Vapes vs Cigarettes
In the past few years vapes and e-cigarettes have been increasing in popularity as a substitute to smoking. There are many different versions of vapes and e-cigarettes available, making them easily accessible and a favourite not just among those trying to quit smoking but among those who are taking up a vaping habit. There are an estimated 4.3 million people who are using e-cigarettes in the UK but how safe are vapes and do they have any lasting effects on our health?
It is without doubt that vaping is safer for you than smoking - some of the benefits of vaping over smoking…
- They do not produce tar or carbon monoxide – the two most harmful substances in cigarettes
- The second-hand smoke produced is almost completely harmless to those around you
- Vapes and e-cigarettes are significantly cheaper than cigarettes
- They are an effective way to help you quit smoking for good
- The vapour doesn’t linger like cigarette smoke on your clothes and furniture
However, as with most things, there are some definite negatives to vaping that should be considered:
While it’s common knowledge that smoking causes bad breath and a significant amount of damage to your teeth and mouth, it’s a little less common to know that vapes have a similar affect. The chemicals in the vapour that is being inhaled can cause a build-up of bacteria that can cause gum disease, tooth decay and oral infections. Even with all the fruity flavours available a side effect of vaping is also bad breath!
By using an e-cigarette or vape you are eliminating the inhalation of the very harmful carbon monoxide that is produced when tobacco is burnt. However, you are still consuming nicotine. Nicotine is the highly addictive drug that is produced when burning tobacco and is what makes smoking so addictive and therefore, vaping. Nicotine as a substance is relatively harmless however the addiction that it causes will mean you still crave smoking your vape and will still be consuming the other potentially harmful chemicals in the vapour.
While there are lots of vapes that are rechargeable and refillable there has been increased popularity in disposable vapes in recent years. There is currently no easy way to recycle disposable vapes, they must be taken to recycling points due to the batteries within them which rarely happens. Meaning that more and more of these vapes are being thrown in the bin and the material they are made from is being wasted.
Long term effects
As e-cigarettes are still relatively new there is still a lot of research being done around the long-term effects they have on your body. While they are less harmful than cigarettes there is evidence that vaping does have adverse effects on your lungs and respiratory system. Due to the lack of evidence and research in this area, it is difficult to know exactly what vaping does to your body and how this may affect you in the long term.
Overall it is true that vapes and e-cigarettes are much less harmful than cigarettes however they are not without risk. In an ideal world quitting smoking AND vaping would be best, however we understand that this isn’t always possible and vaping has made quitting smoking cigarettes manageable for millions of people. Our main tip to you would be to really do your research when finding the quitting method that is right for you. Find the vape that has the right nicotine percentage that you require to curb your craving for cigarettes. Equally, there are many other ways you can quit smoking with nicotine replacement therapy that doesn’t require vaping. If you want to speak to a GP about quitting smoking, then our doctors would be happy to talk you through options available to you.