Vaping vs Smoking
Many people have heard about vaping but are not sure of the differences between vaping and smoking. Many factors make vaping less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Vaping doesn't contain tar or create secondhand smoke. Studies show that vaping is also more effective at weaning smokers off cigarettes.
If you're still unsure about whether to vape instead of smoke, consider these reasons why vaping is less harmful than smoking.
Tobacco smoke is a known carcinogen, and tobacco cigarettes cause most lung cancer cases each year. Cigarettes contain over 4000 chemicals, many of which are harmful to human health. This is not just limited to tar or carbon monoxide.
Among these substances in burning tobacco, there are over 200 that can cause cancer in humans by themselves or when they interact with other chemicals in cigarette smoke. These include arsenic, benzene (a component of gasoline), formaldehyde - used to embalm corpses - lead, nickel-cadmium and pesticides like DDT and lindane (an insecticide).
The dangers of cigarette smoke are often overlooked as smoking is often considered a "lifestyle choice", like the choice to drink alcohol or drugs. But cigarette smoking can be addictive and lead to nicotine addiction, which must be treated with the same care as any other substance abuse problem.
10-15% of smokers will suffer severe lung injury from tobacco-related cancers or lung diseases (emphysema, chronic bronchitis). Smoking causes one in ten deaths among people aged 18 years and older each year worldwide - approximately eight million people per year die because they smoke cigarettes.
Tobacco has been used for centuries, but it remains too dangerous to use today due to its high toxicity levels. Interestingly enough, despite cigarette production being at an all-time low in recent decades thanks to cigarette taxes and smoking bans, cigarette consumption is still very high globally and many people are continuing to smoke.
Here are five key things you need to know about smoking cigarettes:
1. Cigarette Smoking is not good for your health
Smoking cigarettes is terrible for your health because it can lead to damaging health effects (especially for lung health), bronchitis, heart disease and lung cancer. Additionally, passive smokers are at risk of developing adverse reactions due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
Academic research institutions suggest that passive smoking may be just as dangerous as active smoking for healthy adults. In other words, there are no situations in which a cigarette smoker can derive any health benefits from tobacco products.
Smoking also harms the environment as discarded cigarettes contribute to toxic landfills that may contaminate nearby water supply supplies with harmful toxins. Evidence suggests that these toxins also affect those around you that breathe in tobacco smoke when you smoke cigarettes nearby.
2. Cigarette smoking can cause lung cancer, heart disease and other diseases
Cigarette smoking is a significant risk factor for lung cancer, making both existing lung disease and heart problems worse for those that do not stop smoking.
The more cigarettes you smoke, the greater your chance of developing other diseases as well. As well as lung injury, the evidence suggests that those that do not stop smoking are more likely to weaken their immune system.
According to the American Lung Association, male smokers are 23 times more likely than non-smokers to develop cancer in the lungs. A female smoker with a smoking habit of more than 20 cigarettes per day has approximately 12 times the risk of developing cancer as someone who smokes less than this.
Smoking is also associated with lung damage and an increased chance of contracting the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). COPD is a long-term lung condition that is the third greatest cause of death globally.
In addition, smokers are four times as likely to develop emphysema or chronic bronchitis when compared to non-smokers or those that quit smoking. This is not limited to those that smoke regular cigarettes but for all tobacco products as any combustible tobacco products produce dangerous chemicals.
Smoking is also associated with an increased risk for developing oral cancers, cervical cancer and many other types of cancer. Medical expertise suggests that there is no risk-free level of tobacco use due to the harmful chemicals caused by combustion that are considered among the most harmful elements known to disease control academic research institutions.
3. Quitting cigarette smoking can help you live a longer life with better quality of life
An individual who is quitting smoking can live a longer life with better quality of life. This is because quitting smoking can decrease the risk of various health conditions, as discussed above.
Quitting smoking also improves your immune system and decreases the chance of getting sick, which could further reduce your quality of life by preventing you from working.
Individuals who quit smoking have less stress on their lungs and throat due to decreased exposure to dangerous chemicals that are often found in cigarettes. The quitting process also prevents the person from developing symptoms such as headaches, irritability, and difficulty concentrating, further improving quality of life.
