Vaping – The New Smoking?
Vaping has long been thought of as the best alternative to smoking. Electronic nicotine delivery systems are all the rage, especially among people who have struggled to quit smoking for years. Sleek, stylish, and available in a range of colors, electronic cigarettes are hard to ignore.
As with any new piece of tech, e-cigarettes have been put under the microscope. E-cigarettes might be the focus of smoking cessation programs, but are they as helpful as they seem? Anti-vape campaign groups, lawmakers, and parents have all weighed in on this issue. So, what are the pros and cons of vaping?
Pros of Vaping Devices
Let’s start on a positive note by looking at the benefits of using e-cigarettes.
The Sweet Smell
Smoking cigarettes comes with lots of side effects, and one of the most potent is the lingering smell. Cigarette smoke is no joke; the chemicals inside cigarettes can stay suspended in the air for up to three hours after you’ve stopped smoking, and they can even stick to fabrics for weeks! If you’re a regular smoker, your clothes and even your couch will be full of tiny cigarette smoke particles that make your home smell unpleasant.
And don’t forget about unpleasant breath. Smoking cigarettes can have a detrimental impact on your oral health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that ‘untreated tooth decay is higher in people who smoke cigarettes.’ Even worse, about 43% of adults aged 65 or older who smoke cigarettes have lost all their teeth. Bad breath is a very real problem for cigarette smokers.
If you trade your smoking habit for vape pens, you’ll greatly reduce the chance of developing any of these side effects.
Traditional cigarettes contain tobacco, which contains toxic chemicals that leave a lingering smell. Vape manufacturers extract nicotine from the tobacco plant, and add it to a mixture of PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin). These two substances form the basis of all e-liquid or vape juice products. They are mostly odorless and tasteless, although PG tends to have a slightly sweet taste.
For an even more satisfying vape experience, you can choose an e-liquid that contains a flavoring of your choice. Dessert delights like Lemon Tart are sure to leave a lovely aftertaste.
We can’t talk about the benefits of vaping without mentioning the health benefits.
Did you know that traditional cigarettes contain 600 ingredients and 7,000 chemicals? 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer.
When you burn a cigarette, carbon monoxide is formed. People who smoke a pack of regular cigarettes a day have a 3% – 6% carboxyhemoglobin (COHb) level in their blood. COHb replaces red blood cells in the lungs, which reduces the oxygen capacity in the bloodstream.
Another byproduct of smoking cigarettes is tar. Smoking traditional cigarettes releases tar, a sticky yellow or black substance that sticks to the inside of the lungs. The tar builds up and paralyzes the cilia in the lungs, meaning they can’t remove microbes and dirt from airways.
Both these problems can cause emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer, not to mention all the heart conditions that are linked to tobacco cigarettes.
Vaping devices are far less harmful than cigarettes. E-cigarette manufacturers don’t use tobacco, so there is no carbon monoxide in the devices. With tobacco smoke eliminated, there are only a few potential health concerns, such as popcorn lung. When adults quit smoking and switch to vaping, they decrease their chance of heart disease and other tobacco-related conditions.
If you don’t feel excited by the thought of eliminating tar or carbon monoxide from your life, think about how much money you will save!
Of course, we can’t predict exactly how much money you’ll save if you quit smoking. But that’s the best bit; it’s entirely up to you. Want the cheapest option? Choose featureless, draw-activated vape pens that can be refilled whenever. The only costs recurring costs are e-liquid and new coils.
Whichever vape kit you choose, it is bound to be cheaper than tobacco products. An average pack of cigarettes costs $10.45 with tax, so two packs a week will cost you a whopping $668 a year! In comparison, Vaporesso’s Renova Zero Care Edition pod mod kit is just $16.99, and you can refill it with a vape juice of your choice.
To make your expenses even lower, you can make DIY vape juice. Advanced vapers are no strangers to DIY juice, but the idea of creating your own ingestible substance might be a bit intimidating for new vapers. Still, homemade vape liquid comes with a number of benefits. You can eliminate all the most harmful elements from your liquid and create vaping products that are tailored to your tastebuds. Once you’ve built up a stock of all the basics, the ingredients will pay for themselves.
