Vaping has gotten more and more popular over the past decade or so, so it is only natural that people are starting to ask us if it can be a safer alternative to smoking. The details are complicated, so it is vital to get informed before making any decisions.
Is Vaping Safer than Smoking?
Vaping offers one big advantage over traditional cigarettes: they don’t involve any combustible materials. Burning a normal cigarette releases a huge variety of chemicals, many of which are dangerous. Those chemicals can enter a smoker’s body when they inhale their cigarette, which is a significant part of why smoking is so dangerous.
E-cigarettes – or vapes – lack many of those chemicals, and some of those that are present show up in lower concentrations than in traditional cigarettes. That is a big point in their favor. On the other hand, they do have some problems of their own that potential users need to understand before they start vaping.
There are Still Risks
E-cigarettes may be considered less dangerous than traditional variants, but that is not the same as being completely safe.
Most of the popular e-cigarettes do contain nicotine, which is one of the active compounds in cigarettes. Nicotine is highly addictive and carries some health risks. It is especially dangerous for young people, including teenagers, because it can interfere with their natural brain development. Nicotine can also cause premature births or even birth defects when used by pregnant women.
E-cigarettes are fairly new to the scene so it is very hard to tell what their long-term impact will be. That means that we can’t be sure if they cause cancer or not. They do release some chemicals that have been linked to cancer, so it is certainly a possibility. Many brands suffer from unclear or incomplete labels, so it can also be difficult for users to determine which chemicals are in each to make an informed choice.
Young people are particularly at risk from vaping. Everyone faces some risks when vaping, but young brains simply face more damage from nicotine than older ones. They also have the most to lose if there are any long-term side effects that have yet to be discovered.
Strive to Quit
Vaping may appear safer than smoking, but we advise people to stay away from both of them. Quitting is hard, but it is worth it. Some people do try to use vaping as a path to stop smoking, but the FDA has not approved vaping as a treatment option. We encourage smokers who want to quit to get in touch with their doctors instead of vaping. There are a lot of other tools that can help to break the habit, and the best way to use them is to work out a treatment plan with a medical professional.