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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Is vaping harmful to health?

When it comes to vaping, there’s one big question that continues to be debated - is vaping harmful? It’s a divisive subject that’s having a huge impact on how vaping is being viewed and the regulations that are being put in place in the U.S. and beyond. But with so much conflicting information out there it can be difficult to untangle the facts from the myths.

The first thing you need to understand when it comes to vaping is that in medical and research terms it’s still a very new phenomenon. That means that reliable, long-term studies have yet to emerge and many of the studies that have been conducted have been done on a small sample, making it difficult to gain a bigger picture of the health implications of vaping. But there is research that’s being conducted and findings already released now that can help us assess whether or not vaping is harmful to health.

Many of the research has been centered on comparing vaping to smoking traditional cigarettes. As vaping is being used as an aid to give up tobacco, these pieces of research help to inform policy decisions. An expert independent review published by Public Health England in 2015 concluded that when compared to tobacco, e-cigarettes were 95% less harmful. The landmark findings have been used extensively since, with many policymakers recognizing the potential benefits of using vaping in place of smoking.

These findings have been further supported by another study which found similar results.

One of the key reasons that vaping is so much better (in terms of harm caused) than tobacco cigarettes is the chemicals each contains. A typical cigarette contains over 4,000 chemicals, including over 40 that are known to cause cancer. Other chemicals are toxins. This is significantly higher than those that are in e-juice, even those that have complex flavors. Choosing natural e-liquid further reduces the chance that what you’re vaping contains nasty chemicals that could have a negative impact.

While nicotine doesn’t cause much of the harm that results from smoking cigarettes, it is the addictive agent that keeps people reaching for another. E-liquids are available in varying degrees of nicotine, including those containing no nicotine at all. It puts vapers in control of what they’re inhaling, allowing them to reduce health risks and cut their dependence of the chemical.

While vaping has been found to be significantly less harmful than traditional cigarettes, there are still some health risks. Many of the claims are still in the study phase, so how likely they are to happen and whether they’re connected to vaping is often a little uncertain. However, understanding the potential risks is important to help vapers make an informed decision. It also means that vapers can keep an eye out for symptoms that could be linked to vaping.

Among the health concerns of vaping are:
  • Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
  • Higher chance of stroke
  • Causing ‘popcorn lung’
  • Affecting the immune system
How harmful vaping is to your health is still unknown. Research shows that when compared to smoking it is a better alternative. But if you’re not switching from traditional smokes to vaping, it’s uncertain how you could be raising your chance of serious health concerns. Over the coming months and years, there will be plenty of research conducted on this topic.

It’s also important to note that some of the risks associated with vaping may be linked to regulation. It’s only recently that governments around the world have taken steps to improve the regulation of the fast growing industry and in the past some e-liquids have been found to have misleading labels and claims relating to nicotine levels and ingredients. With greater oversight and improved awareness of why vapers should choose reputable sellers, these risks could be cut even further.

This is a guest blog post.

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