Vaping and Smoking: Which Has More Dangers?
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Click any heading below to go directly to the topic.
- The Health Effects
- Is it the nicotine?
- Cardiovascular disease and Stroke
- Lung Disease
- Popcorn Lung
- What About Pregnancy?
- So, are there Any Health Risk from Vaping?
- Nicotine Issues?
- Weight Gain Avoidance
- Allergies and Sensitivities
- Any other Concerns
- Fires and explosions
- The costs of Each
- Making the Right Choice
When it comes to the subject of vaping, it’s often compared to smoking. Usually, it’s because people who vaped used to be smokers, and they moved from smoking to vaping. Not only that, with new evidence springing forth each day, many who would be smokers have moved from the addiction to cigarettes to nicotine alternatives, usually in the form of e-cigarettes.
But, when it boils down to the full science behind anything, there are too few of studies that compare these directly, and have a strong connection. That’s because in many cases a lot of these studies are from those who want to control, or eliminate, tobacco use. So, if something compares the compounds that are carcinogenic in smoke and vapor for example, you’ll see immediately that the results showcase that the smoke has larger amounts of stuff that does create cancer in people. But, you have to look at it in different ways, and here we will discuss all of the health effects of such.
Currently, studies say that vaping is about 95% less harmful when compared to smoking. It’s also 80% cheaper when you vape compared to cigarettes. Typically, cigarettes cost on average 2,569 dollars a year, whereas disposable e-cigarettes cost 1,387 dollars, and e-cigarettes that are reusable, like vaping for example, costs merely 600 dollars.
It’s also managed to curb smoking in teens, with it going down to about 9.3% and vaping climbing up to 16%.
Also, smokers that are vaping in order to quit are actually 50 percent more likely to quit smoking than one who quits without vaping. Currently, about 35.7% of people in 2015 think vaping is safer, as compared to 11.5% in 2011. Thankfully though, that number is climbing steadily.
There’s about sixty years of science backing up the fact that smoking is a high risk activity, because usually half of those that smoke in the long term end up dying. Vaping is newer yes, but there aren’t any major harms that are proven.
According to a report in 2014 by the Surgeon General when it comes to smoking, approximately 16 million Americans have some sort of smoking disease, and about 480,000 dying every single year. There are many causes of death, and below we will go over which health problems are there due to smoking, and if vaping causes the same problems.
Cancer is when the DNA in a person’s body goes out of the control of the body. These often happen in the form of tumors, which can either be localized, or spread all over.
Typically, the most common form of cancer associated with cigarettes is lung cancer, which kills more Americans than any other type of cancer that’s out there. However, not every lung cancer patient is a smoker. It’s a very serious type of cancer that’s hard to overcome.
However, there are other cancers that can happen from smoking, because cancers can be created not just in where areas have had smoke contact, but also from smoking byproducts. The CDC says that smoking can cause cancer in virtually any part of the body.
Some of the major cancers that can happen when you smoke include:
- The rectum and colon
- The renal pelvis and kidneys
- The blood (often known as leukemia)
- Cervical cancer
- The trachea and esophagus
- The larynx
- The mouth and throat (known as oral cancer)
- The stomach
- The pancreas
- The lungs
- The liver
So yes, it can happen almost anywhere. Nicotine however, has not been proven to cause cancer, whether it’s in the form of cigarettes themselves, of vapes. There are studies that have been done involving nicotine replacement therapy, and it’s been shown there is no link between cancer and nicotine.
There was a 2016 study done by the Royal college of Physicians titled “Nicotine Without Smoke” and this says that there is evidence on safety of the use of nicotine in the long-term for humans from a lung health study. In this, people were supposed to use NRT for a few months, and may continue it for a much longer period, and from this, it’s shown there is no sustained connection between NRT usage and any form of cancer, along with heart disease.
So, the cancer is caused by tobacco. Smoke from this creates something that is sticky called tar, and that starts to put a coating over the lungs. As you continue to consume this, the damage from the tar as it builds up in the lungs is what leads to tumor growth.
According to a study done by the National Cancer Institute actually, a lot of the cancer-causing substances that you find in cigarette smoke are actually located in the tar. It also creates other problems like emphysema and bronchitis.
E-cigarettes on the other hand don’t create this tar, and they don’t burn or have tobacco in them, or other plant material. There are carcinogens in the vapor, but the concentration is so tiny that it won’t create risks. Typically, most of the studies that have shown the risk of cancer due to vaping are usually from poor ways of doing it. These usually involve smoking machines, taking too many or long drags, vaping at very high temperatures, or the wick is dry. Typically, those things won’t happen to the vapors, but the dry hits and puffs are what cause the inability to breathe.