More Styles and Functions to Choose From
The global e-cigarette boom has sparked a massive influx of new designs, functions, and customizable features. Forget plain old cigarettes; the tobacco industry can’t compete with trendy, streamlined vape pens.
Adult smokers and high school students alike have thrown away their cigarettes in favor of e-cigs. You can buy everything from slim, unobtrusive pens to large statement pieces that hang around your neck. Vaping products aren’t just a vehicle for current cigarette smokers to finally quit, they also represent style.
Vapers can choose between MTL (Mouth-to-Lung) and DTL (Direct-to-Lung) styles of vaping.
- MTL Vaping – To MTL vape, you need to take a drag on your vape, hold it in your mouth for a moment, then inhale it into your lungs. Beginner vapers love MTL vaping because it replicates the feeling of smoking a cigarette. It creates the throat hit that a lot of smokers crave. Using e-cigarettes is a learning curve, but MTL vaping helps by recreating a familiar, comforting feeling.
- DTL Vaping – To DTL vape, you need to take a slow, steady inhale. Draw the vapor straight into your lungs. DTL vaping is more common among experienced vapers. It has only become a possibility in recent history due to technological advancements.
You would be mistaken for thinking that you can MTL or DTL vape on any device. In fact, a lot of devices are not compatible with DTL drags. If you try to take a DTL vape on a standard electronic cigarette, you will experience a burnt hit. Sub-ohm devices are far better options for people who appreciate long DTL vapes.
On top of exteriors and vaping styles, you can also choose from a number of functions to tailor your experience. When you stop smoking and start using nicotine replacement products, you can experience a truly customizable nicotine hit. Variable wattage functions, boost mode, and even LED lights can make your vape more personalized and exciting. Using e-cigarettes has never seemed so boring!
Control Over Your Nicotine Consumption
Nicotine is an extremely addictive substance, so it is no surprise that many current smokers want to wean themselves off it entirely. Other people want to reduce their consumption, which is very difficult to do with cigarettes.
Electronic cigarettes offer an alternative. When manufacturers create e-liquid, they start with a base of VG and PG. Then, they add nicotine and flavorings to create the perfect batch.
The nicotine in e-liquid is far less dangerous than the nicotine in cigarettes. Cigarettes contain tobacco, which is full of potentially harmful substances like tar. By quitting smoking, you are greatly reducing the number of chemicals that enter your lungs.
There is a sliding scale of nicotine products on offer for all kinds of vapers, all the way down to non nicotine vapes. Cigarette users can switch to vape kits and use the same amount of nicotine, or they can gradually reduce their consumption over time. People who suffer from nicotine addiction might struggle to reduce the number of cigarettes that they smoke, but they will find it far easier to reduce their consumption with vaping products. Believe it or not, one of the biggest obstacles is the feeling of holding a cigarette. People who have been smoking cigarettes for several years are accustomed to the feel of them in between their fingers. The feeling of holding a cigarette becomes synonymous with the nicotine hit itself, which makes smoking fewer cigarettes impossible. Using e-cigarettes eliminates this problem because ex-smokers will always have something to hold between their fingers, even if they have reduced their nicotine consumption.
Cons of Vaping Devices
Now, let’s look at the disadvantages of using e-cigarettes.
Oral Health Issues
Vapor might not be as pungent as tobacco smoke, but it isn’t without problems. When people quit smoking, they assume that they don’t have to worry about health issues anymore. In fact, there is tentative evidence that links vaping products to lung, heart, and oral health problems.
Regular e-cigarette users might notice that they have less saliva than usual. We know from experience that vaping can cause dry mouth. As the name suggests, dry mouth is the result of dehydration. The culprits are vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol, which form the basis for all liquids. They are both hygroscopic compounds, meaning they absorb moisture from the air. When a vaper takes a puff, the PG and VG absorb the moisture in their mouth. The saliva binds to the moisture, which leaves you feeling dry and dehydrated.
The solution is simple; drink water. Water will clear your palate and leave you feeling hydrated. Of course, chronic dry mouth can’t be solved with just water.
Too Much Nicotine
Compared to regular cigarettes, electronic cigarettes come with much more freedom. One of the main freedoms is centered around nicotine consumption. Nicotine comes in pre-mixed bottles with numerical indicators, which gives vapers a split-second insight into how much they are consuming. It is much easier to scale up nicotine consumption with e-cigarettes than it is with traditional cigarettes. Lots of vapers enjoy experimenting with different strengths, but they soon realize that they have been too ambitious.