4. You will save money by quitting cigarette smoking
There are many ways in which quitting smoking will help you save money. Here are a few key considerations when thinking about going smoke-free:
1. If you quit smoking, you will spend less money on cigarettes
2. Reduced medical costs
3. Savings on quitting aids such as patches, gum and lozenges
4. Less money spent on replacing clothing that has been exposed to the odour of the smoke from tobacco cigarettes
5. Reduced property damage - quitting can reduce the risk of fires and property or house damage from smokers who do not extinguish their cigarettes in a safe manner
5. There are many nicotine replacement therapy options available to help you quit smoking
Quitting smoking cold turkey can be very difficult and often requires the use of nicotine replacement therapy. This might consist of things such as gum or lozenges that you put in your mouth or a patch that sticks on your body.
Delivering nicotine to the bloodstream in a way that is less harmful than smoking helps with withdrawal symptoms and cravings. NRTs help with smoking cessation by giving you nicotine without the potentially harmful chemicals allowing you to quit cigarettes without immediately going nicotine-free.
According to Cancer Research UK, quitting smoking using vaping as a nicotine replacement therapy is likely to increase your chances of success by 60% when compared to any other form of NRT. This is because the feeling of vaping e-cigarettes is very similar to smoking making the switch from traditional cigarettes to e-cigarettes a lot easier.
E-cigarettes also allow you to manage your nicotine consumption with different levels of nicotine available. This will enable you to go from high nicotine use to zero nicotine over a year, for example. Let's take a closer look at vaping e-cigarettes to help you decide if e-cigarettes are suitable for you.
Vapour vs Smoke
What is the difference between vapour and smoke?
Vapour is a vaporous state of water or other volatile substance mixed with air, while smoke is the particulate matter emitted when something is burning.
An easy way to think about the difference between vapour produced from electronic cigarettes and smoke is by thinking about a kettle that heats up to produce vapour vs a fire that burns to produce smoke. The vapour produced from a kettle is much cleaner than the smoke created from a burning fire.
Why do people choose to vape instead of smoking cigarettes?
Many people choose to vape electronic cigarettes instead of smoke cigarettes because the production of vapour when using e-cigarettes doesn't involve the combustion of tobacco.
Using an e-cig as nicotine replacement therapy can help smokers quit by gradually weaning them off of their dependency on nicotine. This is not possible when using other methods such as gum or patches that don't provide an ability to control the level of nicotine being delivered to the body like you can when using e-cigarettes.
Quit Smoking with E-Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes or e-cigs) are devices that vaporise liquid nicotine, which is usually mixed with propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin to make the vapours more like smoke. They do not contain tobacco and so do not produce tar as cigarettes do.
Is vaping safe?
Whilst the current research cannot say that vaping is completely risk-free, we know that the vapours produced from vaporisers don't contain tar and other potentially dangerous toxins as cigarettes do. This is one of the main reasons why researchers at Cancer Research UK believe that vaping is 95% less harmful to your health than smoking - making it much safer than smoking.
Although the long-term effects of vapour inhalation also have yet to be determined, the vapour produced from electronic cigarettes contains either propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin. Both of these ingredients are considered much less harmful than chemicals produced in cigarette smoke and are not known to be toxic.
Is nicotine bad for you?
Nicotine is mainly known for its stimulant effects on the central nervous system. Contrary to popular belief, nicotine has not been shown to be a cancer-causing substance.
Some of the research on this subject was conducted by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) in London and published in their report, Nicotine without smoke: tobacco harm reduction.
The report concludes that there is no association between sustained nicotine use through NRTs and the occurrence of cancer.
In addition to the RCP report findings, several other studies have been completed on nicotine and its effects on health. These studies have concluded that although nicotine has physical dependency properties, there is no link between cancer and nicotine.
Is vaping better than smoking?
Yes - vaping is better and safer than smoking. According to Public Health England: "There is no situation where it would be better for your health to continue smoking rather than switching completely to vaping."
Those that are seeking to stop smoking using e-cigarettes often confuse smoking and vaping. For instance, some believe that "cigarette vapour" is produced from e-cigarettes or that "smoking e-cigarettes" is the same as regular smoking. This is not the case.
