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.

Vape Don’t Smoke

I gave up smoking in 2005 and have never looked back. Quitting was hard which is why I wish that e cigarettes and e liquids were around then. I might have decided to vape instead of smoke much earlier if they were available back then as vaping has a great number of benefits over smoking.

vapeDid you know that WHO (World Health Organisation) have classified a number of the ingredients in tobacco cigarette as being toxic and potentially cancer-causing? That in itself should be enough to have smokers throwing their cigarettes away instantly, but quitting is hard, which is where vaping comes in.

Studies show that it isn’t just the *nicotine that smokers find difficult to walk away from, it’s the hand to mouth action, the relaxation, the taking a drag and the social aspect. Smokers find smoking enjoyable, and I get it, trust me. Vaping offers the opportunity for smokers to enjoy all of this without the nasties they are putting into their bodies when smoking, and even Public Health England say that vaping is at least 95% healthier than smoking. It’s the perfect alternative. You may have your cake, each it and not feel sick afterwards or have to worry about calories or guilt.

Variety is the Spice of Life
One of the wonders of vaping is that there are so many different e juice flavours to try out. You can go fruity, sweet, creamy, minty, enjoy drink-related flavours, tobacco flavours (yes really) or opt for some of the original-tasting flavours that many vapers love.

There are many e cigarettes, from those which allow you to alter the temperature you vape at (producing big flavoursome clouds) down to plug and play starter kits that get you going without any fuss or need for vast knowledge of the ins and outs of an e cigarette. You may completely customise your vaping experience.

The Cost
On face value, some might think that vaping is more expensive than smoking as you have some set-up costs (although basic starter kits are actually really affordable) and e liquids and consumables to consider. All of this has been taken into account by many doing professional comparisons and vaping comes up considerably cheaper each and every time, particularly longer term.

Health
It all comes back to health at the end of the day, and so it should. Health professionals, NHS trusts and charities are all pointing people towards vaping in order to get them off smoking in order to improve their health and reduce the risk of smoking-related premature death. Public Health England, the UK Government department responsible for the introduction of the Go Smoke Free legislation which saw smoking in many public areas made illegal have been keen to advocate for vaping, even listing e cigarettes as a useful cessation tool on their 2017 Stoptober materials. A Hampshire NHS trust are giving those serious about giving up smoking a one-time £25 vaping voucher for use in local shops to help them get a basic starter kit and introduce themselves to vaping properly in order to make the switch.

Clearly the benefits of choosing to vape far outweigh any reason to continue smoking. Black Note have put together a great article on help you quit smoking. If quitting smoking is on your list for 2018, good luck! As I wrote previously, I quit back in 2005 and have never looked back. My only regret is not putting in a jar what I spent on tobacco cigarettes each week and saving it. I could be looking at early retirement by now!

*E liquids do contain nicotine however, unlike tobacco cigarettes, you may choose with vaping the strength of nicotine you want, gradually tapering your usage down if you wish until you are enjoying zero nicotine vape e liquids.

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