Is vaping a better option than quitting smoking for good?
Although vaping is better than smoking tobacco, it is best to quit altogether. There is scientific evidence that vaping also causes harmful effects. Although they are not as serious as tobacco, they are harmful to health.
The Chinese pharmacy Hon Lik invented electronic cigarettes in 2004. Since then, they have been promoted as an alternative, not to tobacco, but to quit smoking. However, vaping has become an independent practice. The worst thing is that many people think it is completely harmless.
Since the invention, the use of electronic cigarettes has increased by 600%. It is worrying that young people are one of the population groups that use them the most. In the United States, there is even talk of a steaming epidemic. As such, many people wonder if vaping is a better option than quitting smoking for good.
Tobacco and its effects
Tobacco is a plant native to America that spread throughout the world thanks to Spanish and Portuguese colonists. In America, tobacco had, and still has, a sacred connotation in indigenous communities. This means that it was only consumed in ritual acts, and not compulsively on a daily basis.
Tobacco produces addiction due to one of the substances it contains: nicotine. In addition to addiction, experts do not fully know the side effects of this drug. The most toxic chemicals, including tar, are formed during the combustion of tobacco.
This drug is the leading cause of cancer. In addition, the carbon monoxide produced during combustion is a toxic gas that causes red blood cells to carry less oxygen. There are 250 other harmful substances in tobacco, of which 50 are carcinogenic.
Vaping and its effects
Vaping is inhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device. Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that contain cartridges filled with liquid. This liquid usually contains nicotine in various proportions, as well as other chemicals.
What electronic cigarettes do is heat the liquid until it evaporates. This vapor is what a person inhales and the reason why this action is called “vaping”. Since vaping is relatively new, experts do not know all the effects yet.
However, vaping in teens has been related to slower brain development due to the effects of nicotine. In the same way, it can affect concentration, memory, learning and mood. It also predisposes them to develop other addictions.
Similarly, some researchers told The New England Journal of Medicine that those who inhale inhale harmful substances, such as ultrafine particles, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds. This practice irritates the lungs and can damage them.
Vaping and smoking
Here are the main differences between vaping and smoking:
- Nicotine. Tobacco always contains nicotine, while electronic cigarettes or vape devices do not. In the latter, nicotine can be suppressed or included in various proportions.
- Tobacco. Vape devices do not contain tobacco, but rather other chemicals. As we have already mentioned above, some of these substances are potentially harmful.
- Carcinogenic potential. So far, experts have not shown that the vapor has carcinogenic potential. However, it can irritate the lungs and cause respiratory problems.
- Harmful effects. According to the UK Department of Health and Social Care and the Royal College of Physicians , vaping is 95% safer than smoking. That does not mean it is not harmless.
To replace smoking with vaping
The indisputable truth is that the best option is not to switch to vaping, but to quit smoking. Although the effects of vaping are not yet fully understood, experts agree that it eventually causes lung damage and can even lead to death under certain circumstances.
Being dependent on something is not positive. It is a behavior that prevents free will and conditions people in many ways. In addition, an addict always has a higher risk of developing other addictions than one who does not.
Vaping can be a good option to start the process of quitting smoking. However, it is best to seek medical advice to develop an appropriate plan for each person’s specific circumstances and avoid surprises that can be extremely negative.