//Is Vaping Bad For You? What’s the truth?
Is Vaping Bad For You? What’s the truth? 2018-03-05T11:06:02+00:00

Is Vaping Bad For You? What’s the truth?

Girl soars on a black background vape

It seems like a simple question, right? Is vaping bad for you? But behind that curtain are a lot of moving parts and pieces. We can start with the most simple premise. A comparison of smoking vs. vaping. That breaks down like this.

Smoking involves setting chemically treated tobacco on fire and inhaling smoke. The tiny particulates in smoke are incredibly invasive and will deeply burrow themselves into living tissues. Vaping involves vaporizing a liquid solution containing nicotine and food grade ingredients. There is no combustion with vaping.

There is no scientific consensus in the United States regarding whether or not vaping is bad for you. There is, however, a lot of information from both sides of the argument that can be presented to you so you can make your own decision. But here’s where we must start off this discussion. If you don’t smoke, don’t vape!

Non-Smokers Aren’t Vaping

The good news is that the overwhelming majority of vapers are smokers or former smokers. In fact, the 2014 Health Survey for England, where vaping is promoted as a tobacco alternative, it was found that only 1% of the people that had tried e-cigarettes were never smokers. It is very rare for a non-smoker to take up vaping. E-cigs are an alternative tobacco product for adult tobacco consumers. That is the intent of vaping. We do not recommend or promote vaping to people who have never smoked.

If you are a smoker trying to quit, we encourage you to explore every option available to you to help you kick cigarettes. If you are an adult tobacco consumer wondering if you can use e-cigs to quit smoking, we can’t answer that. There is no official American scientific position to confirm or deny vaping as a viable smoking cessation method.

A 2016 European study published in in the journal Addiction found that 15 million smokers in Europe have either quit or reduced smoking with e-cigs. There is a recent study based on the National Health Review Survey that shows that 52% of vapers in the United States have given up smoking. That is promising, and we look forward to more research.

Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking?

This is where this debate really needs to be. ‘Is vaping safer than smoking’ is the real world question smokers are asking not “is vaping bad for you?”. Let’s start with smoking. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals, and many of them are proven carcinogens, which are chemicals linked to cancer.

Contrast the known dangers of tobacco with e-cig vapor. E-cig vapor is the product of vaporizing a nicotine e-liquid solution made up of VG and or PG, both food grade substances.

Halo SubZero

Although US researchers have not reached an official conclusion, researchers in other countries have been more assertive. In the UK, both Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians agrees that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. With such a strong consensus in the UK, why are US researchers reluctant to make any official declaration?

Tests of e-cigarette vapor have produced very different results. Some research has found formaldehyde in vapor and some, such as this 2017 San Diego State University vapor study,  have found that e-cig vapor does not generate toxic particulates. Why are there different results from different e-cigarette vapor studies?

It is only very recently that electronic cigarette researchers have realized that the type of vapor device used is an important consideration. No one can answer “is vaping bad” without considering the technology being tested. Many of the early studies never stipulated what type of e-cigarette was used nor what style of vaping was tested. In fact, researchers would test the devices in ways that no one would use when vaping. The best example of this are the claims of formaldehyde in e-cig vapor.

Is There Formaldehyde In E-Cig Vapor?

Researchers have been known to use e-cigarettes in unrealistic ways to cause a specific result. For example, a 2015 New England Journal of Medicine article declared that electronic cigarette vapor contains dangerous formaldehyde. The formaldehyde was generated when the vapor product was vaped at high voltage. But a closer look at the same study also showed that when the same vapor device was used at 3.3 volts, no formaldehyde indicators were detected. Here’s the problem. Vapers do not enjoy inhaling burnt vapor. Burnt vapor tastes terrible! It is not reasonable to assume that vapers will be vaping at extreme power settings unsuitable for the device and atomizer that they are using.

  • Studies have shown that if coils are stressed and overheated, some toxins can be generated.
  • The same studies show that no formaldehyde indicators are detected when e-cigs are used within reasonable voltage/wattage ranges.

