We’re taking on the age-old debate of vaping vs smoking.
Vaping started off in 2003 when the devices were invented by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik. In 2005 they entered the UK market and fast became an alternative to smoking cigarettes.
The war on cigarettes has been going on for decades with very little advancement until the e-cigarette came along. It’s become an effective aid in helping light and heavy smokers kick the habit. So much so that last August MPs began calling on the government to relax the laws around vaping in public places.
This was initially spurred on following years of research that said vaping was a safer alternative than smoking. One of the biggest revelations was made by Public Health England (PHE) when officials reported that e-cigarettes carry 95% less harmful than conventional cigarettes.
Despite this, there is still a nervousness when it comes to measuring e-cigarettes against cigarettes. According to PHE nearly half of the population don’t realise e-cigarettes are less harmful than conventional cigarettes.
After researching the reservations many have, we sought expert advice that will answer your questions.
Are E-cigarettes Safer?
Yes. Experts across the board have said e-cigarettes are better primarily because they do not contain tobacco. A study funded by Cancer Research UK found that those who smoked e-cigarettes had 97% less cancer-causing chemicals than cigarette smokers.
Whilst vaping itself has not been associated with any serious health risks, some people have expressed concerns about second-hand vapour. According to the NHS, vapour carries far fewer chemicals than smoke from a cigarette and there have been no links to it causing harm to others.
What is the difference between E-liquid and Tobacco?
Both tobacco and e-liquid have nicotine, the difference with e-liquid is that nicotine levels vary with the option of no nicotine also available.
Nicotine is an addictive substance which many think is a cancer-causing element. However, it’s the carcinogens and smoke from cigarettes that can lead to pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. Whereas e-liquid is made up of PG and VG substances which are also common ingredients in many everyday items, including food flavourings.
Can E-cigarettes Blow Up?
News outlets have, on more than one occasion reported incidents of e-cigarettes blowing up BUT that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s due to a faulty device. More commonly, it’s the usage of wrong chargers or damaged chargers that cause devices to malfunction.
You should always buy the best chargers that have been specifically designed to charge e-cigarettes. If yours does need replacing, then visit a vendor. Cheaper chargers can cause a device to malfunction, blow-up or catch fire.
Likewise, devices can become dangerous if damaged. Dropping the device can damage the internal battery which could be very dangerous. Think of your device as a power tool. Would you still use a power drill if the battery is hanging out or faulty? Chances are no, so don’t do it with your e-cigarette.
Can you Smoke & Vape at the Same Time?
Yes, you can smoke and vape at the same time as studies have found that doing both is no worse than solely smoking. However, it is recommended that you stop smoking traditional cigarettes altogether.
However, it isn’t always that simple. Some can make the switch with no issues for others it is easier to gradually cut down on cigarettes to make the change permanent.
Is Vaping Supported by Official Bodies?
There are multiple official bodies that advocate e-cigarettes as a stop smoking aid. In fact, many are incorporating this into their Stoptober campaign.
The NHS reported that about 2.9 million people vape and 470,000 of these, use it as an aid to quit smoking.
The chief executive of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie now believes that the goal of having a tobacco-free generation in 10 years-time is now doable because of e-cigarettes.
5 Official Supporters of E-Cigarettes
- Public Health England
- Cancer Research UK
- Action on Smoking & Health
- New Nicotine Alliance (NNA)
Will it Save me Money?
YES! On average you will save £4,000 per year! Switching at first may seem an expensive outlay with costs for a kit and e-liquid. However, e-liquid is far cheaper than a pack of cigarettes with a 10ml bottle can last 3-7 days depending on how much you vape.
How much could you save? Check via the NHS smoking cost calculator https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree/why-quit/cost-calculator
In the beginning, we recommend starting with a basic kit while you get used to vaping and what flavours suit you. These starter kits come assembled and require very little construction on your part.
As you become more familiar with vaping you might consider upgrading to bigger devices that have more features. It is best to start off simple and learn about the difference in devices, the maintenance level and the vaping experience.
The main starter kits are pens and pods which vary in style, it just depends on how it suits you.
Where can I use my E-cigarette?
E-cigarettes are more acceptable to smoke both in public places and outside as they don’t leave a lingering smell and the vapour hasn’t proven to be dangerous.
There is a movement orchestrated by the science and technology MP committee to get the laws around vaping more relaxed in public places.
Despite this, there are certain places that won’t allow vaping. You’ve got to take into consideration the type of establishment and whether they have bans in place already.
Where you can’t vape:
- Airports and on Planes
- Buses and Coaches
- Sport Stadiums
- Music Venues
- Hospitals and Hospital Grounds
- Restaurants and Cafes
Countries that have Banned or placed restrictions on E-cigarettes:
You should also be careful when travelling with your e-cigarette as there are some countries where restrictions have been placed on e-cigarette devices and some, where it is illegal altogether. These include:
- Lithuania (e-cigarettes devices are restricted in certain areas.)
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Vaping vs Smoking – The Verdict
Looking at all the information gathered from the NHS, Public Health England and Cancer Research UK it can be reasonable to say that vaping is better than smoking.
With research from these official bodies suggesting that smoking is much more harmful and destructive than vaping. So much so that these official bodies are encouraging smokers who have struggled to quit on nicotine replacement therapy to switch to vaping.
- After 20 minutes your blood pressure will start to return to more normal levels.
- Within three days you’ll start breathing more easily.
- After two weeks walking will become easier as the blood becomes more oxygenised which improves circulation.
- After one month your energy will have heightened.
- Three months will improve fertility among women.
- People find that after six months without cigarettes they can handle stressful situations better.
- After one year of no smoking, the function of your lungs will have dramatically improved making breathing much easier.
- After three years the risk of a heart attack has decreased to that of a non-smoker.
- After five years the risk of getting lung cancer is dropped by half.
- After 15 years your risk of heart attack or stroke will have decreased to equal the same risk for someone who has never smoked.