Typically, in normal conditions, the levels of toxins that you get from e-cigarettes are below the threshold limits for typical occupational exposure, and significant long-term harm is something that is unlikely. There is some harm from sustained exposure of the low levels of toxins over many years possibly, but the level of risks you have in relation to those that are created from tobacco smoking is small.
There is a study in St. Andrews in Scotland that found out the danger of vaping is as low as other nicotine replacement therapies people choose, including patches and gum, with the number being less than one percent, which should help ease any doubts within the tobacco limiting movement when it comes to vaping, and whether or not it will reduce the health risk when compared to smoking.
Cigarettes attribute to a third of heart disease deaths every single year according to the report from the Surgeon General. Typically, these can involve heart failure, heart attacks, aneurysms, stroke, and also cardiac arrest, along with other types of heart issues in the body, such as heart palpitations which might be made worse when you spoke.
Nicotine isn’t a primary cause for this though. According to the report from the surgeon general in 2014, there is epidemiologic evidence and data from the trails with nicotine patches, which suggest that the chemicals that are in smoke other than nicotine are what increase the risk of death from heart attacks, along with stroke.
If you’re already suffering from heart health issues though, you shouldn’t have a ton of nicotine, since nicotine can cause small spikes in both blood pressure and heart rate, so those with pre-existing conditions and factors that could attribute to coronary issues should avoid nicotine.
Typically, it’s the other constituents in cigarette smoke that cause heart disease, and potential death. That’s because it contains oxidant chemicals, particulates, free radicals which have been known to cause aging and cancer, and even carbon monoxide, all which damage the circulatory system, along with the heart.
It also can raise the LDL (bad) and lower the HDL (good) cholesterol in the body, and in turn also builds up the plaque, which is cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other types of substances, in your blood vessels. It’s been known to make thicker and constrict your vessels too, and damage any cells that are lined through there. It also reduces the instances of oxygen within the blood, and makes it prone to clot, but also makes it sticky. This blocks the flow of blood to both the brain and the heart, causing both heart attacks, and stroke as well.
There are some dangerous compounds that are in vapor, but the concentrations again, are much lower. One important constituent that’s not in vapor at all is carbon monoxide, which is the most dangerous element to your cardiovascular health since it is a toxin. So yes, there is less danger there.
Particles that are fine, along with ultrafine in cigarette smoke are what cause issues with the cardiovascular system, so naturally those researchers that hate vaping have tried to repeat that these particles are in e-cig vapor. For example, Stanton Glantz, who is against smoking and vaping and is an activist at the University of California San Francisco, has continuously said that the ultrafine particles are dangerous in both smoke and vapor.
While they are in both, in vapor, it’s liquid droplets, not complete combustion particles like in cigarette smoke. In many cases, these particles in cigarette smoke are like diesel exhaust, but in vapor it’s not like that. one would think Glantz would understand the difference since he’s been trained in medical engineering and would know the difference between solids and liquids, but probably not.
This is probably why h did have to leave medical engineering and go into extreme activism according to Carl Philips.
Currently, there is no research that shows any proven cardiovascular dangers associated with vaping.
There are a few lung diseases that are often attributed to smoking, and we will go over them below.
This is the third most dangerous disease attributed to smoking and it’s terrifying. It’s known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, and this includes chronic bronchitis, asthma that isn’t reversible, and emphysema, all of which are terrible. You may have seen a smoker gasping for air they can’t take in because their lungs don’t work.
Smoking causes damages that attribute to COPD, and they are:
- The walls between each alveoli are so damaged they don’t work
- The alveoli and the airways don’t stretch, so they shrink and shrivel up
- The airways have too much mucus, which reduces air flow
- The walls of each of these airways become inflamed and very swollen
The reason for this is because of the damage from smoke and gasses that are in it. Your lungs will try to fight these products by making mucus, but because smokers usually do this a lot and overwhelm the body with the quality of the smoke, the mucus then gets stuck, and this causes damage.
However, COPD is progressive, and it might show up when a smoker is done. while there are symptoms, there isn’t a cure short of a lung transplant.
However, there are no indications which show vaping causes COPD, or any disease associated with it. Actually, some research does say that with the American evidence showing e-cigarette use, it can actually reverse the harm from tobacco smoking, and is something that should be taken into consideration.
There are some forms of asthma that are caused by smoking, and asthma is often made worse if you smoke. That’s because of the fact that smoking does trigger some of the similar symptoms that causes asthma to flare up.