Greg Gutfeld from Fox News humorously weighed in on the New England Journal of Medicine report with a comparison. Gutfeld said that “This e-cig study’s assertion is like saying driving a car is deadly if you floor it in reverse on a narrow cliff while doing Jell-O shots in your underwear.

The bottom line is this. Any product can be misused in ways that compromise safety. There is no doubt that the type of device being used and how it is used play a major role in e-cigarette safety. If you are using an electronic cigarette product, use it within the manufacturer’s recommended guidelines. Learn how to vape and how the devices work. Choose only good quality products. If you are dripping or using a sub ohm mod, make sure you are aware of the relationship between wattage or voltage and the resistance of the atomizer that you are using.

Pros and Cons of Vaping

Let’s take an honest look at the pros and cons of vaping. At Vaping Daily, we are advocates for vapers and vaping. The FDA is currently exploring possibilities that vaping may be an asset in the effort to reduce tobacco harm and, we support that position. The real end game here is to stop smoking and save lives. This world loses millions of moms, dads, grandpas, aunts, and friends every year because of smoking. That must change, and it is way past time.

Pros:

  • No combustion eliminating dangerous byproducts of combustion
  • Eliminates the odor of smoke
  • No second-hand smoke
  • Avoid the chemicals, such as ammonia, used to treat tobacco
  • Variety of nicotine levels enabling more control of nicotine intake
  • Saves money, vaping can be cheaper than smoking
  • Range of products and technologies available for every level of user
  • More variety of enjoyable flavors for adult tobacco consumers

Cons:

  • Contains nicotine
  • Some devices can be complicated to use
  • Allergies
  • Some people are uncomfortable around vapor
  • Side effects of vaping such as dry mouth

Is Vaping Without Nicotine Bad For You?

The FDA has identified nicotine as the factor most responsible for addiction to tobacco products. In response, the FDA is considering regulations that will require the reduction of nicotine in tobacco products. But is vaping without nicotine bad for you? If nicotine is the problem, is vaping without nicotine safe? Hold on! It’s not that simple.

Nicotine is the most well known addictive chemical associated with tobacco use. How bad is nicotine? Nicotine in and of itself is a stimulant and not a known carcinogen. It is not the nicotine that causes cancer from smoking. The more dangerous chemicals from smoking are the byproducts of combustion. Avoiding combustion is the driving force behind the popularity of vapor products.

Vaping without nicotine is typically a result of a progression of reducing nicotine over time. If you are thinking about trying vaping because it looks cool and you think non-nicotine vaping will not be harmful, don’t do it. Is vaping without nicotine bad for you? American researchers do not have an official position yet. But here is what we do know. Your lungs perform best with clean, oxygen-rich air.

Popcorn Lung And Diacetyl

Popcorn lung is the name for a condition called bronchiolitis obliterans, a serious lung disease. Diacetyl is a butter flavoring often used as the butter flavor for products like microwave popcorn. Workers in microwave popcorn production facilities exposed to inhaled diacetyl fumes are reported to have contracted bronchiolitis obliterans. Hence the name popcorn lung.

Diacetyl is used in some e-liquid flavors. As a result, concerns have been raised about vapers potentially being at risk for popcorn lung. It is recommended that vapers avoid e-liquids with diacetyl or acetoin. Many of the leading vape juice company’s never use diacetyl in any of their products.

closeup detail of female with an electronic cigarette exhaling vapor

Is vaping bad for you if there is diacetyl in your e-liquid? There is no evidence of that, but as a precaution, many vapers chose diacetyl free products. By the way, there is also diacetyl in tobacco smoke. Even with e-liquids that contain diacetyl, there is much less diacetyl in vapor than there is in tobacco smoke. To date, there are no known cases of any vaper contracting respiratory disease from vaping.

Is Vaping Addictive?

