Since their introduction nearly a decade ago, e cigarettes have been a highly controversial issue. While e-liquids obviously don’t contain tar, or many of the toxic chemicals found in conventional cigarettes, health professionals and much of the public have remained skeptical of them as a safe alternative to smoking. According to a new congressionally mandated report by the National Academy of Sciences, however, vaping enthusiasts are on to something.
While it’s difficult to categorically declare e-cigs as having no health effects under any circumstances, years of scientific studies are slowly vindicating vapers. In the US alone, traditional smoking is linked to 480,000 deaths every year. Vaping, on the other hand, doesn’t appear to have any clear and conclusive health effects, much less lethal ones.
The National Academy of Sciences study found no evidence that vaping affects respiratory health adversely and makes no claims on the issue. This comes after other studies have suggested that that people with asthma may experience more episodes as a result of vaping. Considering that vaping naturally involves inhaling particulate matter, this is an issue that merits further study, though it clearly doesn’t affect healthy users.
What this study does show is a distinct lack of any causative relationship with any respiratory diseases. Traditional smoking damages the lungs, reducing lung function and eventually leading to emphysema. Vaping, on the other hand, does not impede normal respiratory functions, or cause damage. As a result, vapers enjoy a much higher quality of life than traditional smokers.
Does vaping cause cancer?
Traditional smoking introduces a wide range of carcinogenic and otherwise destructive substances into the lungs, most notably tar. These causes oral and lung cancer and can increase the risk of other cancers as well.
Vapor does contain a number of chemical as well, though not in the number or quantities found in cigarette smoke. So far, this hasn’t been linked to any cancers. At the least, vapor is demonstrably cleaner than traditional smoke. While alarmists have pointed out that vaping still delivers nicotine to the lungs to be absorbed, it’s relevant to point out that nicotine is, while addictive, not a carcinogen.
What to vapers should watch out for
Vaping itself has not been shown to cause any illnesses so far. As with anything we put in our bodies, though, vapers should still be mindful of what they vape. With thousands of different flavors available, it’s unlikely that scientific studies will be done any time soon on what effects different flavor chemicals may have when inhaled. Because of this, it’s important to be discerning about what e-juices you vape and choose brands that you trust.
In summary, with every new study released, vaping is increasingly confirmed as a superior alternative to smoking. Vaping provides all the satisfaction that smokers crave without claiming their health as a price. This makes it especially valuable to current smokers who have failed to quit in the past, by giving them an alternative that provides improved health outcomes even if nicotine consumption isn’t halted.
Ashley Wilson is an avid vaper and writes on the topic extensively. She works with Smoking Things a top of the line online vape shop, to bring safer nicotine consumption to the world.