Facts and Myths about Vaping
Vaping has become extremely popular in recent years. Global statistics show that the number of smokers using vape products has increased significantly – from approximately 7 million in 2011 to 41 million in 2018. Given vaping’s rapid rise, several misconceptions have inadvertently materialized in the process. In this article, we’ve put together 5 facts and 5 myths about vaping to help clear the air.
Fact 1: Vaping is healthier than tobacco for long-term smokers
Whilst vaping is not considered to be healthy, it is less harmful than smoking tobacco. In fact, Public Health England maintains that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. They also produced a video that displays the effects of 1 month of vaping vs 1 month of smoking to support this declaration.
Despite this, it should be noted that these statistics primarily work to the advantage of people who are already long-term smokers. Nicotine is indeed highly addictive but it doesn’t cause significant health risks to those without heart conditions. That being so, if you do not already smoke, keep it that way. Don’t feel encouraged to start vaping.
Fact 2: Vaping is addictive but less so than smoking cigarettes
Many e-cigarettes contain nicotine. While they’re a healthier alternative to smoking tobacco, they can still be addictive to users. The key point to note, however, is that studies have found vaping to be far less addictive than smoking traditional cigarettes.
Even so, vaping can cause similar cravings to those experienced when smoking tobacco. In addition to smokers craving the nicotine in regular cigarettes (on top of more than 4,000 other chemicals) they are also victims of habitual routine. The hand-to-mouth action in conjunction with inhalation, exhalation, and that satisfactory hit to the throat all play roles of varying degrees when it comes to addiction. Because of that, vaping in moderation should be the goal.
Fact 3: Vaping can help you quit smoking
Vaping has become one of the go-to aids for people trying to quit smoking. When used together with other smoking cessation methods especially, it can be particularly effective. Approximately 50,000 people in England reportedly quit smoking in 2017 as a result of using vaping products.
One of the reasons is that vaping helps you manage nicotine cravings. It is much easier to administer the right strength of nicotine in e-liquids, which means you can wean yourself off the addictive chemical over time.
Fact 4: Vaping products are for adults only
Although vape liquid comes in a variety of fruity flavours, vaping products should not be used by minors. Only those over the age of 18 are permitted to purchase and consume vape related products in the UK. This includes both e-cigarettes and e-liquids. This legislation came into effect in October 2015.
Fact 5: Vaping products are heavily regulated
Worldwide regulation of vaping products is constantly evolving. Now that more research has been conducted into vaping, improved regulation has made it much safer.
In the UK alone, there is strict guidance on vaping products. E-liquids are heavily regulated to avoid poisoning users with harmful chemicals. Furthermore, e-cigarette manufacturers must comply with rigid safety standards. All products are required to go through MHRA (Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) approval before going on the market.
Myth 1: Vaping causes “Popcorn Lung”
One of the myths that have made the rounds in the public domain is that vaping causes popcorn lung. It first came about when e-liquids with a buttery flavour were discovered to contain Diacetyl in their ingredients. Diacetyl is now a banned ingredient in the UK due to its health risks and can no longer be found in any licensed vape products. Of note, there were no reported cases of popcorn lung (Obliterative Bronchiolitis) related to vaping. So rest assured this will certainly not happen to you.
Myth 2: Vape batteries will explode on you
While the overarching point is plausible it has become so drastically exaggerated that we’ve felt the need to address it as a common myth. It is entirely true that there have been reported cases of exploding vape batteries in the news. With that said, it’s extremely rare and more often than not caused by human error of some kind.
As with any battery-powered product, you should always educate yourself on the safety procedures and how to use it correctly. All reputable vaping retailers will provide information on battery safety. For starters:
∙ Only use the original charger they come with.
∙ Refrain from leaving e-cigarettes to charge overnight.
∙ Do not try to use them while charging.
∙ Never modify the products in away, shape or form.
Myth 3: E-liquid flavours are for children (under 18s)
You’ve probably heard the argument that e-liquid flavours are designed to attract an underage demographic. Yes, flavours such as cola or blue raspberry are reminiscent of childhood confectionery, but adults enjoy sweet things too. The variety of flavours available is refreshing for those who are long-term smokers and it often helps them to get over their reliance on tobacco altogether.
Myth 4: Vaping causes non-smokers to start smoking
Research shows that as little as 0.8% of the total vaping population never smoked prior to their use of e-cigarettes. That’s a very small minority. E-cigarettes have only ever been marketed as a tool to combat smoking addiction. They are not intended to attract non-smoking consumers.
While some – especially among the younger generation – might perceive vaping as “cool”, this doesn’t come close to qualifying as credible evidence that vaping causes non-smokers to start smoking.
Myth 5: Passive vaping is still a huge health risk
Passive tobacco smoking is a huge health hazard. For that reason, the UK government prohibited tobacco smoking in enclosed public spaces in 2007. The same laws do not apply to the use of vaping products, however. There has been no significant research into passive vaping, but the studies at the moment indicate it is not likely to pose health risks.
Nevertheless, establishments are encouraged by Public Health England to make their own decisions on banning vaping in shared spaces. This is largely due to those with respiratory problems. Some people may show extra sensitivity to environmental irritants, including the chemicals found within e-cigarette vapour.
Do your own research
Many false statements surrounding the topic of vaping are made publicly. Despite this, continual research has provided us with a better picture of the facts. Vaping isn’t the perfect solution, but it has been deemed safer than smoking tobacco by the likes of Public Health England and other prominent health organisations.
Additionally, UK regulations ensure that vaping products comply with safety standards and prohibit sale to people under the age of 18. If you’re ever unsure about any vaping-related information, conduct your own research from credible sources. Don’t fall for the abundance of misinformation that is out there.
Be very careful where you buy your vaping products. Make sure you buy high quality e-liquids from reputable suppliers who can guarantee the quality and content of their ingredients.