Well if nicotine is addictive, is vaping addictive? Researchers assume that nicotine is addictive. There has been some research indicating that nicotine is not as addictive as once thought but there is no consensus on that at this time. There are, however, studies that might indicate that vaping is less addictive than smoking.

A 2017 PATH study analysis at Penn State University found that vaping does not appear to be as addictive as smoking cigarettes. PATH stands for the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health. PATH is a long-term study that is tracking 30,000 people. A massive sample size.

Researchers discovered that vapers are less likely to have strong cravings, to need nicotine after waking up, and more able to resist in restricted areas. The PATH study did not find that vaping was not addictive, just that it appeared to be less addictive than smoking.

Another interesting side note is that PATH data once again shows that non-smokers are not taking up vaping in in large numbers as some critics claim. In fact, 93% of respondents that have tried e-cigarettes are smokers or former smokers.

An Update On Smoking Addiction

The interesting twist to all of this has been the recent discoveries that there are more chemicals in cigarette smoke that may be psychoactive and addictive. Not just nicotine. But, scientists are not sure what it is. Today’s neuroimaging technology has shown that when someone smokes a cigarette, they see a decrease in MAO. MAO is monoamine oxidase, which the body uses to break down dopamine. With lower MAO, the dopamine level remains higher contributing to addiction.

Scientists do not know what it is in tobacco smoke that suppresses MAO but they do know that it is not nicotine. The conclusion is that there is an unknown chemical in tobacco smoke causing this phenomenon.

You would think that by now we would have all the answers but here’s the thing. Just a few years ago we used to report to people that there were 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. Then, as technology improved, we came to find out there were 5,000 detectable chemicals. In the last few years, that changed again as we now understand that scientists have detected 7,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke. The more we learn about cigarettes and effects of smoking, the more ominous the picture gets.

Of course, this unknown addictive element in cigarette smoke does not get nicotine off the hook! Nicotine is a stimulant. Any stimulant can have addictive properties and increase heart rate and blood pressure. Children, pregnant women, and people with heart conditions should avoid nicotine and vaping.

Is Vaping Bad For You? Conclusions.

Here we are back to your original question. Is vaping bad for you? Now, this is where you come in to weigh what you have read and make a determination based on the best information available at this time. We have established that the device you use and how you use it makes a difference. Avoid low-quality vapor and e-liquid products. Make sure to choose the best electronic cigarettes to suit you specifically.

If you don’t smoke, don’t vape. If you are an adult tobacco consumer, then vaping is an option. Ultimately, it boils down to relative risk. Even vaping’s harshest critics admit that vaping is likely less harmful than smoking. We do not know if there are long-term health risks associated with vaping because there is no evidence either way at this point. Vaping is still a new phenomenon. We certainly know the dangers of smoking and the terrible health consequences.

The research will continue. Vaping Daily will keep you updated on the latest studies from around the world. The mounting body of scientific evidence is growing toward vaping being a legitimate risk reduction method. Electronic cigarettes still have naysayers, but fewer of them all the time.

36 Comments
  1. comment-avatar

    Robyn Hunkeler

    January 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm Reply

    Has anyone researched the effects of vaping on our teenagers? The kids from 14 to 18 are huge consumers. And I assure you they get addicted.

    • comment-avatar

      Ok

      March 2, 2018 at 2:20 pm Reply

      Wrong

      • comment-avatar

        J

        April 24, 2018 at 2:08 pm Reply

        Ur weon

      • comment-avatar

        Leander

        July 4, 2018 at 4:16 am Reply

        Very constructive comment “Ok”, I am enlightened.

        On-topic:
        Well yes obviously it’s addicting as it contains nicotine, but you can also purchase e-liquid without nicotine which would reduce the risk of addiction to a minimal.

  2. comment-avatar

    Gerard Butler

    February 21, 2018 at 9:05 pm Reply

    Robyn,
    I’m a 25 year old male pursuing his master’s degree at Stanford University.
    One thing I can tell you about the effects of vaping on teenagers… it is not a fad, but a dependent. If your child is less than 18 years of age, and beginning to vape/smoke, that is a terrible thing.
    Teenagers over the age of 18 should not be affected, as they have their own way of thinking, and are technically an adult.

