- Smoking is one of the leading causes of ill health.
- Every year, approximately 6 million people die due to smoking related illnesses.
According to University of Bristol’s professor of psychology Marcus Munafo, one way that a smoker can reduce his/her vulnerability to smoking-related illnesses such as artery cell damage is by vaping rather than using the traditional cigarettes. Vaping is a better alternative to tobacco smokers since there is no consumption of harmful chemicals.
Many great efforts have been taken to reduce the rate of tobacco smokers and even prevent young people from forming the habit of smoking. Such measures include the restriction of tobacco advertising, high taxes on cigarettes as well as banning of smoking in public places. However, these efforts have bore little fruits. Many young people continue to take up smoking and smoking still remains as one of the major concerns in our society. In addition, smoking still remains the single most prolific cause of ill health and premature death. In poor countries, there is little effort to stop smoking. Tobacco control policies also tend to be weaker in such countries. With this in mind, the question is, should we embrace the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes?
E-vapour has much fewer chemicals than tobacco, this implies that vaping via vape pen is less likely to be harmful to your health than smoking.
Vaping is done by use of a vape pen which delivers a nicotine hit by heating a nicotine-containing liquid to create an aerosol (vapor) which is then inhaled. In other words, the vape pen delivers nicotine just as effectively as the traditional cigarette but without most of the chemicals present in tobacco.
The new wave of vaping culture
A new wave of vaping culture has emerged. Numerous vaping gadgets have been developed and a variety of e-liquids as well. This has intensified the battle for supremacy in the vaping industry. In recent years, vaping enthusiasts have modified even their best vape pens and engaged in “cloud chasing” trying to outdo each other in terms of whose device produces the largest and most interesting cloud of vapor. Young people have begun experimenting with e-cigarettes (in pretty much the same way that they have experimented with everything), but there is no indication as to whether this has increased cigarette use or whether it is likely to lead to long-term e-cigarette use. The rapid growth of vaping, especially among young people who are trying to quit or cut down on smoking, has taken the tobacco industry and the public health community by storm. Both are busy trying to catch up. Health professionals are carrying out research and trying to come up with evidence-based guidelines and policy recommendations. In order to remain in business, the tobacco industry is buying e-cigarette firms while introducing its own products into the market.
Should we be concerned?
To what extent should we be concerned about this new and game changing technology? Should the use of e-cigarette be encouraged among present smokers to help them quit tobacco smoking, even if this implies that they will still continue using nicotine?
However, one problem that still facing this new wave of vaping is the limited information about the short and long-term effects of using e-cigarettes. This may not happen anytime soon because even the health effects of tobacco usually take a long time to emerge.
E-cigarettes have less Chemicals
Benjamin Franklin once said that only death and taxes are certain and this is quite true. It is difficult to find something that does not carry with it the element of risk. However, since the number of chemicals for e-cigarettes is less as compared to the traditional cigarette, is safe to say that e-cigarettes are less harmful to your health. In a recent research on the effects of e-cigarettes, it was investigated how the arteries of the heart (coronary artery endothelial cells) reacted when they were exposed to traditional cigarettes as compared to e-cigarettes. The results showed that there was clear stress response from the traditional cigarette smoke, but none from the e-cigarette. This implies that by switching to e-cigarettes, cigarette smokers could greatly reduce tobacco-related illnesses.
Many people have become addicted to caffeine, but no one is really pushing for coffee shops to be closed or regulated. Nicotine might be addictive on its own but its effects are greatly enhanced when it is in tobacco, therefore it is less addictive than tobacco. Vapers don’t take too many doses of nicotine and thus are less likely to experience cigarette-related health problems. In addition, as they continue to vape, many vapers eventually switch to nicotine free e-liquids.
Many companies have emerged whose primary business is the production of the best vape pens and other vaping products. Rather than regulating or restricting such companies, we should embrace them and give them an opportunity to thrive. Because let’s face it, vaping is the future of cigarette smoking not just because it entails the use of technology but also because it reduces the health risks faced by cigarette smokers.
Although we might end up having a large population of addicted nicotine users who use e-cigarettes as the preferred mode of delivery rather than traditional cigarettes, this group will likely be entirely composed of ex-smokers. This would be a good thing. We must, therefore, take great care to ensure that we do not restrict the use of e-cigarettes, or exaggerate the negative health effects if this means derailing the transition from smoking to vaping. Derailing such transition would be a great injustice since it would deny us the best opportunity to improve public health that has been available in the last 50 years.