Over the last few years, vaping has become an increasingly popular alternative to smoking cigarettes. Many choose electronic cigarettes in the form of vape mods, vape pens, and Juuls over cigarettes, acting according to the belief that vapes are healthier. But are vapes really healthier than smoking, and can they be used as a viable alternative to cigarettes?
What exactly are vapes?
E-cigarettes were initially shaped like cigarettes, but have expanded to include vape mods, vape pens, and Juuls. They are battery-operated and contain nicotine, the same addictive drug in cigarettes. Nicotine makes both vaping and smoking tobacco highly addictive. E-cigarettes have a heated liquid cartridge that contains the nicotine. Once the liquid cartridge is heated, the nicotine can be inhaled.
There are a ton of different kinds of vapes and e-cigarettes. For instance, the Exxus Snap allows users to vape essential oils and offers a bold flavor. Dry vaporizers like the Exxus Mini heat more evenly and smoothly, have more powerful batteries, and even have temperature displays. Concentrate vaporizers like the Exxus GO allow non-stop vaping and bigger hits. They feature a quick warm-up and an automatic heating system.
On the other hand, vape pens are more portable and easier to use. To use a vape pen, just add the flavor, screw the top on, and make sure the pen is charged. Vape pens are popular because they’re more inconspicuous, and often look like regular pens.
What’s the difference between vapes and cigarettes?
Because they both contain nicotine, vapes and cigarettes seem pretty similar. However, vapes and related products don’t contain tobacco. This might lead you to believe that vapes are healthier, but cancer is caused by a lot more than the tobacco in cigarettes. Both cigarettes and vapes contain harmful chemicals, including “known carcinogens and toxic chemicals.”
The chemicals in traditional cigarettes are known to cause long-lasting inflammation, which leads to diseases like bronchitis and emphysema. Vapes and e-cigarettes contain most of the same chemicals, so there is no reason to believe that they will reduce the likelihood of these diseases among users.
However, there are no long-term studies to back up claims that vapor from e-cigarettes is more or less harmful than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Since vaping recently became popular in the United States, there is no way to determine whether the product increases an individual’s risk of cancer. Although there is ambiguity surrounding how vaping affects health, results from a recent study showed that contaminant and nicotine-free e-cigarettes did not negatively affect the health of users.
Can vaping help you quit smoking?
Vapes help mimic what it’s like to smoke tobacco. Despite the lack of knowledge of how e-cigarettes impact long-term health, most scientists agree that tobacco cigarettes are significantly worse. Ann McNeill of the National Addiction Centre at King’s College London acknowledges that e-cigarettes aren’t completely safe, but “they’re significantly less harmful” because “it’s the act of burning and breathing smoke that’s uniquely dangerous.”
In order to put an end to cigarette smoking, McNeill encourages consistency. Cigarette smokers must switch to vaping products and use them regularly for sustained periods of time to effectively replace smoking. Since vaping has become more common, studies have shown that the cigarette smoking population has decreased. In the United States, the number of individuals who use both cigarettes and vapes is also declining, while vaping in former smokers is increasing.
Despite the lack of research surrounding long-term vaping, most experts within the scientific community argue that vapes carry less of a health burden than cigarettes, and are useful for quitting cigarettes. If you’re considering the switch, check out your local vape shop or look online to find all the options available to you.