    Vaping seems “cool” because “smoking” is “cool”, but in reality, your teenagers are only doing this because they are wanting to try new things. Be a hip mom and talk to them about science, or something that they like, a lot. Maybe you can nonchalantly convince them not to vape.

    • comment-avatar

      Pip Grisley

      May 29, 2018 at 2:15 am Reply

      Hi Gerald , I have a 13 Yr old son who is hassling me to let him vape. He said it’ll stop kids hassling him to smoke cigarettes. He has ASD and has done a fair bit of research. He’s correctly said its better he’s talking to me about it than going behind my back. It’s tricky! I don’t want him to start but am struggling to find facts against. Do you have anything scientific I could get him to read? Many thanks. Pip.

    • comment-avatar

      Taz

      May 31, 2018 at 11:50 pm Reply

      ” it was found that only 1% of the people that had tried e-cigarettes were never smokers.”

      Can you read?

  3. comment-avatar

    Andonia L.

    February 23, 2018 at 2:34 pm Reply

    In 2015 some scientists actually did do some research on the effects of vaping. It was found to be harmful and lead to cancer. It’s common sense anyways that anytime you heat up chemicals and inhale them into your lungs, it’s not good for you. The chemicals that are in vape liquid leave your lungs coated with a slick lining, cause inflammation, and other issues.

    • comment-avatar

      Nick

      March 20, 2018 at 8:56 pm Reply

      Read the article. It’s clear you didn’t, because the big study of 2015 New England Medical Journal, that damaged the image of e-smoking, was pointed out. Most of what followed we’re big repeat headlines, and more poorly orchestrated studies to drive the same results home; It has since been concluded these studies we’re performed in a way beyond that a normal vaper would use the device.

      Inhaling any aerosol is not good for you, but to date, no study has been performed on a large enough test group, within unbiased bounds, accurately, to that which a vaper would use the device. Short term hazardous effects have been proven to be nil, long term hazardous effects are questionable, and exponentially fewer than combustible cigarettes

    • comment-avatar

      Blaze

      March 28, 2018 at 9:54 am Reply

      Why are you lying are you another paid cigarette company troll ? Give the link to your bulshit “study” or shut up forever

    • comment-avatar

      Ed M.

      April 12, 2018 at 6:38 pm Reply

      Uh….. Do you have a link to this “so called” research?

    • comment-avatar

      Gavin

      May 24, 2018 at 6:33 am Reply

      There had been no cases of cancer from vaping anywhere in the world.

  4. comment-avatar

    David Lyle Strong

    February 24, 2018 at 7:28 am Reply

    After smoking 800,000 plus cigarettes over the past 50 years, I can tell you that VAPING is way way better for me than cigarette smoke. The benefits of vaping vs. cigarettes 1. less or no mucus 2. no stinking smoke 3. no cigarette burns 4. clean walls and windows in the house and in the car 5. about $ 25/ month (for me and wife) as opposed to $ 500/ month for cigarettes! I would like to add that over the years I tried every known method to quit smoking but nothing worked longer than a couple of weeks: patches, nicotine gum, Chantex, smoking cessation classes.

  5. comment-avatar

    Crystal

    February 24, 2018 at 2:37 pm Reply

    Our teenagers will get there hands on cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. Regardless.

    • comment-avatar

      Nims

      May 20, 2018 at 12:53 pm Reply

      I don’t think you realize that younger generations just aren’t interested in smoking cigarettes. With vaping as a healthier, tastier, slicker alternative why would they ever want to light up a nasty, horribly unhealthy, uncanny cigarette?

