Vaping Facts and Fiction

e cigarette, vaping

As an ex-smoker (of coming up thirteen years) I wish that vaping was around when I was first tried to quit smoking. Smoking cessation is far from easy and many struggle to give up smoking without support. With NHS stop smoking services regularly being cut and up to 75% fewer cessation-related prescriptions being given out now compared to a decade ago (according to the British Lung Foundation latest report) I wish there was more information out there for people about vaping and the benefits of e cigarettes over tobacco cigarettes on their health and often their bank balance.

So many myths surrounding vaping exist which is why I’ve put together these few vaping explanations to help you separate the fact from the fiction.

Vaping is as Unhealthy as Tobacco Smoking

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Back in 2007 Public Health England, the government public health group implemented the Go Smoke Free legislation. This has seen smoking in public places, on public transport, and at work effectively banned. Part of the reason for this was to protect non-smoking individuals from the harmful effects of passive smoking. Part of the reason was to reduce the numbers of individuals smoking full stop.

Clearly, Public Health England (PHE) are staunch anti-smoking and yet why would advocate for the use of e cigarettes as a valid alternative to smoking if vaping was as unhealthy as smoking? They wouldn’t. PHE’s own review reported their findings that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than tobacco smoking. After a longer period has passed many expect PHE to award vaping that last 5%. In order to do so vaping studies need to be run over a longer time period.

Vaping and Smoking are the Same

Not even a little bit. Yes, you inhale something and exhale something. With that description, you could say that smoking and breathing are the same. Cigarettes contain a high number of toxic and potentially cancer-causing chemicals (according to WHO). These are breathed in via a smoke after tobacco and other contents are burned. Vaping contains no toxic or harmful chemicals and vaping produces a flavoured vapour by heating up an e liquid.
Smoking is classified by WHO, PHE and countless other health and research organisations as being harmful to health. Vaping is not.

E Cigarettes Randomly Blow Up Regularly

The media love this one! Yes, there have been some reports about exploding e cigarettes and no-one can or should deny that. What they should do however is look a little closer. The London Fire Brigade support vaping over smoking as to date no vaping-related deaths and serious incidents have been recorded whereas sadly the same cannot be said for smoking.

E cigarettes are powered via a lithium battery, the same as mobile phones. If batteries are not taken care of or individuals modify their e cigarettes without understanding the safety implications of this there is a possibility of damage. It comes down to common sense. I haven’t seen many calls for mobile phones to be banned recently but the newspapers love to do just that with e cigarettes. Before you make your mind up on this one look a little closer.

Vaping Will Give You Popcorn Lung

Now, this is a story that hit the media that does require some explaining. Diacetyl is a chemical found in buttery-flavoured foods and such-like. Studies showed that those exposed to high levels of diacetyl over a long period of time i.e. those working directly with it in a production setting could be at risk of a diacetyl related condition called popcorn lung. This is not something to sweep under the rug and quite rightly so legal action on behalf of those affected has been taken and in some case is still underway.

In relation to vaping, however, studies show that the few eliquids found to contain diacetyl (in tiny amounts) would not cause popcorn lung in vapers. In response to the news of diacetyl’s shortcomings e liquid manufacturers, the few that were using it, stopped adding it to their buttery-flavoured e juices, despite evidence showing vaping does not cause popcorn lung. If you buy your e liquids from a reputable source you will not find diacetyl in any of the ingredients.

In Summary

It’s very easy to get caught up in the negativity surrounding vaping (which is reported with huge headlines) and forget to look at the many benefits of vaping. Don’t forget that it is a significantly healthier alternative to smoking. Before making up your mind, do your own research via reputable sources and make an informed choice.

Overnight Oats: Dairy Free & Delicious

overnight oats,

I struggle with breakfast, not least because I’m diabetic and have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (more on what that means for me here). 

A diabetic-friendly breakfast isn’t actually too hard to come up with. When you have major food restrictions due to IBS it narrows your choice. I am dairy free and I don’t do well with cereal or bread (at all). So that’s cereal out, toast out… it’s pretty damn limiting.

I’ve spent years eating things like eggs and vegetables for breakfast and while I’m ok with that, it gets a bit boring at times. I’ve tried porridge with soya milk but didn’t find it at all satisfying and it gave me horrific indigestion, so I’ve never revisited it.

At the end of last year I had the opportunity to speak to a dietician because I was miserable, hungry and needed some help with my diabetes. I have to tell you, she was a wonder. She recommended the Calories and Carbs book which has made a big difference, she helped introduce some new foods to my diet, she  worked to deprogramme me of everything slimming groups have taught me and gave some ideas for breakfast.

One idea was to make up my own breakfast muesli etc, something I am considering. One was to retry oats but with yogurt. Honestly, I wasn’t convinced but ever the optimist I gave it a go and this morning enjoyed a brilliant breakfast of overnight oats with Alpro Coconut Yogurt, raspberries and blueberries. Oh my days, it was delicious and incredibly filling. I ate half of the amount pictured and have saved the rest for tomorrow, assuming it stands up to the test of time in the fridge and is still as nice tomorrow.

What’s more, it was a grab and go breakfast. One of the more annoying things about being diabetic and having to be careful with certain foods for other reasons is that grabbing something quickly may be a little harder. We all know that convenience foods are often packed with rubbish but when a quick sandwich or bowl of cereal is a no-go, it can be frustrating. This breakfast took a minute to prep the night before and was popped in the fridge. This morning I opened it up and ate. As quick and simple as that.

Now I’m an overnight oats convert I’m looking around and seeing numerous other overnight oats related recipes. What’s your favourite oats breakfast?

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