Is Vaping Safer than Smoking?

Is Vaping Safer than Smoking? The short answer: yes. While vaping is still in its infancy, there have been several studies in recent years on its health risks that show that vaping is nowhere close to traditional cigarettes in terms of health risks and side effects.

In 2014, the American Health Association released a statement saying that e-cigarettes are less hazardous and could even help regular tobacco cigarette users quit, if they use e-cigarettes as a substitute. Though e-cigarettes do cause a dependency, as they contain nicotine like cigarettes, the levels are much lower. Additionally, they usually don’t produce the same harmful carcinogens that cigarettes do. Instead of inhaling smoke, you inhale vapor or steam.

Some additional benefits with vaping include: it doesn’t smell as bad as cigarette smoke, it doesn’t discolor your teeth, and it doesn’t make your breath smell as bad.

However, in 2015, the New England Journal of Medicine released a study that seemed to speak to the dangers of vaping. The study published claims that when people vape at a really high temperature, Formaldehyde is produced and can be inhaled. Conversely, the same study said that when vaping at a moderate temperature, there are no detectable traces of Formaldehyde. Though when vaping at such high temperatures, there is a pretty bad burnt taste that most people want to avoid. It is unlikely that vape users would be regularly vaping at that temperature due to the taste, so the risk of Formaldehyde inhalation is low.

That study was used to illustrate the dangers of vaping, but newer studies have been published that are not in alignment. One such study, with investigating scientists from University College London and backed by Cancer Research UK, took an in-depth look at vaping and its effects. Overall, the study found that the levels of NNAL, a chemical directly linked to lung cancer, was 97.5 percent lower in people who switched from regular cigarettes to e-cigarettes. The study looked at dual users; people who smoked both conventional and e-cigarettes.

As Dr. Lion Shahab concluded in the University College London study, “The take-home message for smokers and e-cigarette users is that using e-cigarettes long-term is likely to carry substantial health benefits, certainly in relation to cancer risk, compared with continued smoking. E-cigarettes are certainly safer than combustible cigarettes.”

The bottom line is that vaping is not comparable to the high risks of cancer and heart attack that come with cigarette smoking. While there haven’t been many studies into the long-term effects, due to its relative newness, the initial results are quite clear: e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes.


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