  6. comment-avatar

    Tanya rena Roberts

    February 26, 2018 at 5:38 am Reply

    U

  7. comment-avatar

    Tanya rena Roberts

    February 26, 2018 at 5:38 am Reply

    My boyfriend gotten me into vaping that I love it

  8. comment-avatar

    Helen

    February 27, 2018 at 5:04 pm Reply

    Vaping is now really common – I’ve tried it and it’s just like smoking, people from 13-16 are the ones who are addicted the most

    • comment-avatar

      This

      April 20, 2018 at 12:31 am Reply

      Wrong, it is not just like smoking. Read up on the facts.

    • comment-avatar

      Gavin

      May 24, 2018 at 6:28 am Reply

      Vaping; not addictive if you use 0mg juice

  9. comment-avatar

    Girish

    March 5, 2018 at 8:57 pm Reply

    Why don, t the WHO think on it and give the final result that vaping is better or not then smoking so people can understand what is better.

  10. comment-avatar

    Ben

    March 7, 2018 at 8:55 am Reply

    I do not think vaping is bad for you, actually vaping helped me to quit smoking and must say that my health improved a lot. I know it is not good either but for sure better than smoking normal cigarettes. I used to smoke a lot and honestly i had few attempts to stop but never really worked out. Then i got myself Vapour2 and i started to switch after time until i was smoking free. Now i am vaping the medium intensity and it is not hard at all to lower it. No more stinky breath anymore and lovely flavours. They are even days i do not need to vape so much, so i think one day i will manage to stop also vaping. So i am grateful for vaping for sure.

  11. comment-avatar

    Cindy

    March 25, 2018 at 3:41 am Reply

    I’ve been cigarette free for 1 year thanks to vaping and very proud because it’ such a hard habit to quit.

  12. comment-avatar

    David

    March 25, 2018 at 8:09 am Reply

    I have smoked for over 20 years and tried to quit many, many times. I just kept falling back into it after only a day or so. I started vaping about two month ago. I use only made in the U.S.A. liquids and avoid the sweet types. I was smoking a carton every week for longer than I can remember. I am already down to a carton of regular cigarettes every 4 weeks. That is about 600 fewer cigarettes per month. I am now lowering the nicotine in my e-liquids…and it hasn’t been all that difficult. I enjoy smoking and the e-cigs have been a wonderful option. I no longer wake up with a cough and have much more energy.
    I smoked only 3 regular cigarettes today…two months ago would have been around thirty or so.
    I can’t speak for anybody but myself…but it has been a wonderful thing for me.

  13. comment-avatar

    Blaze

    March 28, 2018 at 10:04 am Reply

    Why is vaping treated as smoking in public places ? It’s a different thing that dont involve second hand smoking… it’s not even smoking dammit why legislators choose to be ignorant and just throw both vaping and smoking to one pigeon hole. It just piss me off so bad. I quit smoking thanks to vaping and I feel great. Imagine how many people would give up smoking if the ban for public vaping was lifted.

  14. comment-avatar

    Tamara Roberts

    April 5, 2018 at 6:29 am Reply

    Since when are children under 18, are not told they can’t vape until they are 18-21? Why do adults have to return to regular cigarettes that are 98% more dangerous than e-cigs? Why don’t we ban alcohol? Some kids drink. So all adults should stop?

    I personally think it is the Big tobacco companies trying to kill the e-cigs, because they are losing a lot of money.

    Also, I believe a lot of people believe everything they read negative about e-cigs without really doing any research.

    Ive vaped for 3 years now, and lately hardly vape at all, due to I could reduce the nicotine over time.

  15. comment-avatar

    Michel pellegrin

    April 7, 2018 at 1:44 am Reply

    I think baking can stop you from smoking cigarettes

  16. comment-avatar

    Mark Bishop

    April 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm Reply

    The question is should vapers be vaping around non smokers. I don’t smoke and I would prefer it that vapers don’t vape around me either. Restrictions on vaping in public should be the same as smoking.

