Vaping is a relatively new trend, and there are still many unknowns about it. Is it healthier than smoking? What are the long-term effects? Here is a look at the pros and cons of vaping, so you can decide for yourself if it is right for you.
What is vaping, and how does it work?
Vaping is a term for inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device. An e-cigarette is composed of a rechargeable, battery-operated device which looks like a traditional cigarette. Despite the similarities to smoking cigarettes, vaping does not contain any tobacco — just nicotine in many different flavors from menthol to bubble gum. The vapor is created by heating the nicotine liquid to approximately 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
What are the pros of vaping?
There are several reasons why people choose to vape, instead of smoking actual cigarettes. Some of these include:
Vaping does not produce any smoke.
Vaping only produces vapor so it can be done in most places where traditional smoking is banned. It also does not produce any unpleasant smell that lingers on clothes and hair as actual tobacco smoking does.
Vaping is cheaper than smoking cigarettes.
Although the initial investment of buying an e-cigarette may be costly, vaping can actually save money in the long run because e-cigarettes are reusable while traditional cigarette packs are not. It’s estimated that the average cost of vaping is $1.23 per day, whereas traditional cigarette averages about $6 per day — over $2000 a year.
Vaping may help reduce the risk of smoking-related illnesses.
Based on current research, vaping is less harmful than traditional cigarette smoking. Even though it does create an inhalable vapor containing nicotine, the amount of toxin that gets inside the body is significantly lower.
Vaping can help with quitting smoking.
Although e-cigarettes do contain nicotine which is addictive, they are still being touted as a way to help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes. Some research suggests that vaping can actually double the chances of quitting regular cigarette use.
What are the cons of vaping?
Vaping may pose health risks not found in traditional smoking.
While some studies have shown that e-cigarettes are less harmful than actual tobacco, there is still not enough conclusive research to prove that they are completely safe. Some of the potential health problems include:
- Nicotine addiction- Vaping can easily lead to nicotine dependence, which is highly addictive and potentially harmful to your cardiovascular system over time.
- Inhalation of chemicals- Since the vapor being inhaled is mostly composed of water, some research has suggested that contaminants from the device itself may be able to get into the user’s body.
- Long-term health effects- There is still not enough evidence about how vaping will affect users long-term. However, it’s estimated that most e-cigarettes are only used for around 6 months at most before they need to be disposed of — so the effects may not become evident until later.
Vaping can irritate respiratory system tissues.
The vapor produced by e-cigarettes contains propylene glycol — an additive found in many different types of food, but can also be harmful to the respiratory system. There are still questions regarding the long-term effects of inhaling this into lung tissue.
Vaping may be a cause for dental concern.
The nicotine flavorings of e-cigarettes can lead to dental problems such as tooth decay, bad breath, and dry mouth. In addition, bacterial infections in the mouth have been known to develop due to vaping. Visit your local dental clinic to see if vaping has negatively affected your oral health.
Vaping devices are not regulated by the FDA.
Since e-cigarettes are relatively new on the market, they’re actually not subject to FDA regulations like other tobacco products such as conventional cigarettes. So while companies promote that their e-cigarette products are safe for you and your family, there may be some actual harmful chemicals in them that can put your health at risk.
What does this mean for the future?
As e-cigarettes continue to grow in popularity, there will be more research on the potentially harmful effects of vaping. Make sure you consult your doctor before trying this out if you are a smoker or have respiratory health problems. While it may seem like a good option to help people quit smoking, it’s best to do your own study first on how this can affect your health.
If you are already a vape user and would like to avoid the possible consequences of this device, do try to practice moderation. Vaping in itself is not bad as it can be used as an alternative to tobacco, but remember that it still contains nicotine which can be addictive. Don’t use it too much or too often to minimize the negative effects.