Vaping Vs. Smoking Cannabis – Which is Safer?
Lately, the rise in the ‘quit smoke’ campaign has caused an exodus to vaping.
So, while there’s a remarkable increasing drop in the smoking rate, many have only abandoned their smoke for other tobacco and e-nicotine delivery forms. This move may be linked to the widespread perception that vaping may be healthier than smoking.
The fast-growing vaping popularity, particularly among the young ones, has become a significant threat to society.
Since vaping involves vapor inhalation and not smoke, it’s common to think vapor might be healthier.
The fact is, both vaping and smoking come with their safety concerns.
This article seeks to shed light on the possible risks of vaping vs. smoking, as well as their potential individual long-term effects.
What is vaping?
Vaping involves inhalation of vaporized liquid, called e-juice, with an electronic cigarette. The e-juice contains different chemicals, including flavorings and nicotine.
These relatively new battery-powered devices are available in different forms, resembling pens, typical traditional cigarettes, or even classic gadgets.
As mentioned, lately, there’s a rising number of vapers, particularly among teenagers.
American Heart Association (AHA) has debunked widespread insinuations that vaping is healthier than smoking.
Vaping Vs. Smoking – Which Is Less Harmful?
While some evidence claims smoking may cause more danger to the body, vaping isn’t safe either. Both smoking and vaping may have some adverse effects.
John Hopkins Medicine explains that vaping may indeed be less harmful, as smokers can inhale as much as 7,000 chemicals, which should be far less with vaping.
E-juices come with fewer dreaded toxins than traditional cigarettes. Researchers believe vaping may be unsafe for the following reasons:
- E-juice may be dangerous if mistakenly consumed
- E-cigarettes are high in nicotine, which is widely known to inhibit brain development in children and teens.
- Vaping may also deliver harmful substances like heavy metals, diacetyl, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
- Vaping, if not controlled, might become a new normal
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention reveals a total of 2,807 vape related hospitalization or deaths.
CDC as well explains that the removal of vitamin E acetate and other harmful ingredients from vaping products has caused a significant reduction in the symptoms caused by vaping.
While vaping is still relatively new to users and researchers, smoking’s damaging effects have enough data to back up its claim.
The CDC has warned that smoking might cause:
- Up to 90 percent of all lung cancer-related deaths
- Damage to all body organs
- Over 480,000 deaths annually – in the US only
- Averagely 80 percent of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Higher risk of developing stroke, heart diseases, and related health conditions
Smoking and Its Long Term Effects
As mentioned, smoking comes with several adverse effects, including
- Increased risk of cataracts
- Reduced sperm count
- Increase in general inflammation
- Impairs immunity
- Increases the risk of congenital disabilities or pregnancy loss
- Stroke exposure
- Blocks the arteries and veins
- May increase the risk of a cancerous growth on any part of the body including stomach, kidney, and lungs
- Increases overall healthcare cost
- Vaping and its long term effects
Being a relatively new habit, there are but small data on vaping and its effect, particularly in the long term.
Some experts explain that vaping was originally designed to offer nicotine users a safer way to indulge. However, growing evidence has shown vaping may:
- Impair immunity
- Harm the lungs
- Encourage cancerous cell growth
- Inhibit brain development in teenagers, children, and even fetuses.
Researchers urge that we wait for more research results to unravel more long-term effects of smoking.
Worthy of mention, some vape users have sustained injuries caused by defective battery explosions while charging the e-cigarettes.
While there’s a rising belief that vaping is an excellent first step to quit smoking, the FDA is yet to verify that claim. There is, for now, no good-enough scientific evidence that suggests vaping may ease cessation.
Besides that, there is yet no comprehensive studies on this subject. Too often, an attempt to switch to vaping ends up with dual-use – the use of smokes and vapes interchangeably.
Hence, the CDC advises people to adopt FDA-approved quit-smoking technique. Also, they recommend that people discuss with their health care provider about quitting, both vaping and smoking.
- The young and expectant women should, as much as possible, avoid both traditional cigarette and e-cigarette exposure.
- Also, persons struggling to quit cigarettes and tobacco products may consider using a tested smoking cessation therapy before opting for e-cigs. The E-cigarette is yet to get any scientific backup as an effective cessation therapy.
- If you’re not struggling with tobacco products or any form of smoke, don’t try e-cigs.
As research continues, we await more evidence. Although existing studies show vaping may be less damaging, it still isn’t a safe alternative to smoking.
However, if you insist on switching from tobacco to vaping as a cessation effort, ensure you don’t stay too long vaping.
Vaping’s likely side effects may worsen with regular and chronic usage.