Is Vaping Safer Than Traditional Smoking?

More studies and research will appear in the years to come to substantiate the claims regarding the benefits of e-cigarettes, but for now, we can go with the current studies, read widely and with an open mind as there is proof that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative than traditional cigarettes.
10/20/2015 09:35 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2016

Remember those big bulky vaporizers that your parents stuck in your room to increase some of the moisture in the air and help you breathe better? Now we have small compact vaporizers in the form of e-cigarettes that travel in your pocket. Research hasn't caught up with the effects of e-cigarettes, but we do know they are quickly growing in popularity. This article will debunk some of the myths surrounding the vaping industry and answer the question: Is vaping safer than smoking?

"Vaping" is an all-inclusive term that relates to inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette. But what's in this electronic cigarette, and how is it different from the traditional one?

To Vapor or Not to Vapor

Vaping is becoming a trendy approach to traditional smoking, no question. They even look like the real thing -- lit cigarette, butt and all. But the main difference is that there's liquid nicotine in them that gets vaporized by a heating element once you turn the e-cigarette on.

The Main Difference: No Tobacco

So far, evidence suggests that e-cigarettes may be safer than regular cigarettes but there hasn't been formal studies about them. A review recently published by Public Health England found that electronic cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful than conventional cigarettes. That's mainly due to the fact that most of the chemicals that cause smoking-related diseases are not found in the electronic version.

The greatest health risk by far from tobacco is the smoke, and e-cigarettes are battery operated. Tobacco typically affects the function of the heart and arteries. Second-hand smoke does not pose a public health risk like tobacco. Tests have shown that the levels of dangerous chemicals e-cigarettes give off are much less than what you'd get from a real cigarette.

Nicotine does travel through an e-liquid also known as e-juice that comes in an array of flavors. When the user inhales the nicotine, he also inhales the odorless vapor. However, some e-cigarettes don't have nicotine, so essentially, you are inhaling odorless, tasteless, flavorless vapor.

Benefits for Smokers

E-cigarettes could help people quit, just like nicotine gum or patch. Although there's no solid evidence, e-cigarettes may be effective. In fact, Public Health England is now promoting the use of e-cigarettes to help smokers quit. One study from New Zealand showed that against the nicotine patch, e-cigarettes are 50 percent more effective for those looking to quit smoking.

E-cigarettes are growing in popularity and research hasn't caught up. Contrary to the many myths surrounding the vaping industry, it is widely publicized that vaping can be a much better, healthier experience though we do need further evidence to help substantiate the claims.

More studies and research will appear in the years to come to substantiate the claims regarding the benefits of e-cigarettes, but for now, we can go with the current studies, read widely and with an open mind as there is proof that e-cigarettes are a safer alternative than traditional cigarettes.