The practice of vaping electronic cigarettes is a relatively new phenomenon, only coming into existence around 2005. Even then, it was a very rare occurrence: only around 2010 did the notion of vaping become popular enough to be recognised by the masses. While traditional smoking has been around for ages, comprehensive studies of the practice did not begin until the 20th century – and it took a couple of decades before the first comprehensive findings were finalised. Despite vaping still being new and despite the need for more research, there are already several studies out on the practice and its comparison to traditional smoking. There are multiple studies that show vaping to be a healthier alternative to smoking traditional tobacco. Which studies show this? Continue reading to find out!
Effects on Lung Cells
A recent study out of Germany – conducted by thoracic surgeons and pathologists – aimed to further understand the relationship between e-cigarette components and the bronchial epithelial cells in the lungs. More importantly, the goal was to determine whether vaping was more harmful, just as harmful, or less harmful to these lung cells than traditional smoking. The overall findings stated that when compared to traditional tobacco smoke, these cells experience a much higher survival rate and much lower levels of physical stress when exposed to e-cigarette vapour. The positive findings that these cells – the primary ones subject to lung cancer – are less negatively affected by electronic vapour is very promising.
E-Liquids Have Fewer Toxins
While the e-liquid industry is not monolithic, several studies have attempted to sample juices from across the spectrum to determine whether there is a correlation between more or less toxicity when compared to cigarette smoke. When it comes to traditional tobacco-derived toxins in e-liquids, the presence of them were found to be “orders of magnitude lower” than in traditional smoke. Nitrogen-based toxins had similar results, with their presence in e-liquid being anywhere from 1/100th to 1/1000th of that in traditional smoke. In short, many of the most common toxins found in traditional tobacco smoke are barely detectable in electronic cigarettes.
E-Liquids’ Ingredients Are As Claimed
A report issued in 2014 showed two interesting elements when comparing e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes. First, the claims that e-liquids contain only a few ingredients (propylene glycol, flavouring, nicotine etc.) was verified through intense mechanical aerosol testing that measured the ingredients present in the e-liquid vapour. The second interesting find was how much nicotine was present in the average “puff”: in traditional cigarettes, the amount of nicotine inhaled in one puff was approximately eight times the amount inhaled through an electronic cigarette or comparable device.
Dependence Is Lower
Many have expressed worries that the readily available prominence of e-cigarettes will lead to higher dependence levels when coupled with the ease of use and relative social acceptance. The National Institutes of Health released a study that showed this wasn’t true. Among former traditional smokers, dependence rates on electronic cigarettes after three months were actually lower than they were among those who had used traditional nicotine gum for three months. While short-term (less than three months) users of both gum and e-cigarettes showed no measurable difference between each other, this study did prove that e-cigarettes may actually make it easier to quit nicotine altogether than more standard, approved methods.
Reduces Cravings for Traditional Cigarettes
A recent study from the University College of Antwerp showed that the use of vaping products and e-cigarettes can drastically reduce the craving for traditional cigarettes, helping smokers ditch that particular habit. The study outlined that whenever cravings for a traditional cigarette would strike a smoker, a five-minute session with a standard e-cigarette was enough to completely eradicate the mental side effects associated with the craving in almost all subjects. Many people consider harm reduction to be the first step toward ditching nicotine; e-cigarettes can help people move away from traditional tobacco products that are notably more dangerous.
Reduces Cigarette Use
Some people have more difficulty ditching the habit than others. Even for those who have no plans to give up traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes can provide benefit. A 2014 study showed that individuals who continue to smoke regular cigarettes but who also use e-cigarettes periodically consumed fewer cigarettes over time than those who only use regular tobacco. This can be productive for smokers for multiple reasons. Traditional tobacco is more expensive than e-cigarettes over the long-term, meaning some money can be saved through e-cigarette use. In addition, the element of harm reduction is in play; the fewer cigarettes that are smoked, the less damage done to the body.
A variety of studies and reports are being released on a regular basis that show a variety of health-related benefits in e-cigarettes when compared to traditional smoking. From the reduced level of toxins to the reduced need for traditional tobacco, many people are choosing to make the switch in order to take advantage of these benefits. While more time and research is needed to discover everything about e-cigarette effects on the body, there is plenty of current evidence to support the notion that it is healthier than traditional cigarettes by far.