The Vaping Vs Smoking Debate: Is It Really Safer?
According to Statistics NZ, between 2013 and 2018 the number of regular cigarette smokers aged 15 and older in New Zealand has dropped by over 13%. Government officials attribute much of this decrease to vaping and other smoking alternatives. Yet, despite this increase in the public’s preference for alternatives, some skeptics warn that the jury is still out [A1] regarding the true degree of safety of these alternatives.
Even a basic comparison between vaping and traditional tobacco cigarette smoking does, however, evidence that vaping is a healthier alternative. Vape juices contain far fewer chemicals and toxins when compared to cigarettes – which can comprise a combination of up to 7,000 different (toxic) chemicals. And unlike traditional cigarettes, vapes can offer consumers no- or low-nicotine options. These options are of particular value, since nicotine has a well-established link to increased adrenaline, blood pressure, and risk of heart attacks. Consumers can, have, and do, even make use of no-nicotine vapes to successfully wean themselves off of nicotine. On both addictiveness and the inclusion of carcinogenic ingredients, traditional cigarettes are clearly far worse than vaping alternatives.
But vape consumers must nevertheless practice caution, as vaping comes with its own risks. For one, research is scarce regarding what potentially negative effects the chemicals used in vape juices can have on a smoker’s health in the long term. Some vape juices also contain nicotine, which makes them comparable to traditional cigarettes in terms of addictiveness, and can lead to similar associated health risks. However, the most severe health issues related to short-term vaping have been linked to irresponsible use, including modifying vape juices or using black market juices that contain unregulated additives.
Until more conclusive research exists, consumers may very well be able to avoid, or at least lessen, the health risks associated with vaping by strictly buying their vape juices from reputable sources – companies such as Long White Vapour, with a long history of operation and products which adhere to FDA standards. Opting for no-nicotine vape juices and not modifying regulated juices can further lower risks. To date, vaping appears to be a far safer option to cigarettes, especially for responsible consumers.