  17. comment-avatar

    nameless

    April 24, 2018 at 10:50 pm Reply

    Vaping is the best thing to do in the whole fucking world! LOL

  18. comment-avatar

    FC

    May 7, 2018 at 1:51 pm Reply

    I’ve always found it very funny that after reading through a whole article that actually point out facts and resaerch there are still comments from people with their own assertions and it MUST be tre because they saw it on FB or youtube or “Heard” it somewhere. Like the whole article JUST stipulated several facts and then just gets discarded. People ask for the truth and then ignore it.

    The bottom line is this: Anything other than clean air entering your lungs, is considered bad for you. With that in mind, SMOKING is worse for you than vaping is. It’s also less addctive. Unfortunately for us, most of the Cities nowadays don’t have clean air anyways. I have never smoked a ciggarette my entire life, I starting vaping because I liked the flavours and smells and tried it, and I am able to use it for 2 or 3 weeks until my flavour runs out, then still be perfectly comfortable waiting another 2 or 3 weeks or longer (I once stopped for about 2 months) until I can buy more… No cravings or detox-like effects.

    So with that in mind, I definately agree that vaping is WAAAY safer than vaping. As for kids, they will always experiment, It is up to you how you react/punish them if you should so wish.

  19. comment-avatar

    Liam

    June 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm Reply

    What about if you vape essential oils? Is this better or worse?

  20. comment-avatar

    Eva

    June 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm Reply

    Kids being bullied, pressured, or excluded is the real problem. I’m an older sister to 3 kids each in various school levels, and my sister in ELEMENTARY SCHOOL has been bullied on occasions because she wouldn’t try a vape. You people with the punk @$& kids who get their hands on this stuff and disregard it as merely a trend are as deadly as real cigarettes. KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR BRATS. For ALL of our sake. If you’re going around saying “kids will be kids” about something just because you can’t control it, GET HELP. Talk to school counselors, look up therapy groups, and TALK to YOUR CHILD. Don’t give up us. WE NEED YOU.

  21. comment-avatar

    Heather

    June 20, 2018 at 12:18 am Reply

    Vaping is less terrible than smoking Me and one of my friends started when we were 13. If your kids wants to try something let them try just dont let them take it to far and its definitely better than them going behind your back to do it RIGHT

  22. comment-avatar

    Joe

    June 20, 2018 at 2:40 pm Reply

    I started smoking cigarettes at 15. I didn’t see any adverse health effects until age 55, 40 years later. I tried smoking cessation classes, tried nicotine gum, tried nicotine patches and none were effective in helping me quit. I tried vaping. Almost immediately I quit coughing and hacking up mucus. I am now 61 and still vape. I haven’t smoked a cigarette since starting vaping. I honestly consider my health to be lots better. I haven’t been diagnosed with a lung disease. My doctor considered vaping lots better than smoking. I save hundreds a month, no more stinking smoke, no more bad breath, no more stains on walls or draperies, I have tried getting all my friends who smoke to try vapeing instead. I still think minors shouldnt ingest nicotine but do say that if they are preassured to smoke that it would be safer alternative. Vapeing satisfied all my urges. Something to hold, something to put in my mouth. Nicotine to satisfy that addiction. Way safer without all the harmful chemicals that come with cigarettes. I wish I would have found vapeing a long time ago.

  23. comment-avatar

    kelvin

    June 27, 2018 at 12:57 pm Reply

    vaping now 3months after smoking for twenty years, certainly feel 10 times better used a get a lot headaches didn’t think thus was to do with cigarettes but since I have stopped not a single headache? I sleep better not so frustrated as I was especially if I had no cigarettes or money to buy them

    its early days of course but if its so bad for you surely you would get some negative effects

  24. comment-avatar

    Angel Sanders

    June 28, 2018 at 7:28 pm Reply

    I am new to vapeing just started last week to stop smoking cigarettes and I have to say it is really helping me. I use to smoke two packs a day now one pack last me three days I have tried everything else to quit smoking and nothing has helped but this is helping I’m hope and can be completely quit smoking in the next few weeks

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