Wondering if vaping is better than smoking?
All recent studies seem to point to the fact that vaping is not only safer than smoking but is better when trying to quit (and also cheaper than smoking).
Cancer Research UK support vaping in the fight against smoking related diseases and Public health England state that electronic cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking.
Linda Bauld, Professor of Health Policy at the University of Sterling has been pretty in regards to the impact of the negative headlines and their impact on the vaping industry. She said;
“Since I last wrote about e-cigarettes in this column one year ago, headlines about the dangers of these devices have continued to appear and show no sign of abating. The result is clear. More people believe today, compared with a year ago, that e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking. In fact, these incorrect perceptions have risen year on year.
With the headlines set to continue into 2017, coupled with new WHO (World Health Organisation) guidelines that look at severely limiting or banning the sale of e-cigarettes in certain countries, public opinion looks set to be at an all-time low.”
We have decided to look at reputable sources, rather than media who might have an anti-vaping agenda (or biased research that is funded by the tobacco industry) and talk about the benefits of using a vape over smoking.
Public Health England state Vaping is 95% safer than Smoking
Public Health England released a report with groundbreaking results in which it stated that using a vape is 95% safer than smoking.
Several academics were involved in compiling this report including Professor Peter Hajek from The London School of Medicine and a Professor from Kings College London.
Professor Hajek said “My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health.” This must be one of the strongest positive statements regarding e-cigarettes by an academic to date.
When discussing the gateway theory of vaping leading to smoking, the report stated: We strongly suggest that use of the gateway terminology be abandoned until it is clear how the theory can be tested in this field.
Professor McNeil concluded, “There is no evidence that e-cigarettes are undermining England’s falling smoking rates. Instead, the evidence consistently finds that e-cigarettes are another tool for stopping smoking and in my view, smokers should try vaping and vapers should stop smoking entirely.”
Some of the Key findings of the report were:
- There is no evidence that e-cigarettes are encouraging children to take up smoking or encouraging them to smoke.
- E-Cigarettes are 95% less harmful than smoking.
Cancer Research UK Supports E-Cigarettes in their Fight Against Cancer
We’re all aware of the role Cigarettes play in causing cancer and incredibly high risks to health from smoking cigarettes on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, quitting smoking is not easy and many people who try to quit smoking without any aids find it incredibly difficult and sometimes almost impossible.
Many smokers are turning to e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking or at least reducing their nicotine intake gradually. E-cigarettes offer nicotine hit without the damaging effects of tobacco and tar. Cancer Research UK also support this method as it has been proven that E-Cigarettes are effective when helping people quit smoking.
Scientists funded by Cancer Research UK found that smokers who swapped our their cigarettes for vapes for at least 6 months had significantly lower levels of toxic and cancer causing substances in their body than those who continued to smoke cigarettes.
These findings show that the cancer causing effects of smoking can be greatly reduced by switching to e-cigarettes rather than conventional cigarettes as the user exposed to the chemicals and toxins that can lead to the development of certain strains of cancer.
Cancer Research UK does support the regulation of vaping products and does feel that they should not be marketed in a way that would appeal to children and should not be sold to children.
As Alyssa Best, a policy adviser at Cancer Research UK says, ‘The evidence is showing e-cigarettes can help beat the tobacco epidemic. And when they have the potential to save millions of lives, should we just sit back and wait?’
Cancer Research FAQs about Vaping
After the release of the findings of their study, Cancer Research UK released a set of FAQs that addressed common questions that people were asking in relation to electronic Cigarettes.
Are e-cigarettes safer than smoking?
Yes, based on recent studies and what the experts know, they recommend e-cigarettes over smoking. Vaping exposes the user to fall less toxins and cancer causing substances as well as people around the smokers (passive smoking). Switching to a vape from traditional cigarettes can reduce major health risks.
Do e-cigarettes produce harmful chemicals or blow up?
The media will always try to create catchy headlines or not necessarily report all the facts when delivering bite-size chunks of news. Using the wrong charger here is the main culprit. Like with anything, always use the correct charger for your device.
Always purchase chargers and batteries from reputable suppliers. The UK generally have high standard and quality products so we have become a little used to maybe using one charger for everything rather than using the charger that came with the device. Not all chargers are made equally but also the rechargeable batteries vary and should be charged with the correct charger to avoid malfunctions.
Vaping is not 100% safe and harmful chemicals are found in e-cigarette vapour and are known to cause health problems. Some studies carried out may sometimes produce exaggerated results by not necessarily following manufacturer’s guidelines with the vape device. With normal use and not overheating, far fewer harmful chemicals are present in the vapour than in tobacco smoke.
If you have overheated the e-liquid, the taste will be unpleasant, acid and burnt, so you will know when this happens.
Is nicotine dangerous?
Nicotine has shown no evidence of causing heart disease or cancer. Cigarettes may cause cancer but this is not the nicotine producing this effect.
Nicotine doesn’t cause smoking related diseases but is highly addictive. Of the three main causes of death from smoking, lung cancer arises from direct exposure of the lungs to the carcinogens in tobacco smoke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) from the irritant effects of smoke, and cardiovascular disease from the effects of smoke on blood vessel walls.
If you use nicotine products as directed by the packaging, you cannot overdose on nicotine. Nicotine is metabolised and cleared from the body at a very quick rate, which is why smokes wake in the morning craving a cigarette.
If you have more nicotine that you are used to, you will feel lightheaded or nauseous. This feeling will pass quickly as your body works the nicotine out of your system. If you get these effects from Vape devices, reduce the level of nicotine in the e-liquid that you buy.
Are e-cigarettes cheaper than smoking?
The cost of smoking cigarettes is getting higher and higher each year as taxes are increased. Vaping, on the other hand, has remained pretty much the same.
A smoker who smokes a pack of 20 a day could be spending around £3,800 a year but switching to vapes can save you up to £3,200 a year. So Yes, e-cigarettes are much cheaper than traditional cigarettes.
How can I use e-cigarettes to stop smoking?
Unlike cigarettes, with vape devices, you can use e-liquids with varying levels of nicotine. So you can start of with a level of nicotine that you are used to with your cigarettes and then over time, reduce the nicotine levels.
As your body adjusts to the lower nicotine level, reduce it again and over time you essentially wean yourself off the nicotine.
With cigarettes, you would usually light it up and smoke it all, whereas with vapes, you take a slower, longer draw and then wait for the e-cig to heat your eliquid. This means that you can put the e-cigarette down when you feel satisfied and with fewer draws and less nicotine.
Which e-cigarette should I start with?
The brain typically associates the end of a cigarette with a “that’s enough nicotine for now”, whereas a e-cig can be picked up anytime and there can be a lot more nicotine in the whole device than you’ll need in one sitting. You will need to adjust to this so you body essentially loses it mental cue to want more than you need to satisfy your craving.
There are a variety of devices on the market and it can be pretty confusing to someone who is new to vaping on what to use.
Luckily there are a lot starter kits available, which are designed to get you up and running as easily and quickly as possible. Most ecigs tend to be refillable have a wide range of styles, nicotine strengths and flavours.
The strength of the e-liquid is generally displayed as the proportion or nicotine that the eliquid contains. This is either measured as a % or as mg/ml so if the liquid is marked as 15mg/ml, it is equivalent to 1.5%. As a rule of thumb, someone who smokes 20 cigarettes a day would find 1.8% nicotine strength as a good starting point.
After looking at the information presented above and the research available from reliable sources, we feel it is safe to say that vaping is much healthier for you than smoking and is the better option if you are looking to go smoke free (quit smoking).