Since they were first introduced to the market in 2003, there have been many questions concerning exactly how harmful to a person’s health e-cigarettes are. As of late, there have been plenty of illnesses that have been associated with “vaping,” the term commonly used for the use of e-cigarettes and similar products.
Just recently, it has been advised by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid the use of any and all vaping products because there has yet to be significant causes identified for several cases of lung injury and illness.
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from COPD or another condition affecting your respiratory system, these warnings are even more serious for you. You need to make it a priority to learn all of the facts before using e-cigarettes or vaping products.
Because of how new these products are, they haven’t even been on the market for 20 years, there’s isn’t much research or data to go from. There are still plenty of legitimate sources sticking to their guns that vaping is a successful way to go about quitting smoking. The problem is too many people are now smoking cigarettes and vaping instead of using e-cigarettes as a way of quitting smoking.
It wasn’t very long ago the only concern with the safety and health of people vaping was the device exploding in their hand during use. While this is a concern people need to have, serious illness and even deaths have now been reported as a result of using these products. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2019 began discussing plans to raise regulations on all-electric systems that deliver nicotine, and specifically, vaping products with certain flavoring. As January 2020 came to an end, the companies that produce these products are no longer allowed to manufacture a flavored e-cigarette other than tobacco or menthol flavors.
The purpose of this article is to discuss both the pros and cons of using e-cigarettes or vaping products. Before digging into both the good and bad of using these, it only makes sense, to begin with exactly how they work and exactly what they are made of. With this information, it will hopefully make it easier to determine if using one of these products is a good option for you. Let’s get started.
Exactly how do e-cigarettes work?
Vaping products and e-cigarettes are devices powered by a battery. They are filled with a solution of water, propylene glycol, and nicotine in a liquid form. They are typically around, cylinder shapes. Depending on the brand you purchase, they may resemble a flash drive, mobile phone, or even a cigarette.
The device is heated by a battery, heating the solution enough to create vapor or steam when the product is puffed on. The steam or vapor is then inhaled by the user. This is where the term ‘vaping” is derived from. Many of these liquids are flavored, providing the user with a taste they prefer such as fruit, coffee, or even bubble gum.
What is in an e-cigarette or vape product?
There are several different chemicals found in these products. Along with the chemicals in the particular flavoring, you’ll also find benzaldehyde, propylene glycol, diacetyl, and glycerin. Because of the newness of these products, the effects created by long term use are still unknown. It’s very well believed that many of them can and will be associated with cancer in one form or the other. Still, beliefs such as this are yet to be medically proven.
While many believe using an e-cigarette or vaping is far less harmful than smoking cigarettes, there are still plenty of risks involved due to many of the chemicals these products are made of. Here is a shortlist of both the pros and cons of using these products. We’ll start things off with a few of the pros.
They help people quit smoking cigarettes
For as long as cigarettes have been sold, people have struggled to give them up. The one statistic most common between cigarette smokers is their desire to quit. The problem is, both tobacco and nicotine are so addictive.
Many people who have finally quit smoking cigarettes after years of failed attempts credit vaping or using e-cigarettes as the aide they needed. Because there’s yet to be significant research on the long-term effects of these products, they’re still viewed by many as a safe alternative to smoking cigarettes. These individuals who have finally been successful in kicking their habit have no problem recommending vaping products and e-cigarettes to others who are struggling to give up smoking.
E-cigarettes have no tobacco in them
Say what you want about the ingredients used in vaping products. Still, they don’t contain tobacco and many of the other harmful carcinogens and toxins found in cigarettes. It has already been medically proven that these ingredients in cigarettes are some of the leading causes of both cancer and lung disease common with people who have been smoking cigarettes for long periods of time.
Many people who don’t smoke view this as giving up one evil for another. That being said, those who have spent years of their lives trying to quit smoking cigarettes have no problem with the trade, until more study and research proves them wrong. Many of the individuals who have given up cigarettes for vaping products say until they are given specific medical research proving e-cigarettes are just as harmful as tobacco products, something no one can prove right now, they are confident in their decision.
Less dangerous effects on others
Another statistic that no one has been able to come out and say is how dangerous e-cigarettes and vaping products can be for those in the same area who don’t use them. These products put off fewer toxic materials than cigarettes with tobacco.
All of us know how dangerous second-hand smoke can be for non-smokers. Want proof of your own? Simply ride in a vehicle with a lit cigarette of two with all of the windows rolled up. It won’t take long before you’re gasping for air.
While no one can prove second-hand vape or e-cigarette mist doesn’t harm other people in the area, they also can’t medically prove that it does. Until further medical research has been completed, I’m one of the people who would much rather be in the presence of someone using a vape product than smoking cigarettes.
