The first vaping device hit the market in 2003.
Vaping is still relatively new as a way to consume nicotine. Because of this, the health effects of vaping are controversial issues among health experts as they attempt to determine its health effects, especially in the long term.
Smoking tobacco directly introduces over 70 confirmed carcinogens into your body, which is one major reason that it has such significant negative health impacts. The buildup of tar in the lungs is another major factor. Since vapor doesn’t come from any burning plant matter, most of these issues are simply eliminated right from the start. Because of this, it’s been relatively easier for health professionals to determine that vaping is “healthier than smoking”. The argument about how much healthier it is, however, is fierce.
Scaremongering is harming public health
Even as the debate rages on, health officials are finally starting to come around to actively promoting vaping. In the UK, the British Medical Association issued a report urging smokers to turn to vaping as a cessation aid. Increasingly, health professionals are voicing concerns that the controversy around vaping is keeping smokers from making the leap and switching to vaping. This is a problem because vaping has been clearly shown not to have the very serious health impacts that smoking does. While the conversation about exactly what health effects vaping has is ongoing, it’s not controversial as an improvement over traditional tobacco consumption.
The push to encourage vaping as a safer alternative to smoking has been strongest in the UK, even as other countries have pushed against it. This is telling, considering that the UK has a fully nationalized healthcare system in which the government is responsible for shouldering the costs of public health. By pushing for smokers to turn to vaping, they can directly save money. The US, on the other hand, faces pushback from the tobacco industry and a government that has no real interest in reducing healthcare costs. While vaping is growing rapidly in the US, the debate about what to do in the face of what we know about vaping is unnecessarily muddied. In light of this, it’s important for smokers and the public to understand vaping, and what we actually know about it at this point.
Is Vapor Carcinogenic?
The debate about whether vaping is carcinogenic is controversial primarily because determining this with a significant degree of certainty requires long-term study. E-juice itself doesn’t contain known carcinogens, but there are concerns about the chemicals that are formed when propylene glycol and other food-safe e-liquid ingredients are vaporized for inhalation. Some of these are considered carcinogenic, but it’s not clear if the quantities involved are significant enough to affect a vaper’s health.
Since vaping has been popularized, no causative relationship to cancer has been established. Many vapers see this as vindication that vaping is safe, while others urge caution while long-term studies progress. The answer isn’t clear except to indicate that directly smoking tobacco has much more verifiable and severe carcinogenic impacts than vaping. In light of this, it makes sense to switch to vaping while further studies are conducted.
E Juice Flavors
There are a huge variety of different flavors available to vapers. While this is great in terms of the experiences that vapers get to have, it may become an additional complication in terms of health. For example, cinnamon-flavored e-juices were found to cause respiratory issues. Cinnamon and cinnamaldehyde are meant to be processed through the digestive tract and are simply too harsh on lung tissues to be entirely safe.
Because of this, vapers should exercise a reasonable amount of caution when choosing e liquids. Specifically, e-juices containing diacetyl, acetoin, and acetyl propionyl have been singled out as having potential health risks if used in the long term. Fortunately, finding e-liquids that don’t contain these chemicals is simple for anyone that knows to look for it. Additionally, manufacturers are constantly working on improving their formulas to alleviate potential health concerns, since that is a significant part of the appeal of their products in the first place.
Vapers Should Be Conscientious
The medical community is closely watching for any health impacts that e-cigarettes might have on vapers, and frequently raises questions about it in order to better understand it. At this stage, no serious health risks have been associated with vaping, and it appears that vaping will become healthier as the industry develops and the technology matures. After all, unlike traditional tobacco smoking, vaping ultimately allows us to fully control what we put in our bodies. To make this a reality, vapers should ensure that they’re well educated about the current state of vaping and make deliberate decisions about what they vape.
Ashley Wilson is an avid vaper and writes on the subject on a daily basis for Smokingthings.com, an online purveyor of top-quality e-liquids. Click here to visit our website, and use our coupon code FIRST10 to get a discount!