December 14, 2020 5 min read

Vaping is now a popular alternative to smoking. In fact, some vape shops have been situated in some NHS hospitals as a measure to completely eradicate smoking and prevent the health risks associated with it.

However, there are many misconceptions and a large percentage of the public believes that the use of vape products and e-cigarettes are as harmful as smoking.

But many research shows that vaping products are less harmful than cigarettes as they don’t involve combustion or contain tobacco.

Public Health England also states that vaping is 95 percent safer than smoking cigarettes. But a lot of countries have banned vaping and some proposed strict regulations.

More so, with the rise in popularity of vaping products to over 3.6 million today in the UK, a lot of questions are being raised on the safety, side-effects, and risk of vaping.

Well, you’ll learn the real truth about vaping in this article and how they are safer than smoking tobacco.

Side Effects and Risk of Vaping

There are many scary stories about vaping, but does vaping e-cigarette pose any risk or side effects, and do they help quit smoking?

Well, electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes as commonly called, are devices that mimic the action of smoking. In most cases, they offer nicotine, but without the toxic side effects of tobacco smoke. However, vaping products have been in the UK since 2007 and are becoming more popular by the day.

That said, the truth is that vaping is not without its side effects and risk. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 805 cases of lung diseases have been associated with vaping. This has made the CDC avoid vaping products, particularly those containing cannabis products.

According to the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), about 200 health problems in the UK, including heart disorders and pneumonia, have been linked to vaping.

However, the MHRA stated that it is reviewing the data gathered in 74 separate reports filed by public health professionals and the general public.

But the watchdog emphasized that the reports do not show the adverse effects are particularly caused by e-cigarettes, but a suspicion by users who report ailments that can be easily blamed on the device.

In 2017, medical experts made thorough research into the health effects of vaping to see if the law could address the gaps in current research. These MPs have gone on to note that “e-cigarettes are far less harmful than conventional cigarettes.”

More so the products have not had any history of long use, so there are strong uncertainties, especially about the long-term health effects of vaping.

The Public Health England (PHE) pointed out that most cases of vaping-related illnesses in the US were associated with the use of “illicit vaping fluid” containing cannabis products, which are commonly bought on the streets.

One PHE spokesperson stated that: “All e-cigarette products sold in the UK are strictly regulated for safety and quality by the MHRA, unlike the US.  More so, these products operate the Yellow Card Scheme, which allows vapers to give reports of any bad experience.

Based on this, the chief executive of anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking Health (ASH), Deborah Arnott, said “vapers in the UK should not go back to smoking based on the scary news report of vaping illness in the US.” She added, “Smokers should not stick to smoking instead of switching to vaping, which is a safer alternative.”

However, it is important to use only legal vapes bought from reputable UK-based suppliers and not source illicit products without any regulation.

So to wrap it up, there is limited evidence to suggest that vaping comes with any strong side effects and risk to health. The NHS stated that “the streams of evidence available shows only an extremely low level of risk or harm, compared to the many side effects and high risk with second-hand tobacco smoke.

In the US, however, Donald Trump is now considering banning all flavored e-cigarette products following many over 39 deaths and 2,000 cases of lung injury that has been linked with vaping-related illnesses. But in the real sense, the cause of these deaths has not been well-established.

Many people think the Vitamin E acetate, which is a constituent of some THC vaping liquids, is the cause of many illnesses after this compound was found in the lung fluid sample of patients.

But no vaping-related death has been confirmed in the UK and health professionals endorse e-cigarette products as an effective smoking-cessation tool.

Is Vaping Better than Smoking?

This is a question that almost everyone is asking, and the simple answer is “YES.”

Vaping involves the use of e-cigarettes or vapes to inhale nicotine in a vapor rather than taking in smoke. Vaping products do not produce carbon monoxide or burn tobacco; they just release water vapor.

Regular tobacco cigarettes contain thousands of harmful chemical substances, some of which are toxic, including cyanide and arsenic. However, e-cigarettes contain nicotine. This substance is harmless but can be addictive.

But comparing vaping to smoking, experts from different bodies, including Public Health England, Cancer, the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, Cancer Research UK, have concluded that vaping is far less harmful than conventional smoking.

One professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College, Ann McNeill, also said “vaping isn’t risk-free, but it shows minimal risk than smoking which cause nearly 100,000 cases of death in the UK every year.

Is Nicotine Dangerous?

Nicotine is not the main cause of smoking-related diseases, such as heart disease, lung cancer, and cancer. But like we said earlier, nicotine is addictive.

The lung cancer associated with smoking is often a result of direct exposure of the lungs to carcinogens in tobacco. Cardiovascular diseases linked with smoking are caused by the effect of smoke on the walls of the blood vessels. And the chronic pulmonary disease is as a result of irritation caused by smoke.

So you see, nicotine is not particularly harmful in e-cigarettes. Besides, many believe you can overdose on nicotine while vaping. The truth is that overdosing on nicotine products is almost impossible as long as they’re used as directed.

Final Remark

So if you’re a smoker who intends to quit smoking, vaping is a good alternative to try, but always ensure you buy your vaping products from a reputable source.

Also, if you are already a vaper, it is better not to relapse to smoking.

However, Professor John Newton, director at PHE, said, “If you don’t smoke, stay away from e-cigarettes. Vaping is not without risks. But if you are a smoker, it is better to switch completely to vaping for your health’s sake. The sooner you quit, the better the shape of your health.”

 According to the reports of Centers for Disease Control, the use of tobacco is the top cause of death in the United States. It kills up to 480,000 people yearly, and this means it causes one in five deaths.

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