In contrast, there isn’t evidence that vaping causes or makes asthma worse. In fact, there is a study by Dr. Ricardo Polosa that demonstrates that vaping does show means to reverse asthma in people, even if it does involve reducing smoking.
Whether or not vaping causes popcorn lung is something that is troublesome. Currently, the answer is possibly no because while there are millions of smokers that have died from their lungs being obstructed, there isn’t a smoker or vaper that’s been diagnosed with this disease.
You may see news stories that discuss this and are like “does vaping cause this?” and it completely ignores the element that cigarettes contain a lot more flavoring chemicals that cause this to happen. But, nobody has been a smoker that’s dead with popcorn lung.
However, popcorn lung, or bronchiolitis obliterans are actually almost identical in terms of symptoms to COPD, and a lot of smokers do die from this. So, it might be the case of popcorn lung coming through, since there aren’t too many biopsies done on smokers that died from COPD.
There is no evidence that vaping does cause popcorn lung, and there is doubt it will ever happen. However, this is a messy issue, and more research is being done.
Typically, if you smoke during pregnancy, that’s how tissue damage happens to the child before it’s born, according to research done by the CDC. Along with that, carbon monoxide in the smoke itself reduces the oxygen amounts carried within the blood, which causes the baby to not get enough, and often leads to miscarriage.
But not just that, even if the mother carries it to term, there is the chance that it could be delivered prematurely, a low birth weight, a stillbirth, ectopic pregnancy, and even cause cleft lip or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in the child.
Currently, studies that involve NRT have shown there is no harm to the children when it comes to using nicotine during pregnancy. From that’s, it’s likely that there isn’t harm to children from using a vape while pregnant
In fact, I’s encouraged in many cases for those that are pregnant to use e-cigarettes as an alternative. Professor Linda Baud at Stirling University even had a report that advised midwives, along with health professionals to use vaping instead of smoking.
It is nice to see practical advice for pregnant smokers. Typically, those that smoke while pregnant get treated with disgust and stigmatization, but this does create an alternative for those that want to still use nicotine while pregnant
There are in a sense. However, they’re not serious or chronic compared to say, cancer from smoking. These side effects are annoying though, and while they aren’t life-threatening, it can be a nuisance.
This is the primary side effect, and that’s because the liquid in vaping is a humectants, which absorb moisture from where they sit, and it can in essence dehydrate you. So, if you do this all day, prepared to feel the symptoms of dehydration, which include:
- Dry mouth, eyes, and skin
- A sore throat that’s scratchy
- A headache
If you vape, you should have fluids nearby to stay hydrated. Smoking does cause dryness in the mouth as well, since the smoke is still kind of dry. But, vaping causes your body to feel like all your water is being sucked dry sometimes.
If you smoke, you may know what this feels like. If you have too many, it can create a queasy, or a dizzy feeling. If you vape and get a liquid that’s higher in strength than normal, or the atomizer that gives more vapor, you may get these same side effects, which often include
- Cold sweats
- A racing heart
- Ringing ears
- The feeling of jitters or anxiousness
These only are dangerous if you continue, so make sure that you stop before you can do real harm, and don’t get to the point of vomiting.
If you’re looking to avoid gaining weight, you’ll probably notice that smoking and vaping might be something key t helping you do that, since it is an appetite suppressant. Actually, for smokers that have worried about gaining too much weight when they stop, vaping is an alternative. There’s already been speculation that vaping can prevent weight gain when stopping this habit
If you have allergies to propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin might have trouble with vaping. Usually though, these are often found in foods, items, and cosmetics, so it’s not likely there might be an allergy, however there could be a sensitivity
But, since the sensitivity symptoms might feel like dehydration, you might not know what you have, and if possible see a dermatologist to get tested for allergies.
Any allergies to flavors can be more serious. Some of the vape liquid might have flavorings that are natural such as nuts. If you’re allergic, avoid the flavor altogether and check the labels. Also, always ask questions to the vendors themselves when you don’t know. If they can’t tell you immediately and for certain, avoid it.
There’s a few other health risks to consider, and they are as follows:
Despite lots of press coverage on explosions and fires from vape batteries and other incidents, the majority of time this is a rarity in terms of occurrent. Many don’t’ have issues.
Typically, the incidents are from faulty equipment, or using it wrong. Most of the vape battery incidents that happen are because people don’t charge or handle the battery well, the wraps on the batteries are damaged, and any mechanical mods that are on there that people put on but don’t know how to control.
