The safety and viability of using electronic cigarettes is up for debate right now. This has made a lot of confusion with regard to how e-cigs or vapes work. Therefore, it is important to filter all the information about this product, and hopefully help you truly grasp what these devices can do for your health. Learn more about vapes with these 3 truths about e-cigs that you need to know.
Vaping is a good alternative
While the health concerns surrounding vaping, or the act of using e-cigarettes or vapes, are still up for debate, one thing is for sure – it helps smokers quit cigarettes and tobacco use. The bigger question is how it actually helps. To know this, you should first know how e-cigarettes work.
Technically termed as vaporizer, the vape is made as a device that electronically delivers vapor to a user through inhalation. It is made up of three main components, namely, a tank, an atomizer, and the battery.
The tank is where you put the e-juice or e-liquid. This is the part where the mouthpiece is also located, where you inhale the vapor out.
The atomizer is responsible for heating up the e-juice so that the vapor is produced. It is powered by the battery attached by electronic circuitry inside the vape. Right now, a variety of vaporizers exists in the market. Concentrate vaporizers allow you to use concentrates or e-juice to produce vapor, and dry herb vaporizers offer an excellent way to keep it traditional with a more authentic experience while still racking up the benefits of smokeless vapor.
Now that you understand how vapes work, how it really helps smokers is the more important query. The big element that makes vapes stand out is the e-juice. E-juice, or e-liquid or vape juice, is the flavored liquid put into the vaporizer’s tank that gets heated and turns to vapor which is then inhaled by the user.
E-liquid comes in a wide variety of flavors to match every taste, from traditional tobacco to sweet desserts and custom blended flavors. The e-liquid can also contain nicotine, and most vape juices offer a wide range of nicotine levels to allow people switching from smoking to maintain, reduce, or totally eliminate their usual nicotine intake.
It is known that one of the initial steps for quitting tobacco use is reduction. The American Cancer Society notes this as one of the important phases in quitting smoking. Indeed, quitting tobacco use is a gradual process that takes time. This is where vapes make their biggest contributions.
You are now aware that e-juice may or may not contain nicotine, which is the chemical found in tobacco that makes it addictive. Reducing intake of nicotine through e-cigarettes is a logical approach because the nicotine levels in vape juice can be modified according to the desired or prescribed level.
Vapor is less dangerous
As mentioned above, it is important for you to understand the fact that vapor is less harmful to your body compared to cigarette smoke in the long run. To back up this claim, it is important to discuss a few statistics that look at the big picture in the smoking versus vaping debate.
At the end of the day, one of the challenges with smoking is the ingestion of nicotine. As any smoker can tell you, nicotine is a remarkably addictive drug. Only about 7 percent of people who try to quit smoking on their own last at least one year.
Nicotine is one of the most heavily used addictive drugs in the U.S., and the leading preventable cause of disease, disability, and death. Cigarette smoking accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer cases in the U.S., and about 38,000 deaths per year can be attributed to secondhand smoke. Most cigarettes in the U.S. market today contain 10 milligrams (mg) or more of nicotine. The average smoker takes in 1 to 2 mg nicotine per cigarette when inhaling.
Take note of the numbers and how they compare to vapor. Remember that e-juice allows you to choose the nicotine levels you want. Choosing an e-liquid that matches your current nicotine level requirement is essential for your initial switch. Start at the amount that matches your current tobacco product, and then just reduce the level gradually over time, as it feels right for you.
With the right reasoning, you can say that vapor is indeed safer. If proper logic isn’t enough for public health officials to understand this, a study published in “Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology” has revealed what exactly is hiding in e-cig vapor compared to the contents of cigarette smoke.
The researchers specifically looked for eogjt toxins in this study: carbon monoxide, carbonyls, phenolics, volatiles, metals, tobacco-specific nitrosamines, polyaromatic amines, and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. It was no surprise that tobacco cigarette smoke was full of poisonous chemicals. However, researchers were shocked to see that the toxins in e-cigarette vapor were quite similar to the normal toxins found in regular room air. In fact, there was no major increase in toxins between normal air and e-cig vapor.
Instead of deadly toxins, the e-cig vapor only contained propylene glycol, water, and small traces of flavoring and nicotine additives. In order to register any degree of toxicity, the scientists had to use 99 puffs from an e-cig to get even the tiniest measurement of 0.18 milligrams of HPHC’s. To put that in perspective, a single puff of a Marlboro Gold cigarette measured 30.6 milligrams. In a puff-to-puff comparison, the cigarettes had 2000 times more toxins than the e-cigs.
Second-hand vapor is safer too
As second-hand smoke is an issue to cigarette smoking, public officials showed the same speculation and reluctance to secondhand vapor. However, as much as many cigarette companies and public health administrators would want to subject vapor to condemnation, many researchers have found out the exact opposite of their claim.
Various researches have provided enlightenment regarding the potential effects of secondhand vapor. Although it would not be safe to have people as lab rats, there are many attempts to discover the long-term effects of vapor compared with what second-hand smoke does to your body. The overwhelming consensus is that the long-term effects of secondhand vapor are not only safer versus the latter, but some believe that it is even, and some claim effects are non-existent.
A January 2014 study, published in BMC Central has confirmed these beliefs when examining the idea of second-hand exposure in the workplace and beyond. In their findings, they share that there is no evidence of potential harm when exposed to e-cigarette users that would warrant attention. In fact, they predicted that secondhand exposures would be less than 1 percent of the threshold limit value that is placed on workplace air quality. While this study sees little harm in vapor, the researchers still advise that more research should be done on first-hand exposure. The researchers conclude by reaffirming the safety of second-hand vapor emission.
Later in 2014, another study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health looked at the phenolic and carbonyl compounds that are found in e-cigarette vapor. Both of these chemical compounds can cause health problems in users who are overexposed to them. However, they do not seem to be a concern for second-hand exposure, finding that, “exhaled e-cigarette aerosol does not increase bystander exposure for phenolics and carbonyls above the levels observed in exhaled breaths of air.”