit smoking other than vaping. Nicotine replacement therapy is one of the most common ways to quit smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy can be done in a different number of ways. It can be done orally through nicotine gums and nicotine lozenges. Inhalers and nose sprays are also available and a person can get their nicotine fix through inhalation of nicotine. The most common type of nicotine replacement therapy is the nicotine patch. A nicotine patch is a transdermal patch that releases nicotine into the body through the skin.
With these options, how could a person know which of the options will work for him/her? They should visit their doctor and ask how they could quit smoking. If they are administered a nicotine patch, and it’s still not working, they should give vaping a shot as they might be addicted to the hand-to-mouth action of smoking rather than the nicotine.If you are a non-smoker, you should not vape as vaping still poses harm in your body.
If you are a smoker, you should definitely give vaping a try as a way to quit smoking cigarettes. Which is more harmful, vaping or smoking? Smoking is definitely more harmful as carbon monoxide and tar are by-products of tobacco combustion, and studies have shown that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.