"Cigarette vapour" does not exist as cigarettes are combusted to produce smoke rather than a liquid being vaporised during the use of an e-cigarette.
"Smoking e-cigarettes" is also a common misconception. e-Liquid contained in vaping products is vapourised during the use of e-cigarettes - there is no combustion with e-cigarettes as there is in smoking.
For these reasons, evidence suggests that this further reduces the increased risk of smoking related lung disease for e-cigarette users that stop smoking altogether, as carbon monoxide is one of the main culprits in the combustion of cigarettes when smoking.
How to Quit Smoking Using Electronic Cigarettes
E-cigarettes come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Vaping products such as e-liquid also come in different nicotine flavours.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to stop smoking through the use of e-cigarettes.
1. Buy an e-cigarette starter kit
E-cigarette starter kits such as those available from IndeJuice come with a battery, charger, cartridge and some vapour liquid.
There are many different e-cigarettes, and it's essential to get a vaping device that works for you.
The number one vape pen that we recommend for beginners is the UWELL Caliburn starter kit. Many e-cigarette smokers have successfully stopped smoking with this vaping device as it is simple to use, inexpensive and accurately mimics the action of smoking regular cigarettes.
2. Choose a flavour of e-liquid, such as menthol or tobacco
New e-cigarette users often opt for flavours that are similar to the experience of smoking cigarettes.
Two of the most common e-cigarette flavours are menthol and tobacco. There are many vaping liquids that mimic these experiences and are perfect for transitioning smokers to an e-cigarette vaping device.
When choosing your flavour of e-liquid, you should also be careful in picking the correct liquid nicotine strength for your e-cigarette to ensure effective smoking cessation. For those that are heavy smokers (a pack of 20 cigarettes a day or more), we recommend pairing your e-cigarette with a high nicotine e-liquid.
The highest nicotine strength available is 20mg/ml. This strength is the ideal choice for e-cigarette use by those who are heavy smokers looking to quit smoking through the use of e-cigarettes.
If you are a light smoker and want to stop smoking socially using e-cigarettes, we recommend starting with 10mg liquids with your e-cig vape pen.
3. Fill the e-cigarette with vapour liquid
E-cigarettes use either tanks or cartridges to hold the e-liquid. We recommend staying away from tanks and using a vape pen that takes cartridges for those looking to quit smoking.
E-cig cartridges work the same way as tanks, and most hold the same 2ml volume with less hassle and maintenance, making smoking cessation more accessible to those that want to stop smoking.
4. Wait about 10 minutes for your e-cigarette cartridge to be ready
Once you have filled your e-cigarette with liquid, you need to wait for 5-10 minutes while the liquid soaks into the cotton. This is called 'priming' the coil and makes it less likely that your cartridge will burn when you start vaping.
Priming your e-cigs is an important step that many who quit smoking do not realise when choosing to use e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation tool.
5. Begin vaping your e-cigarette
Now that your cartridge e-cigarette is ready to vape, draw on it as you would with a cigarette. This is known as mouth to lung vaping and mimics the actual smoking experience.
Disposable E-Cigarettes & Vape Pens
If you want to use e-cigarettes to stop smoking but think that buying a starter kit is too much hassle, disposable e-cigs may be the perfect choice for you. Many users have successfully stopped smoking through the use of disposables.
Disposable e-cigs are popular with those looking to quit smoking because they are affordable, easy to use and provide a realistic smoking experience. These vape pens are designed with the smoker in mind. Disposable e-cigarettes are only meant to be used until they have run out and then discarded.
There is no need for priming disposable e-cigarette vaping products. There is also no need to refill, maintain or clean disposable e-cigarettes. In many ways, disposables are more convenient than cigarettes as they do not need a lighter.
These vaping products usually last for 300-600 puffs (the equivalent of approximately 10-20 cigarettes). They are a straightforward way to stop smoking and reduce the health effects of smoking, such as tar or carbon monoxide.
Additionally, disposable e-cigarettes come in many different flavours, making it easier for you to find one that suits your needs. If you would prefer to stop smoking with tastes similar to tobacco, then be sure to look at disposable e-cigarettes with the same flavours as your favourite cigarette and avoid the adverse health effects of smoking.