How Safe Is Vaping? All Your Questions Answered
Vaping has recently become a hype activity that attracts more and more people. Some people turn to vaping when they are trying to quit smoking; others give it a try without ever letting a cigarette. With vaping becoming more and more popular, the question of its safety inevitably pops up. In this post, we will help you figure out whether vaping is safe, relying on research and facts.
Recent studies confirmed that vaping does not pose a significant threat to human health. The public perception of vaping and the attitude to electronic cigarette use are changing significantly as well. Back in 2011, less than twelve percent of responders said that vaping is safer than smoking, in 2015 already thirty-seven percent of US-based respondents said the same.
The number reached fifty-two percent by 2016. Most recent studies confirm that vaping is much safer than smoking because e-cigarettes have 97% less NNAL than cigarettes. NNAL is a toxic chemical that is strongly associated with lung cancer.
However, there are misleading studies as well out there. The only use they do is bring revenue to the website owners who are ready to publish any information without validating it provided that the headline is clickbaity. If you google “is vaping safe’, you are very likely to see some headlines like “Vaping could cause cancer”, “E-cigarette vapors are loaded with toxic metals”, “Vaping: Scary truth revealed”, “Vaping Isn’t As Safe As People Think” and so on. Many of such posts are misleading and don’t provide any proofs of information they provide. Today, we will answer the most common questions regarding the safety of vaping.
How Safe Is Vaping From a Scientific Point of View?
Vaping does not have any short-time adverse health effects, according to the studies that were held recently. E-cigarette Report that dates back to 2016 reveals that e-cigarettes use does not cause any harm to human health in the short-term perspective.
Speaking of long-term results, you should know that modern e-cigarettes were invented in 2003, that is why we cannot have any data on the long-term effect of vaping now. Currently, the first studies on the long-term effect of vaping appear. One of the recent studies confirmed that vaping does not pose any threat to the heart, lungs and other organs that smoking usually affects, even in heavy vapers.
Still, people keep wondering whether vaping is completely safe, especially after they see a clickbait headline that says that vaping causes cancer according to some recent research. The truth is, such articles do not match the research they refer to as a rule. Still, it is very important to place the understanding of vaping safety in the right context. Let’s figure out what it means together.
What Is Vaping Safety?
What is vaping and is it safe? Vaping is an alternative to smoking that gives people an opportunity to enjoy a process that resembles smoking actual cigarettes without having to inhale the combustion residues and sometimes even nicotine (in the case of non-smokers). According to every research made, vaping is healthier compared to smoking.
However, no research claims that vaping is entirely safe and free of any adverse effects. It is better in the context of comparing it to smoking, and it is a better alternative for sure. Most vapers are smokers looking to make a change or trying to quit the habit. They are the target audience of e-cigarettes, and non-smokers are not.
If we take it to the extreme then inhaling anything besides pure fresh air is not healthy, because human lungs are not built for it. However, if you google for people who died of regular vaping, you will hardly find any information about it.
But, every one of us probably knows someone who got cancer because of smoking or knew someone who passed away because of it. Of course, there is a tiny possibility of vaping being able to kill you, like there is a chance to be killed by coconut on an exotic vacation. Smoking actual cigarettes is not a random possibility, it is a highway to death in any case.
How Safe Are Vaping Devices?
Over the recent years, we’ve heard a lot of news about batteries exploding in devices of all kinds, from mobile phones to e-cigarettes. There are some graphic pictures of batteries exploding in laptops, shavers, and any other type of device that utilizes batteries. Does it mean you should stop using all of them at once?
We don’t think so and believe that it’s an argument to buy products of high quality from verified vendors only. If you ever read a story that an e-cigarette or a vaporizer explodes, it is not true. The only thing that could possibly explode is the battery.
Can Vaping Kill You?
You need to be careful with any device that uses batteries. Don’t ever carry loose batteries in your pockets. It is only your responsibility to use the product as intended and take every needed precaution to avoid any harm it might cause.
