E cigarettes and vaping have become an ever more popular choice for people who want to quit smoking or enjoy a hit of nicotine while reducing the harm to health associated with cigarettes. And if you have been considering whether you should use e cigarettes to quit smoking or take up the habit of vaping, you are likely to be wondering which is better for your health, smoking or vaping?
Below we will take a look at the health issues related to using e cigarettes and how they compare to the effects of smoking. We will look at whether vaping is harmful for your lungs, what the Food and Drug Administration in the US has to say about the dangers of vaping and whether vaping is an effective way for your to stop smoking.
By the end of this article, you should have a better idea about the effects of electronic cigarettes and cigarette smoking and whether e cigarettes are a better choice than smoking for you and the health of your lungs.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is the act of inhaling fumes or vapors through a specially designed device which is known alternately as electronic cigarettes, e cigarettes, and e cigs. An e cigarette will deliver a hit of water vapor made up of flavored e liquid which contains nicotine. E cigarette use has been growing in popularity over the last ten years as people look for the long term alternatives to stop smoking.
Who Invented Electronic Cigarettes?
H A Gilbert, of Pennsylvania in the United States is credited with producing a non-tobacco smoking device in the 1960s. In 1967, the scrap metal dealer announced that he has come up with the long term way to quit smoking. As a heavy cigarette smoker who wanted to quit smoking, Gilbert can up with a patented device that allowed inhalation of flavoured air which didn’t include the harmful hazard associated with smoking tobacco.
During this period, the harmful effects of smoking were little known publically. In fact, it was only three years earlier in 1964 that the US Public Health Service first released its findings about the long term dangers of smoking on people’s lungs. The report issued by Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General let the public know about the connection between smoking and lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and throat cancer.
Despite this, Gilbert struggled to find a backer for the production of his e cigarette prototype. And it would take more than 30 years before a vaping device was successfully introduced into the market.
Nowadays, however, e cigarettes have become extremely popular and the global vaping industry was valued as being worth $13.13 billion USD in 2021.
When did e cigarettes and Vaping become so Popular?
Although Gilbert was unable to find any success with his alternative to smoking tobacco, in 2003 Chinese Pharmacist Hon Lik introduced an e cigarette device that would allow users to smoke without exposing themselves to harmful tobacco.
The e cigarette design was made up of a cartridge containing e liquid (with or without nicotine), an atomizer, and a battery. With the help of Dragonite International, Lik was able to promote his e cigarettes around the globe – beginning in Europe and then launching in the US in 2007. Ever since there has been a yearly increase in e cigarette use among those people looking to wean themselves from the harmful addiction to tobacco.
In the same year as Lin’s US expansion, two brothers based in the Uk came up with their own modification of e cigarettes which was called the cartomizer. Their e cigarettes could be sold as disposable units and saw vaping become an ever more popular option for those looking to stop smoking. E cigarettes have seen a consistent uptake in popularity ever since.
How Bad is Cigarette Smoking for your Lungs?
The long term effects of inhaling tobacco smoke include increased risk of lung and throat cancer, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema amongst other health problems.
Tobacco smoke is known to contain more than 70 carcinogens which contribute to carcinogenesis (the process of formation of cancer). As well as these harmful chemicals, cigarette smoking also allows fine particles of tobacco residue to reach your lungs where they can become buried in the tissue and lead to harmful diseases.
Are e-cigarettes a good option for those looking to quit smoking?
When e cigarettes first came on the market, they were written off by a lot of smokers as a silly trend that would have disappeared within a couple of months.
However, as the years have worn on, many have found that taking up e cigarettes has helped them to quit smoking and as a consequence lessen their chances of developing the long term harmful effects of smoking tobacco.
Nowadays, many find that smoking e cigarettes are a great way to start facilitating their smoking cessation and quit smoking entirely. And those around you will also appreciate the absence of distasteful tobacco smoke when you make the switch to e cigarettes.
While the long term effects of smoking e cigarettes remain contested, there is no doubt that using e cigarettes to help you to quit smoking is an effective first step to improving your health.
E Cigarettes Allow You to Control the Strength of the Liquid Vapour
Using e cigarettes means you will be able to control the strength of the e liquid vapor released with each inhalation from the device. This can support you in weaning yourself from a reliance of nicotine and tobacco.
This has allowed those using e cigarettes to gradually lower the level of e liquid nicotine in their smoking and hopefully reach a point when they can stop quite smoking full stop.
So if you are looking to quit smoking and limit the harmful effects of long term smoking – e cigarette use may be an excellent stepping stone to improving your health and seeing a decrease in the harmful effects of nicotine.
E Cigarettes Reduce the Exposure of Harmful Smoke to Your Family and Friends
When you use electronic cigarettes and e liquid, you are also reducing the long term effects of smoking tobacco on the lungs of those who are around you. The harmful effects of secondhand smoke are well documented and the medical community has advised it can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and raises the chances of developing lung cancer.
Children of smokers can also develop higher risks of developing asthma, bronchitis, and other related illnesses.
Is E-Cigarette Use Bad for Your Health?
So, we can see that using e cigarettes and vaping can be an effective way to smoking cessation and avoid the hazards of smoking. But, is e cigarette use harmful for your lungs?
Well, if we compare e cigarettes to the harmful effects of smoking detailed above, we can see that e cigarette use poses less of a threat. For example, the level of carcinogens is fewer in the e liquid inhaled while vaping. And you won’t have to worry about inhaling small particles of burnt tobacco into your lungs while using e cigarettes.
E cigarette use also saves you from the tar and carbon monoxide in tobacco cigarette smoking. Although you can see smoke when using e cigarettes, this is actually created by the heating of e liquid and not from the combustion and burning used in the smoking of cigarettes. So overall, one could surmise that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco.
Are E Liquid Flavours Bad for Your Health?
The chemicals used in the flavoring of e cigarettes can vary from brand to brand and you may find that some liquids in e cigarettes are more potentially harmful than others. The effects of the inhalation of flavors of e cigarettes are not confirmed as of yet, although it is known that a lot of the flavoring chemicals used in e cigarettes are safe for oral consumption.
More studies will need to be completed before an accurate picture of the effects of inhaling the flavors of e cigarettes can be confirmed and the long term effects evaluated.
What Should You Be Aware of Before Using E Cigarettes?
The e liquid in e cigarettes contains ingredients such as vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, and various artificial flavorings. The long term health effects of these chemicals on your health are yet to be established, but there is little contention over the idea that using e cigarettes and vaping is a less harmful approach to smoking and the use of nicotine than tobacco smoking.
Propylene glycol has been found to be “generally safe” according to the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration), although overexposure to the chemical can lead to dizziness, headaches, and irritation in your airways. But in comparison to tobacco smoking, electronic cigarettes appear to be less harmful than smoking tobacco and a good step on the way to smoking cessation.
Summary: Vaping or Smoking – Which is Better For Your Health?
Taking the first step towards long term smoking cessation is a very important decision and you make find that using e cigarettes can be an effective way to start and with side effects that are much less harmful than smoking tobacco. As such, e cigarette use among smokers is increasing year after year.
When deciding whether e cigarettes are the best option for you when you are moving towards smoking cessation, you will naturally want to know about the harmful effects of e liquid and whether it is better or worse than smoking tobacco
Well, the good news is that not only do electronic cigarettes help you in quitting smoking, but you are also progressing toward a healthier life for yourself and your family while you use them to quit smoking.
Smoking cessation can be a difficult road to navigate successfully and investing in e cigarettes can be an effective way to wean yourself off of nicotine and eventually from the harmful effects of smoking altogether!