You have probably already heard a lot about this topic. E-cigarettes are said to be significantly healthier than conventional cigarettes, which makes them an interesting alternative for many smokers. However, many critics also criticize the electronic alternative for its various health risks. So how could one answer the question of which model should be preferred better than with a direct comparison? In this article, we do not want to devote ourselves to any unfounded points of criticism, but instead enumerate the hard facts to clarify once and for all whether vaping is a sensible alternative to smoking, and above all, what exactly the reasons are.
It is widely believed that one aspect above all makes the e-cigarette healthier than conventional cigarettes. The fact that no tobacco is burned here, but instead nicotine is absorbed with the help of steam, already gives a much healthier impression. But is that necessarily correct? Above all, it must be taken into account here that the technology behind vaping is still very young and has only been on the market for a decade. Since then, the e-cigarette has won over more and more consumers, but it doesn't even begin to take up as large of a part of society as the normal cigarette and most people don't know very much about e-cigarettes. Take a look at the popular models of vaporizers on MigVapor (https://www.migvapor.com/vaporizers).
The relative lack of statistics and research contributes to the fact that much dangerous half-knowledge is shared, and most of the information circulating among critics is still largely guesswork. For people who are currently thinking about switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, it is important to present the facts in an unadorned way. For this, we would like to start with the content in cigarette smoke and steam and take a closer look at the chemicals present. On the basis of this, we come to the realistic health risks from luxury goods. A complete comparison naturally also includes a cost comparison, which should also be of interest to many smokers.
Chemicals in smoke and steam
One thing is evident: if you consume smoke or steam and absorb it through your lungs, this naturally also has certain effects on your own health. These effects have been very well-researched, especially when it comes to smoking, simply because the cigarette has been part of society for so long that longer studies have been possible. Even if we can fall back on significantly less research results when it comes to vaping, the findings that have been gained through smoking also allow many conclusions to be drawn here, which we would like to mention at this point.
Tobacco is burned when smoking. The combustion process gives rise to innumerable chemicals, at least seventy of which are significantly related to cancer. Some of the most well-known of these chemicals are:
- Nicotine - Nicotine is the main chemical that makes smokers dependent on cigarettes and fuels the desire to continue consuming. There is usually a nicotine addiction in smokers and not a dependency on the cigarette itself.
- Hydrogen cyanide - Hydrogen cyanide is a chemical that has a lethal effect and is used in its pure form. Examples include its use in executions and as a biocide or weaponry, and is still used today.
- Formaldehyde - Formaldehyde is mainly used for preservation or disinfection.
- Lead - Lead is a heavy metal that is deposited in the body when absorbed. It has a toxic effect. The factor of environmental pollution should also not be ignored here.
- Arsenic - Arsenic is also highly toxic to humans and presumably causes direct changes to the DNA.
- Ammonia - Ammonia is used for fertilizer, but is toxic and has a corrosive effect on mucous membranes if it is absorbed through the breath. As such, ammonia is responsible for almost half of all deaths from air pollution in the US.
- Nitrosamines - Animal experiments have shown that nitrosamines have a strong carcinogenic effect in almost all cases. It also creates organ damage and can damage the genetic makeup.
When vaping, the need for burning is completely eliminated, so a large number of the chemicals mentioned above can be reduced. This is where many people come to the conclusion that vaping is safer than smoking. However, there are also some chemicals in steam that we do not want to withhold.
- Propylene glycol (vegetable oil) - Propylene glycol is approved as a food additive in the US. However, it is mainly used in solubilizers, plasticizers, and so-called fog liquids because it is very sensitive to oxidation.
- Vegetable glycerin - Glycerin is a sugar alcohol that is used as a humectant. Animal experiments have shown that consumption of glycerin can pose health risks and is responsible for irritation or cell changes.
- Acetaldehyde - Acetaldehyde can be used in chemistry to produce many substances, but it is harmful to many organs.
Most of the other chemicals in e-cigarette vapor usually come from the use of flavorings. The majority of these, however, are classified as harmless and are even approved as additives by the EU. Further research has yet to be carried out to investigate whether they present a different risk when ingested as steam and not as food.
Now that we have already looked at the health risk that arises on the basis of the substances that arise when smoking and vaping, we want to look more broadly at risks to our own safety and health.
For a very long time, smoking has posed far greater risks to the health and safety of people around the world. However, over the course of this, many regulations were made to reduce the risks. One risk in particular is still relevant today.
- Fire risk - The fact that fire is handled when smoking and the cigarettes often still smolder even after they have been disposed of leads to many sometimes devastating fires that not only damage the environment, but also repeatedly cause deaths. The risk is particularly high if people smoke inside buildings or if cigarettes are not properly disposed of. Even extensive regulations could hardly provide containment here.
If you compare it with smoking, vaping shows significantly less risks to your own health and safety. However, problems have arisen here as well, which we would like to mention.
- Exploding batteries - Particularly in the early years of the e-cigarette and with the first models, there was the danger of exploding batteries, and that rist is still very high. It is still not entirely clear what caused this, although illegal mods may also have served as a trigger. Since 2007, however, there have not even been 300 reports of e-cigarette explosions, of which just under half resulted in injuries. Compared to the thousands of fires that are started by cigarettes every year, this is negligible, especially since the battery problems continue to decrease every year as the technology is constantly improved.
The cost factor
One of the biggest advantages over conventional cigarettes is the cost. Thanks to taxes, a pack of cigarettes often costs a lot of money, and depending on the amount required, costs of over $60 per week result. When vaping, you can expect less than half the costs and a starter model is already very cheap to buy. Vaping is therefore many times cheaper over the year and saves a lot of money.
In summary, it can be stated that the e-cigarette is neither free of charge nor free of risks and dangers to health. All of these results become particularly interesting when you compare them to a cigarette. There you can see that the e-cigarette in most cases performs many times better than the cigarette. It contains fewer harmful substances, is less dangerous to consume, and is significantly cheaper.
Published by Marianna Duran