The imaginary safety of electronic cigarettes has led to the fact that they are beginning to be considered almost a medicine. This is fundamentally wrong: vaping can be regarded as an alternative method of quitting cigarettes, but even a nicotine-free liquid is unlikely to benefit the body. Today, remarkable disputes are flaring up on the topic “vape vs tobacco”, “which is more harmful” and similar ones, but conclusions should be drawn on the basis of facts.
Harm of regular cigarettes
A cigarette for most people is paper with tobacco and a filter. While smoking, a person inhales the smoke that comes from burning tobacco. It contains nicotine and more than 250 chemical compounds. None of them is beneficial, but each is harmful. Nicotine is considered the most dangerous, it is addictive, and there is an opinion that it is stronger than drug addiction. Nicotine acts on the brain and produces euphoria and relief in the smoker, which helps relieve stress or tension. It is these feelings that make the smoker pick up a cigarette again and again.
Nicotine is not the only dangerous substance, there are more resins and carcinogens. They contribute to the development of diseases and enhance existing ones. Even realizing the danger of such an impact on the body, a smoker cannot just give up cigarettes. Experiencing real withdrawal, he is looking for the pleasant sensations that tobacco smoke gives him. Taking care of health or not is the choice of each person, but do not forget about the dangers of passive smoking.
Important! One cigarette contains 1 mg of nicotine, a pack is 20 mg, and a lethal dose for humans is 60 mg.
How an electronic cigarette works
Unlike a regular cigarette, its electronic version does not emit smoke. Instead, the smoker inhales steam, which either does not contain nicotine at all, or there is a minimal amount of it here. It is because of the steam that such smoking is called «vaping», which in English means «soar».
Electronic cigarettes have already become widespread, and many smokers have switched to them instead of using real tobacco. Electron tubes may have different designs, but the general principle of their operation is the same: there is a coil with a steam generator, a battery, a mouthpiece, a clear or a drip.
Inside the device, a liquid with a complex composition is poured. It includes distilled water, propylene glycol, glycerin, flavors. For older smokers who have long been addicted to nicotine, there are separate formulations with a small amount of it.
At first glance, it seems that the electronic cigarette carries less harm, but the debate about how much safer vaping is, does not subside, because there are pleasure stimulants here too.
Electronic cigarettes are divided into several types depending on the content of nicotine in their composition:
- strong — from 1.6 to 1.95%;
- lungs — from 0.95 to 1.5%;
- ultralight — no more than 0.95%.
It is easy to see that even in strong vapes, the percentage of nicotine is much lower than that of a traditional cigarette, however, even a minimal amount can be addictive. This means that you can completely get rid of addiction only with a composition in which nicotine is completely absent.
What’s in a vape can be harmful?
Any electron tube runs on a special fluid that contains the substances listed above. Glycerin and propylene glycol form an aerosol that is inhaled by the smoker. In this case, the second substance causes irritation of the mucous membrane, which resembles the process of smoking a regular cigarette. Water is needed to dissolve the fragrance.
By itself, glycerin is safe, even when inhaled, but in the vape it heats up, which is accompanied by the release of acrolein. In turn, it is toxic and can poison the body. Meanwhile, its release occurs only when glycerol is overheated. This happens in case continuous operation of the device for more than 15 minutes or when using a low-quality tube. If you do not overheat the pipe, that is, do not smoke for more than 15 minutes in a row and buy a device from trusted manufacturers, then acrolein is not dangerous — it simply does not have time to form.
Propylene glycol is a food additive with the number E1520. It is used in food production as a substance that retains moisture and allows the product to be stored for a long time. There is no need to talk about the dangers of distilled water — it is safe.
Thus, almost all substances, subject to the conditions of production and use of vape, are safe, but it is worth remembering the presence of flavors. They can be harmful. There are no standards for their use, as well as control in the production of vape liquids. This means that unscrupulous manufacturers can use as part of the liquid flavoring with acetylene and diacetyl. These are toxic substances. Their high concentration can provoke bronchial diseases, which are extremely difficult to treat.
Important! You can understand that these substances are in the composition — the steam will taste like sweet cream. Another sign that the liquid is harmful is the color. If it is not colorless, then it contains toxic titanium dioxide.
In addition, various aerosols may contain formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, nitrosonicotine and other chemical compounds. All of them are harmful and can cause poisoning.
Vaping or smoking — which is more harmful
Considering that electronic cigarettes have gained wide popularity recently, it is not surprising that in-depth studies on the dangers of vaping have not yet been conducted. The result of the long-term use of modern models has also not been established.
The only thing you can rely on is the certification of the Ministry of Health, which has not yet recognized vaping as safe for humans.
In terms of facts, the composition of smoking liquid does not contain toxins and poisons, of course, if it is a licensed product manufactured in accordance with technical guidelines and safety requirements. There are many fakes fashionable device, their composition is much worse and may include an excess (not specified) proportion of nicotine or other components that are dangerous to humans.
Non-smokers are advised to stop using vapes, because even nicotine-free liquids may actually contain a small proportion of the alkaloid. In a healthy body, nicotine is produced naturally. If it comes from outside, this process stops, and dependence quickly develops.
Mixtures where the content of nicotine is indicated will inevitably be addictive.
Will vaping help you quit smoking?
When choosing which is better: an electronic cigarette or a regular one, people are often guided by the thought of fighting smoking. Yes, you can quit smoking while using a vape, but this will require a targeted scheme or even a plan. There is a lot of controversy about what is actually more harmful: vaping or cigarettes.
Consider the advantages of this method of dealing with a bad habit.
- There is no need to buy a whole pack of cigarettes or smoke a cigarette completely. During periods of exacerbation of the need for nicotine, when giving up regular cigarettes, a couple of puffs of vape is enough for a smoker.
- Withdrawal from tobacco smoke. Using vape, a person weaned from the smell of tobaccoafter which it becomes unpleasant and, perhaps, the user will no longer return to smoking regular cigarettes.
- Purification of the body from the harmful components contained in tobacco products.
There are some disadvantages to such a non-standard method.
- It is impossible to adequately estimate the consumption of nicotine, because the vape can be smoked until it runs out of the mixture. An ordinary cigarette ends after 10 puffs, using a vape, you will at least have to count them.
- not excluded side effects from the substances contained in the smoking mixture of an electronic cigarette.
- Long-term smokers are not always able to completely switch to vaping, as a result, a person smokes both regular and electronic cigarettes, increasing daily nicotine intake.
- Vaping is not subject to smoking bans at work, at home, or anywhere else. In fact, nothing will prevent a person from smoking once again, although certain prohibitions have a deterrent effect.
What to choose
Comparing the harmfulness of vaping and cigarettes, the conclusions are not unambiguous. Evidence indicates that tobacco products are more harmful than the electronic version from a physical point of view. But vaping does not solve the key problem — it does not eradicate nicotine addiction, moreover, smoking electronic cigarettes can develop addiction.. Psychologically, vaping also carries a certain danger: its use blurs the clear line between a bad habit and conditionally safe entertainment.
Based on the above, it is easy to conclude: both types of cigarettes are unsafe. However, the content of harmful substances in the vape is significantly lower than in the smoke from ordinary tobacco. So, it is better to smoke an electronic pipe. In addition, you can minimize the negative impact of vaping by choosing a device from a trusted manufacturer and buying expensive and high-quality blends without dyes and flavors as a refill.