Is Vaping Bad for You as Smoking?
Vaping vs Smoking
Every discussion about the health risks of vaping should start with a comparison with smoking. But vape aims to be a harm-reducing alternative to cigarettes. It is important to weigh vaping and smoking, because the vast majority of vaping users are smokers or former smokers.
Is vaping bad for your lungs?
As we all know, smoking can cause damage to lungs. Long-term inhalation of burning tobacco can cause lung cancer and esophageal cancer, as well as various fatal lung diseases such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis and COPD. Cigarette smoke attacks the lungs in many ways. It contains thousands of chemical substances, more than 70 of which are known carcinogens. It also contains particulate matter-fine burned tobacco, tobacco residues and paper-these particulate matter can stay deep in the lungs, buried in the tissues and may cause cancer and COPD.
So how about vaping? Vaping does not produce known carcinogens large enough to be considered a real risk, and it does not contain solid particles such as smoke. In fact, the most dangerous thing when burning tobacco is largely absent from vaping. Since vaping do not burn, there is no tar or carbon monoxide, the two main dangers of smoking. Vape uses heat from a metal coil to turn e-liquid into an inhalable aerosol. It looks like smoke, but it is not actually. In other words, vaping are not without some potential risks to lung health.
Is vaping bad for your oral health?
Smoking may cause various oral health problems, we all know that. Also, smokers have a high risk of oral cancer, throat cancer, and esophageal cancer. And it can cause dental and periodontal disease as well. Cigarette smoke changes the bacterial ecology (microbiome) in the oral cavity, making the existing periodontal problems worse. However, there isn’t much information available about medical side effects of vaping on oral health.
A recent literature review has a few interesting findings. The author describes a small study that suggests that vaping may increase the prevalence of nicotine stomatitis (strangely, this has nothing to do with nicotine), a disease caused by heat that can be produced in the mouth lesions. This is a secondary condition and usually resolves itself after eliminating the heat source (usually the pipe).
There is also an issue of exploding vapes causing damage to the mouths of vapers. Although it is true that a very small number of vape users have suffered serious facial and oral lacerations and catastrophic accidents of broken teeth, this is more like a vape battery safety issue. With modern supervision equipment and high-quality batteries, the atomizer has almost no chance to enter the user's teeth.
Can vaping cause cancer?
Most people know that smoking is the cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer kills more Americans than any other type of cancer, and most (but not all) lung cancer patients are smokers or former smokers. Smoking can also cause many other types of cancer, because cancer can not only be formed by direct contact with smoke particles, but also by by-products of smoke in the blood and organs. According to the CDC, smoking can cause cancer in almost any part of the body.
Carcinogens have been found in vape, but their levels indicate that the risk of cancer is very low. According to a 2017 study in Tobacco Control, the cancer risk of vaping is comparable to that of drugs such as nicotine gum or patches-less than 1% of the cancer risk of smoking. According to this study, the only by-product of vaping that poses a real risk is the carbonyl compounds produced by the overheating of vape devices (as described in the formaldehyde section below).
Smoking kills, but what about vaping?
Cigarettes cause serious damage to human body, hurting users almost from head to toe. The harm has been proven beyond doubt. But there is very little evidence that vape have similar effects on health or any health problems, unless you count nicotine dependence. But nicotine is not directly responsible for any terrible harm of smoking.
The findings of the Department of Public Health's investigation are unambiguous: the respected British agency stated that vaping are at least 95% safer than smoking. PHE researchers understand that studying the hazards of vaping alone is only half of the topic, because vape mainly exist as a substitute for smoking. The potential risks of vaping are very low and must be compared with the proven risks of smoking.
In summary, compared with smoking, vaping pose a much lower risk to users.