Few people have heard of Hon Lik, which is a pity because he’s probably saved more lives already than anybody else. Almost seventeen years ago, he invented vaping for one reason: To solve a social problem, because his experience with quitting is suffering.
And while vaping in recent years has been driving smoking out at an extraordinary rate, promising to achieve what decades of public health measures have largely failed to do. One question remains: Are e-cigs safe?
Are E-Cigs/Vaping really better than Smoking?
A lot of people are aware of how tobacco products and secondhand smoking is harmful to our health. It has long been proven that smoking can lead to brain damage, lung cancer, heart problems, and at times death. Due to the changing times, more & more people have started to be health conscious and with the growing need for an aid to quit came in the form of e-cigs/vape pens.
And due to its growing popularity especially with teenagers and the younger generation, there is now a need to answer these questions. Are e-cigarettes really as safe? Are e-cigs bad for you? Are e-cigs/vape pens better than smoking? Can e-cigs really help you quit smoking?
Afterall quitting smoking only helps if we can truly prove that vaping has lesser harmful effects than its predecessor. Isn’t it?
Breaking down E-cigs/Vapes
E-cigs contain nicotine that can be inhaled, it works simply by heating a liquid cartridge containing nicotine and juice that’s usually flavoured that is then turned into vapor using its unique heat not burn technology. And because it heats liquid instead of burning tobacco, it does not release any harmful smoke. The “smoke” it releases does not contain any tar or ash.
This unique technology in e-cigs/vapes allow users to feel what smokers feel when they use cigarettes minus the toxic by-products that tobacco products contain.
In some reviews published in peer medical journals, some studies suggest that e-cigs may even increase the chance of long-term quitting. It said to act as a placebo device which is far better than a nicotine patch.
Other reputable experts like Public Health England released a direct answer to the question: Are e-cigarettes safe in their 2015 independent report. They stated that e-cigs are 95% safer compared to smoked tobacco. The same agency confirmed that the nicotine release by e-cigs is at a safe level. One highlight that attributes to this is the fact that e-cig/vape smokers are not exposed to harmful chemicals such as aldehydes.
Another interesting reason why e-cigs/vape companies claim that their products are safer is the fact that they do not add harmful chemicals that are usually found in tobacco products like formaldehyde that is known to directly cause breast cancer, heart disease, lung cancer, and emphysema with prolonged use.
E-cigs/Vapes are usually marketed by vape brands as tobacco-free, benzene, and carcinogen-free.
How can we be sure of the claims?
As with anything that we take in. It is always a good idea to consult with actual experts. One very good division who does this for us is the Food and Drug Administration. They are known to be the responsible ones for rejecting or approving any product that we take in, like e-cigarette/vape products after thorough tests/experiments.
Since the FDA are the ones tasked to test if the e-cigarette/vape brand has passed the quality standards of the Food and Drug Administration, it is always a rule of thumb to always carefully check if the brand you are getting has the seal of approval from FDA. This would mean it has undergone strict quality testing procedures to ensure that their products contain safe levels of nicotine and chemicals for human consumption.
But then again , it is also the responsibility of the consumer to research and select e-cigs/vapes that make use of real natural ingredients and select the ones that have a good consumer review.
Consumers need to avoid fraudulent e-cigarette/vape companies who do not have proper documentation to avoid getting hold of problematic e-cigarette products. The key answer is knowing more about the product you purchase, its proper use and of course following the guided instructions on how you actually consume it.
So what now?
Whether or not e-cigs/vapes are proven to be safe or not, it is best to live a well-balanced life. E-cigarettes have a really good track-record of their positive effects, but to avoid creating risks when using vape products, they should be taken with care and moderation. There must also be strict quality checking when it comes to choosing the product for you.
It is also quite good to note that in recent years, governments and non-profit organizations are steadily campaigning to make sure that e-cigs/vapes are safe. Back in 2017, the European government created laws that ensure the creation of safe and high-quality e-cigarettes/vapes even before they can be launched in the market.
Vape companies are also providing more information about their products. This is believed to be done in support of the wider adoption of high-quality standards for creating licensed e-cigarette products so users can experience the benefits of e-cigs/vapes while making sure to reduce the risks.
The question of Are e-cigarettes safe? Are e-cigs bad for you? remains an open debate. This is because e-cigs have not been here for a long time. It will require thorough research to check the entire formulation of each e-cigarette provider and its effects on human health. Further research is needed to determine the effects of vaping on Human DNA.
For now, we can only rely on the current data given by current users as well as the limited scientific information gathered by different clinical bodies and that is: E-cigs/Vapes are a lot safer than traditional smoking. And that is a better alternative.