Vaping may be relatively new, but it certainly didn’t take long for the hobby to garner a ton of hate. While some concerns about vaping might be valid, others are – at best – misunderstandings and – at worst – just plain ignorant. Whether it’s baseless claims of health risks from flawed research, or mean-spirited generalizations, vapers have to listen to the same tired arguments and statements.
So why is this such a big deal? The reason is that these myths go beyond more than pride. They legitimately are accepted as truths by non-vapers, many of whom lobby their government to place unfair and misguided restrictions on vaping. Needless to say, it’s time to lay out the facts.
Vaping Myth #1: Vaping is the Same as Smoking
Arguably the most common claim by the anti-vaping camp, the idea that vaping and smoking are identical is just plain crazy.
- E-cigarettes use non-combustible e-liquids to deliver nicotine and flavorings. No tobacco leaves or any other materials are lit or burned.
- E-liquids contain propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine (optional) and flavorings. Regular cigarettes, on the other hand, give off 7,000 chemicals when burned, at least 69 of which are known to cause cancer, according to the American Lung Association.
- PG and VG are found in a variety of different products, like foods, cosmetics, and even inhalers. Cigarettes contain dangerous amounts of formaldehyde, tar, and lead – to name a few.
Let’s also not forget the little niceties. For instance, you don’t have to worry about being the person who arrives at a party or event reeking of cigarettes. Detractors will also have trouble finding a cigarette that comes in liquid form with thousands of great flavors to choose from.
But perhaps one of the most telling revelations is a study published by Riccardo Polosa in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. In short, the study monitored the effects of vaping on a group of asthmatic smokers. While some reported having abandoned vaping altogether or switched to “dual use” (smoking and vaping), those who stuck with it reportedly experienced a marked reversal in lung damage.
The most compelling excerpt from this study is that “Compared to combustible cigarettes, e-vapor products are at least 96% less harmful and may substantially reduce individual risk and population harm”.
Yet vaping and smoking are the same. Right.
Vaping Myth #2: Second Hand Vapor is as Dangerous as Second Hand Smoke
Right on the heels of the claim that vaping and smoking are identical, we also have the myth that second-hand vapor is just as dangerous as tobacco smoke. Again, this simply isn’t true.
There’s nothing wrong with being concerned about this issue. After all, bystanders have a right to be safe from any potential harm caused by someone’s vape. Fortunately, nobody in the vicinity has to worry.
According to a study in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, researchers compared toxins in the vapor to those of ambient air. Their readings found that the aerosol posed no health risks to children or adults form carcinogenic or non-carcinogenic chemicals. Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, showed high toxicity levels in these areas (which is hardly news).
Vaping Myth #3: Nicotine Causes Cancer
Nicotine’s presence in cigarettes naturally makes a lot of people connect this drug with cancer; however, nothing could be further from the truth. To date, not one study has been able to provide evidence that nicotine is carcinogenic. In fact, nicotine’s effects are comparable to that of caffeine, both in terms of their immediate and long-term impacts. Long story short – nicotine doesn’t cause cancer and is actually quite benign.
In fact, nicotine has shown some medicinal benefits as well, such as improving focus and reducing anxiety when taken on its own; however, these benefits are overshadowed by the drug’s association with cigarettes.
The only other concern about nicotine is its addictive nature, but even this is debatable. Many people have no issues quitting the drug, while others struggle. But it’s important to note that cigarettes have been chemically altered, using ammonia to make the nicotine even more potent and addictive.
Nonetheless, nicotine-like caffeine – does increase blood pressure and heart rate, which can be concerning to people with certain health problems. The beauty of vaping is that it can be enjoyed without nicotine. This is luxury tobacco companies don’t offer.
Vaping Myth #4: Vapes and E-liquids Not FDA Approved
For the longest time, this was the case. But eventually, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did step in. Sadly, many of their regulations were restrictive and posed a threat to businesses. More importantly for consumer interests, however, the regulations were often redundant, as vape companies self-regulated for years.
Although there are always a few bad apples, vape and/or e-liquid manufacturers have always known that quality is a critical way to stay competitive. Many have their products independently tested, leaving the results right on their websites for people to read. They use only the best ingredients, such as U.S. food-grade VG, PG and pharmaceutical grade nicotine, while constructing vapes with high-quality materials.
Manufacturers are usually avid vapers themselves, so they feel they have a moral obligation to their client base. This only further motivated them to keep products as safe as possible.
However, now that the FDA stepped in, this concern is a moot point – even if it was largely unnecessary.
Vaping Myth #5: All Vapers Are “Hipsters”
This may seem like a silly thing to address. After all, it’s often just a harmless joke. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it that way, using labeling to discredit an entire sub-culture. The funny thing is that we’re taught from childhood not to generalize or subscribe to stereotypes, yet that’s exactly what’s happening here.
Sure, maybe we vapers shouldn’t take this too strongly. Who cares what some acquaintance or a random guy on Reddit thinks. The problem is that this passive-aggressive mocking makes pro-vaping advocates seem less credible and may very well keep some people from trying it all together.
Vaping Myth #6: E-Cigarettes Won’t Help You Quit Smoking
This debate has been raging on for some time now. Many anti-vaping crusaders and organizations claim that there’s no link between vaping and smoking cessation. Despite the mounds of anecdotal evidence from former smokers, a study in favor of tobacco harm reduction (THR) seems to back it up.
The study admits that for some, smoking cessation is simply unattainable. But if cigarettes were replaced with something similar – even if it carries its own risks – this could very well save millions of lives.
About the Author:
Alex Saez is a vaping enthusiast and content creator at MistHub, a top source for vapes, electronic cigarettes, mods, tanks, coils, e-juices, and accessories.