There are a growing number of fans of vaping these days, and ecigarettes seem to be the latest trend, particularly with products like PaxJuul gaining popularity.However, there are also an increasing number of critics of vaping expressing concerns of potential health and addiction risks, especially for young people.

So what is the truth of the matter? Let’s take a look at the good and the bad when it comes to vaping.

The Basics

Vaping refers to the process of inhaling vapour through an electronic cigarette or ecigarette. The ecigarette works by heating eliquid, a suspension of nicotine in propylene glycol and glycerine (although there are eliquids available with 0% nicotine) to generate the vapour. Vapers then inhale the vapours to receive a similar nicotine hit they would receive from smoking a cigarette.

Vaping equipment comes in a variety of forms, with ecigarettes ranging from sleek vape pens to those which have been modified with larger box mods. The latter are much bulkier, but preferred by some vapers because they have a larger battery which lasts longer.

The Good

Vaping Is Much Healthier Than Smoking

Since its release in the mid 2000’s, vaping has been plagued by critics who say it is dangerous to our health. However, ecigarettes are actually much, much safer than tobacco products, and this has been backed up by studies in recent years. In 2015, Public Health England released a report which declared that vaping is 95% healthier than smoking cigarettes. This was backed up by a 2016 review from the Royal College of Physicians and a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Cigarette smoke contains around 4000 toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, which have been proven by countless medical studies to cause chronic diseases such as stroke, diabetes and heart disease, over 15 types of cancer, and shorter-term health impacts such as a weaker immune system and shortness of breath. Heavy cigarette smokers have around a 20% chance of contracting lung cancer, compared to a 0.3% chance for non-smokers.

The propylene glycol and glycerine in eliquid, on the other hand, burns to what is essentially water vapour. Although, as a relatively new product, we cannot really be sure if there are any long-term health effects of vaping, studies are yet to find any conclusive evidence that it is harmful to our health.

Vaping Can Help You Quit Smoking

Public health bodies in some countries, most notably in the UK, have recommended vaping as a method to quit smoking. This is a popular method with some health professionals because ecigarettes contain the nicotine also found in tobacco cigarettes, without the other toxins and carcinogens. This means that smokers can ease off their addiction while immediately starting to reverse the health risks associated with tobacco products.

Because eliquids are available in various nicotine levels, smokers can phase down their intake in a controlled way. The additional benefit of vaping as a tool to quit cigarette smoking is that it mimics the action of smoking and therefore the habit of smoking, which many find almost as difficult to break as the chemical addiction.

The Bad

Ecigarettes Contain Nicotine

Even though eliquids and ecigarette vapour do not contain the harmful and carcinogenic chemicals found in cigarette smoke, they do of course generally contain nicotine. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nicotine is almost as addictive as heroin or cocaine. It has also been linked to increased anxiety and depression for people who are already suffering from mental illness.

Risks of Teen Vaping

There has been a great deal of publicity of late around teen vaping, particularly in the US, and this hype is not without merit.  According to 2018 figures, around 37% of US high school seniors are vaping. Health experts, parents’ groups and legislators have expressed concerns that young people who have never smoked cigarettes are starting to vape, establishing a nicotine addiction. Politicians in the US have blamed attractive ecigarette products for the rise in teen vaping, and have even threatened to ban one popular brand.

In many countries where vaping is legal for adults, such as the US and the UK, it is completed forbidden for minors under the age of 18. In these countries it is also illegal to sell or supply vaping equipment to minors. Both the UK and the US have recently introduced regulations to try and prevent minors from getting hold of ecigarettes, and some manufacturers have even indicated they are working on technology which will stop teens from using their products.

Published by Mohaned Gadnne