Sometimes the battery can fail, and usually these battery failures that show themselves in fires and explosions have happened, but they are rare. However, most products these days use lithium ion batteries, so the rates are pretty low.
As for fires, the national fire prevention association noted in texts that vaping fires are often rare, especially with the amount of use. Their current report in 2015 showcased that these e-cig fires and explosions are very rare, with only five fires, a dozen serious injuries, and no deaths period. There may be unreported incidents, but it wouldn’t be that much larger of a fire.
Smoking fires however aren’t that rare. Despite these “fire safe” cigarettes, most of the recent numbers that are there show that the fires that are created from tobacco products actually cause a large amount of serious fires, and lots of deaths and injuries. While the fire levels have declined by 73 percent between 1980 and 2011, that doesn’t mean there weren’t’ a lot. In fact, there are many including the following:
- 17,600 fires within a home
- 90,000 fires that were caused by “smoking materials” and required a fire department response
- 490 deaths in fires at home
- 540 people died in fires total
- 1,640 injured people
- About 621 million dollars in damage to the place
Fires created via smoking are a serious issue, and the press should spend more time looking at the risks of combustion from these rather than the low-risk alternatives such as vaping that cause very little issues
There is also a lot of attention to these poisonings that the media focuses on, specifically from the liquid in vaping. Of course, this is mostly just calls to your poison control center, and it may not even be poison period, but that’s a detail left out
When this was at its peak, there was a total nationally of 4,024 vaping calls to the control centers to help with poisoning, according to the AAPCC, which totals these numbers. This is because the experts here continue to show concern about the exposures of people to the liquid nicotine, specific children.
The AAPCC also looks at opioid calls too, and so far, there are more of those in a month than there are for e-cigs, and in fact, calls about vaping have declined since 2014, and they’re still keeping track and predicting it to still go down.
In contrast, laundry pods that children eat because they think they’re candy have attributed to more than 10,000 calls over the last four or so years, and they are continually going higher with these new social media “trends.”
Another problem is that there aren’t too many pieces of information when it comes to cigarette calls, since people don’t pay attention to it. But this does happen.
However, there is a study from the journal entitled Pediatrics that noted that there were more than 29,000 calls to the control centers regarding some tobacco and nicotine exposures to children that were under the age of six between January 2012 and April 2016, with cigarettes accounting for over 60 percent of these calls, and e-cigarettes weren’t at the top, but instead in third at only 14,2 percent.
About 40 years ago in 1974, cigarettes were only 40 cents per pack, and they wouldn’t actually cost that much if they weren’t insanely tacked. However, nowadays they’re anywhere from 5 dollars to 15 a pack. If you have a pack each day, that’s anywhere from 1800 to about 5400 dollars in a year. Multiply that by say 30 years, and you could probably put a down payment on a house, or even buy a really nice car. Instead, you’ve got a blocked artery, possible heart disease, and toxins galore.
Health is usually the biggest reason people go to vaping, but cost is right up next to it.
New vapes can begin for less than a carton of cigarettes. You simply need a mod and tank, some coils, and the liquid, and once you have it, you just need to replace the liquid and the coils.
A vaper can get by with a cheap liquid, or make their own for less than 50 bucks a month. Some might spend more time vaping than smoking
There are some that the expensive premium liquid, or get carved mods to make it personalized for themselves, and that can get expensive. Some who are fiends for the sub-ohm clouds can go through a 30 mL package of liquid a day. if you vape with pricey liquids this brings it up.
But, those are usually fanatics, and for those that were smoking a couple packs a day, usually you vape on average 3mL of an 18 mL liquid a day. That is on average about 30 bucks a month. The user controls how expensive it is.
If you’re ready to leave smoking, sometimes it can work immediately, but in other instances it may take months. Some are so stubborn that it never happens.
However, nowadays there are so many vape shops in Pakistan with unlimited varieties of products, ranging from ejuice with no nicotine, to those with higher levels. You can choose how you want to intake it, and you can use this either as a small little device on hand for when you need nicotine, to even a mod that gives you 200 watts of power.
If you’re wanting to quit, there are options, but you need to make the effort to find them. But, there isn’t any reason to say that vaping doesn’t work, because it does. There are comparisons, you see how it works, and you know the costs.
VapeMall only carries the brands that we have vetted ourselves and know that they follow strict quality guidelines. One of that brand is Premium Labs which we bring now in Pakistan. So if you prefer to Vape then only breathe in an e-liquid that you are sure is the best in the world for quality.
The choice is up to you.