There is much controversy concerning this topic, and despite the popular rhetoric, there is more research into the possible harm reduction of vaping e juice than certain organizations would have you believe.
What are the differences between Electronic and Traditional Cigarettes?
Choice between cigarette and e-cigaretteBoth deliver nicotine via inhalation (though many manufacturers also provide no-nicotine “e juice”). One major difference is that electronic cigarettes utilize vapor as a medium whereas traditional cigarettes (TCs) use combusted tobacco. Right off the bat, we see a possible benefit over TCs in that inhaling of any combusted plant mater at all (wood-fire for example) has explicit health hazards written all over it. Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, in her Washington Times article, seems fairly convinced that the inhalation of the vapor produced by E Cigs must be at least less carcinogenic than the smoke associated with TCs.
Maybe the biggest difference is how many more additives are put into cigarettes. Over 500, creating over 4000 chemicals when burned. 69 of those are known to be carcinogens. Here is a fun list of all the hard-to-pronounce things in your traditional cigarette. The best e juice vendors typically resort to about 5-10.
Is Vaping Safe?
There has been a huge outcry over the potential health hazards regarding vaping, with much of the hype being over exaggerated and many times misleading. The FDA, for example, did one study in 2009 that has been consistently accused of shoddy science, that found carcinogens in e cigs. But…at the same levels found in many foods that we all eat every day. That is not how they framed their findings though.
This study however, claims that the tobacco-specific nitrosamines (or TSNAs [a group of carcinogenic constituents of cigarettes]) were at levels between .07% and .2% of traditional cigarettes. The article goes on to say “Other than TSNAs and DEG, few, if any, chemicals at levels detected in electronic cigarettes raise serious health concerns.”
Many Doctors have come forth to state but that they are very likely to be a safer alternative than conventional smoking. Just take a look at this Forbes article by Dr Gilbert Ross.
To be honest, a lot more research needs to be done on the safety of vaping. One of the main things we are in the dark about is the method of nicotine inoculation as well as the effects of long term inhalation of propylene glycol. That being said, a lot of the current evidence is supporting the notion that they might at the very least be a safer alternative to smoking real cigarettes. Take a quick scower of a forum online and you’ll be flooded with anecdotal evidence of peoples quitting success stories.
Here Are Some More Resources for Your Research:
Peering through the Mist, Dept. of Environmental and Occupational Health
CASSA Website – These guys have a plethora of info on tobacco-related Harm Reduction and links to many studies.
A very helpful UK study.
A Study that indicates air quality is not affected by e-cigs
Washington Times Article, Dr. Elizabeth Whelan
Forbes Article, Dr. Gilbert Ross Don’t Discourage Vaping, Mat Ridley
I first want to state that I am in no way qualified to make any statements about safety or cessation claims regarding if vaping is safe. This article in no way represents the views or claims made by any company reviewed or advertised on this website. Ohms and Brass is not responsible for how you use this information.
And a clarification (if it was not already obvious): we are not stating that electronic cigarettes are safe, or healthy. What we are saying is that the current research has not indicated that they are any worse than traditional cigarettes, and that they may possibly be a viable alternative for harm reduction.
Posts by Rob