Whenever a new concept is introduced it is often met with skepticism or some even scoff at the idea. Many people wary of trying out new stuff for fear that it will affect their health. This also holds true for the smoking vs. vaping debate! Despite several studies indicating that vaping help smokers quit tobacco many proclaim that vaping is as dangerous as smoking, and can also be a gateway to smoking. However, contrary to this belief, there is evidence that this is not true.
Is Vaping Better Than Smoking Cigarettes?
We are all familiar with the vaping nicotine vs. smoking debate, where those who are anti-vaping argue against it. However, it is to be noted that whatever “dangers,” may come with vaping, you need to consider an important fact that vaping and cigarette smoking are not the same thing. In the case of vaping, there an absence of tar and a lot of other dangerous ingredients and chemicals in e-cigarettes! A new study funded by Cancer Research UK explored the effects of e-cigarettes looking at its long-term human body-level exposure. The study looked at five groups which included combustible cigarette users, former smokers on nicotine replacement therapy, former smokers who now smoke e-cigs, and current smokers smoking e-cigs and using NRT. It showed that e-cigarette and NRT-only users had significantly lower levels of carcinogens than the other types.
A gateway drug is known as one that can lead to the individual’s use of a more addictive/potent drug substance. As indicated earlier as well as in recent studies, it was noted that vaping did not increase smoking among youth. In fact, it was said to apparently resolve smoking issues in youth. The two public health researchers behind the study indicated that there is absolutely no evidence that vaping is a gateway to smoking. It is proved to actually draw smokers away from traditional smoking. This is not difficult to understand since for many smokers it is said that the hand-to-mouth action and the nicotine that causes them to continue their cigarette smoking. Both these things can be successfully replaced with vaping. Compared to smoking there are smaller concentrations of hazardous substances in vaping. Toxins inhaled through e-cigarettes are below threshold levels for exposure making them safer than smoking. Since vaping is relatively new, long term hazards on health are yet to be studied.
So does the idea of vaping is a gateway to smoking hold true?
According to the study led by Kozlowski and Warner, there is a claim that there is no link between vaping and traditional cigarette use among teenagers. The main point is to drive home the important fact that there is no real or scientific evidence of one leading to the other. Even if some of the study participants vaping did move to cigarette smoking in the future, there is no evidence that vaping actually led to this transition. In the UK, according to a report published by Public Health England, e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoking. It is also seen as a viable approach for those who wish to quit smoking.
The truth is that since vaping is relatively new, it is still debated and likely will continue for some time. A simple search on the internet on vaping or the health benefits and health risks of vaping will turn up numerous results which could range from claims that vaping is the worst thing for you to vaping is the best thing for you and everything in between. Remember however that whatever your research, it is important to look for actual facts to make a wise decision. You may determine for yourself that not only is vaping not a gateway to smoking, but it’s also actually a safe and healthy gateway away from smoking.