Nicotine comes with a handful of unpleasant side effects which can develop into serious health risks. On the milder side of the spectrum, nicotine can cause:
- Shortness of breath
Nicotine poisoning is far more dangerous, and it has become more common in recent years due to the popularity of e-cigarettes. Vomiting is the most common symptom of nicotine poisoning, and death can occur within less than an hour of consuming a fatal dose. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 50 to 60mg of nicotine is enough to kill an adult who weighs 150 lbs.
Of course, this is extreme. In most cases, vapers cough, splutter, and decide to reduce their nicotine intake. Nicotine poisoning is only really a concern for people who go overboard or people who live with young children. Vapers in America can buy massive bottles of e-liquid, and more often than not the bottles are covered in bright colors that look very appealing to children.
Thankfully, vape juice bottles come with child-proof caps, so you just need to remember to always screw the lid on tight. As long as you don’t leave your liquid out in plain sight you’ll have nothing to worry about.
Even e-liquid that doesn’t contain nicotine isn’t completely risk-free. 1 in 10 vapers has an allergy (or sensitivity) to propylene glycol. There are a few major signs of PG sensitivity, though they can be difficult to identify because a lot of vapers experience them anyway.
- Dry/sore throat – PG irritates the tongue, mouth, and throat as it passes through to the lungs. Unfortunately, a number of other things can cause a dry or sore throat, including nicotine, new vaping styles, flavorings, and even something entirely unrelated to vaping. If your throat continues to feel sore or dry for a few weeks, you might have a PG allergy.
- Headaches – PG can cause vapers to experience overwhelming headaches. If you have had headaches for more than a week, call your doctor. You could even stop vaping to see if your headaches decrease, but this might trigger withdrawal symptoms which include (you’ve guessed it) headaches.
- Skin irritation – Skin is the largest organ in the body, and it reflects what you put into it. If you are sensitive to PG, your skin will let you know soon enough. Vapers who are allergic can expect rashes, itchiness, and dry patches.
- Sinus issues – PG can travel through your mouth and up your nose to irritate your sinuses. Blocked or irritated sinuses can be a nightmare, especially for people who are always in meetings or speaking to customers. A simple nasal spray can clear up the problem, providing you stop using PG.
- Swollen gums – Swollen gums are a less common side effect, but it is important to have all the information. If the swelling persists it could become gingivitis or gum disease, so you must call your dentist.
There is only one way to get around propylene glycol, and that is to buy 100% VG liquid. VG is much thicker than PG, and it only works with certain tanks, kits, and coils. We recommend high-wattage vape kits and coils that contain large wicking holes. Any other devices are sure to give you burnt hits.
Even with 100% VG liquid, you might be allergic to flavorings. If you already know which ingredients you are sensitive to, you can ask the manufacturer for a full list and eliminate brands that won’t work for you.
There is a social stigma associated with using e-cigarettes. Many don’t know about the countless advantages of switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes, so they are needlessly harsh to people who vape in public.
The good news is that there are lots of small, sleek, unobtrusive devices on the market. Some vape kits are so slim that they can fit inside the palm of your hand or even slot into your pants pocket. For added discretion, consider buying a flat e-cigarette that won’t create a bulge in your pocket.
As you have seen, the learning curve associated with e-cigarettes is massive! New vapers are often overwhelmed by just the amount of devices on offer, never mind all the potential pitfalls.
Of course, you can just opt for a featureless disposable. These devices require little effort and no maintenance. Most of them are ready to use straight out of the packaging.
Sooner or later, vapers find themselves throwing a glance at customizable features, big mods, and e-liquids that have interesting names. They have to contend with the overwhelming options as well as the side effects. Some people think that it’s much simpler to just smoke a cigarette.
We’ve scrutinized, analyzed, and studied e-cigarettes so you don’t have to. We can confidently say that we prefer vape kits to traditional cigarettes. On balance, e-cigarettes come with far fewer health conditions and far more control. You’ll never get the same kind of customization and personalization abilities with cigarettes.
So, which will you choose?