A safer alternative for those with other health issues
If you are someone who has a health condition such as asthma, using e-cigarettes or vaping products appear to be much better for you than smoking cigarettes. While many will be quick to say anyone with health problems such as this shouldn’t be smoking anyway, the same thing can be said for anyone.
With the medical studies and research that has already been completed, you would have the right to question anyone who smokes cigarettes, regardless if they’re in perfect health. If you have health issues that make it more difficult to breathe, until more is learned on the long-term effects of e-cigarettes and vaping, they are far safer alternatives to smoking cigarettes because of the additives these products don’t have.
The scent doesn’t follow you
Ask any person who doesn’t smoke cigarettes what the first thing they notice about those who do and one of the most common answers you will receive is the smell of cigarettes. Yes, if someone is vaping or using an e-cigarette, you may be able to catch a scent of whatever flavor the liquid is they’re smoking.
That being said, I would much rather smell the scent of these flavors than I would someone who has been sitting in an enclosed area smoking a cigarette. Also, and since being asked to write this, I’ve been paying attention, the smell that does accompany someone who smokes an e-cigarette doesn’t seem to last near as long as it does with cigarettes containing tobacco.
While you may be able to tell the fruity flavor of the liquid someone uses in their vape or e-cigarette for a few moments after their last puff, this is much better than smelling the stale scent of cigarettes 45 minutes to an hour after someone’s last smoke.
Now that we’ve looked at a few of the pros of smoking e-cigarettes or vape products, let’s look at some of the cons.
Lack of research and study
For many, this is the most obvious. Because the product hasn’t even been on the market for 20 years, there’s not too much available for us to know. For instance, a quick search on the internet will provide you with what someone can expect after smoking cigarettes for 20,30, and 35 years. No, these results aren’t going to be the same for everyone. But still, they can provide a general idea of what one can expect.
You can’t do this with e-cigarettes or vaping products. Who knows what we’ll learn in the next 20 years. Maybe, these products will end up being 10 times better than smoking cigarettes containing tobacco. Or, maybe, they will be much worse than anyone has ever expected. Until we are able to learn more, any pros and cons list will be fairly short.
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Many people end up using these products and tobacco
As we’ve already mentioned, several people are willing to say using a vape product or e-cigarette has been beneficial in helping them give up smoking cigarettes. We’ve already discussed how helpful this can be. That being said, there are just as many, if not more people, who tried using these products to quit smoking cigarettes, and now use both.
Vaping is trending more and more. This means, using these products are becoming more popular, especially with teens and smokers in their 20s. Vaping is more socially acceptable than ever. It’s something many people have in common and it’s something used to socialize.
If you use both vaping products and cigarettes containing tobacco, it really defeats the purpose. While one may be “healthier” than the other, they both contain harmful additives. Many people begin using e-cigarettes to be more socially accepted, but continue returning to tobacco when they are by themselves. Picking up a second bad habit isn’t worth trying something new that might help.
These products contain nicotine
Yes, because they don’t contain tobacco, these products appear to be healthier than smoking cigarettes. That being said, you are still smoking nicotine. Not only is nicotine highly addictive, but it also has many harmful side effects.
The cardiovascular, respiratory, and nervous systems can each be greatly harmed by the use of nicotine. These are all vital systems in the human body. The use of nicotine has also been linked to cancer, can create extreme risks both during pregnancy and the birth of a child, and nicotine can interfere with lung and brain development while a child is still inside the mother’s womb.
Yes, being a tobacco-free alternative is a great thing to be able to say. Still, nothing good comes from nicotine addiction.
It can be harmful to young children
While the effects of second-hand smoke in vaping products and e-cigarettes don’t appear to be as harmful as in products with tobacco, there’s still a lot that can go wrong. Let’s face it, kids get into things. There are two huge cautions you need to be aware of if you use these products. While they may seem like common knowledge to some, many accidents happen every year because people don’t think things through.
For starters, these products use very small batteries, many of which are easy to get to. This can be extremely harmful to young children if they aren’t taken care of properly. If you have a product that requires a battery to be changed instead of buying a new device altogether, you need to make sure the old batteries are properly disposed of.
Also, if you use one of these products that are not disposable, you more than likely have to regularly refill the liquid that is used in the product. This liquid can be very harmful when ingested. While using them through a vape product may or may not be dangerous, if a child were to drink the product, it can cause great harm.
These liquids need to be kept out of the reach of small children. Any spill that may happen while filling your product needs to be properly cleaned up. Again, this might seem like something anyone would be aware of. Still, every year, more and more accidents are happening. Don’t be the person the rest of us learn from.