Often marketed as being the ‘safe’ alternative to smoking, e-cigarettes are rarely out of the news these days, whether it is people talking about the health benefits of using them, or a new study about how they can affect your health.
The truth is that because vapes are still such a young technology, only having been around for about a decade, there are few studies on their long-term effects on the body. However, studies are pointing to the fact that vaping is far better for you than traditional cigarette smoking.
What do we know?
Whether you are pulling combusted smoke or vapour into your lungs, there are still going to be health implications that come along with it.
Vapes still contains nicotine however, unlike cigarettes, which use combustion to release it, vaping has no combustion and therefore has none of the related side effects. Traditional tobacco smoke is made up of thousands of chemicals including many that are known to cause cancer, whereas vapes have only 4 ingredients – water, vegetable glycerine or propylene glycol, nicotine and flavouring.
Smoke also creates tar in your body, which blackens teeth, destroys taste buds and has cancer causing effects. This is where vaping comes in – theoretically you get all the effects of the nicotine without the damage to the body from smoke inhalation.
So, is vaping healthier than smoking?
The long-term effects of vaping are still largely unknown; however any doctor will tell you that inhaling any kind of chemical on a regular basis is a bad idea. Nonetheless, everyone from doctors to the NHS recommend vaping as a far, far safer alternative to smoking. Indeed, vaping is considered a good way to assist smokers in giving up altogether by first replacing their daily smoking habit with vaping.
Vapes still have some dangers though, with side effects including increased heart rate and blood pressure, risk of lung disease and chronic bronchitis, as well as a higher risk than non-smokers of developing a host of cancers and heart diseases.
One danger that is becoming more apparent is that e-cigarettes pollute the air with nicotine and ultra-fine particles that are known to affect pulmonary health, with one study showing that the vapour produced lead, nickel, and other toxic metals.
What kinds of vape are there
If vaping is something you are considering as a healthier alternative to smoking, then you will need to choose what kind of vape to use. The most common types of vape you will find are:
- E-cigarettes – designed to look similar to regular cigarettes, they have replaceable cartridges that contain e-liquid.
- Pen vaporisers – resembling a pen, they have two main parts; an atomiser and a battery.
- Box vapes – for the advanced users, these give you the ability to increase or decrease the power sent to your atomiser.
Some of the trusted brands on the market are Aspire, Innokin, Juul, and Kanger.
Should you vape?
At the end of the day, vaping isn’t nearly as bad as smoking so if you’re looking to reduce your smoking habit or stop altogether, then go for the vape.