Speaking of the safety of e-juices, we should note that there is no general answer. Different manufacturers of vape juice create their flavors with the help of different ingredients, that can be safe and dangerous, toxin-free or toxic.
Propylene Glycol is very often used for e-liquids, and it is considered to be relatively safe. Several independent studies confirm it. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health studied PG and did not found any connection between it and poor lung functioning or asthma.
Vegetable glycerin is another popular constituent of e-juices. It can mildly irritate the throat when consumed in excessive amounts. In this case, VG can cause thirst and dry throat. VG is used in inhalants and is considered to be relatively safe, as well as PG.
As for different flavorings, things are more complicated here. On the one hand, most manufacturers use food-grade flavorings that are found in foods you consume every day. Still, there have not been any sufficient research about the safety of inhaling these flavorings in a long-term perspective. Some flavorings, approved for the use in the food industry, can act as irritants and cause allergic reactions.
The most known irritants are cherry, cinnamon, mint, spearmint, and almond. If you are an allergy-predisposed person, vaping a pure base is the safest option you can go for.
Nicotine is a constituent of many e-liquids. The scary reputation of this chemical is created by the adverse effects of smoking. There are some studies confirming that nicotine is as harmful for you as caffeine when consumed excessively. However, a dose of up to 36 mg of nicotine does not cause any effects but light stimulation.
Beginner vapers might find it difficult to control their nicotine consumption with a vaporizer. The worst-case scenario of a nicotine overdose is an episode of nausea and vomiting that can be treated by taking a break from vaping. British Heart Association confirms that nicotine does not cause any diseases. However, people with existing heart conditions should avoid it as it increases the heart rate for a short time. The same precautions are given regarding caffeine.
Unfortunately, there are cases of health damage caused by e-liquids, used for e-cigarettes and vaporizers. Any adverse effects were caused either by elements that cause allergies in people who had a predisposition for them or by the poor quality of no-brand e-juices. We strongly recommend you to purchase your e-liquids only from verified vendors.
There are fraudsters in every market, and vape scene is no exception, unfortunately. If you buy a no-name brand vaporizer that has no feedbacks and doesn’t come with a warranty and add some no-name brand e-juices manufactured God knows where you will probably expose your health to serious danger. Common sense is needed even when it comes to a process as simple as vaping.
Is Vaping Toxic?
Are vapes safe when it comes to toxins? There have been some anti-vaping studies recently, but the most popular one is called Hidden Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Aerosols, and it is performed by Portland State University. The title is quite catchy, that’s why the research spread so quickly.
What the study did not mention is that you will not be able to produce formaldehyde with your e-cigarette unless you try very hard and intentionally overheat your device too much and also burn the wicking material inside the coil. If you ever had a dry hit of a burned wicking, you will always make sure not to repeat this nasty experience. Why would you repeat it over and over again to inhale some formaldehyde?
There are arguments of e-cig haters claiming that the harm of second-hand vaping can be compared to passive smoking. There have even been articles arguing that second-hand vapor pollutes indoor quality significantly. However, a Center for Disease Control study revealed that there is no way for vapor to harm people who are in the same indoor area as the vaper. The study measured the Occupational Exposure Level in vape shops and showed that the level of every chemical, found in e-juices, is far below the permitted level that is considered safe. In fact, the quantities are so insignificant that they are perfectly safe for humans.
Is Second-Hand Vaping Safe?
If you happen to be in one room with a vaper, there is no way your health can be impacted. All the evidence, available for now, confirms that vapor, produced by e-cigarettes, is safe for the vaper and everyone around them. We sincerely hope that more independent studies on the safety of vaping will be performed soon and will reassure us that vaping is safe in short and long-term perspective. Whatever results those studies might bring, they will help the vaping industry grow, develop, and establish higher standards of quality than ever before.