Many misconceptions are circulating online about the vaping community and the effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a cessation tool for smoking. You may have heard these myths on the streets, from someone you know, or from an article headline.
E-cigarettes are a complex subject to discuss, as the research on their effects is relatively new compared to the well-established dangers of traditional combustible cigarettes. However, it is essential to examine and dispel any misinformation not supported by scientific evidence to have a better lens toward the risks and benefits of e-cigarettes.
One of the most common misconceptions about vaping is “it’s just the same as smoking.” Granted, it basically replicates the behavioral pattern of smoking cigarettes, but it’s totally distinct from each other.
Smoking cigarettes contain 7,000 chemicals, including over 70 known carcinogens that are proven to cause serious health concerns for its user. Meanwhile, e-cigarettes typically contain propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerin (VG), nicotine, and flavorings.
The act of smoking also pertains to burning tobacco leaves to create smoke, while e-cigarettes vaporize e-liquids to produce vapor. Vapor and smoke visually look the same, but how they are created is very different.
It is nearly impossible to read about vaping online and not stumble upon circulating myths about e-cigarettes being linked with a lung disease called Popcorn Lung.
The correlation began from an outbreak dating back to 2000 when former factory workers from a popcorn plant developed a rare chronic disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. Upon further research, excessive exposure to diacetyl in butter flavoring is the common culprit.
However, there is no clear evidence that this also translates to the diacetyl found in some e-liquid products. While diacetyl, a chemical linked to popcorn lung, has been found in some e-liquid products, it is vital to note that the levels are significantly lower than those in the factory.
Since e-cigarettes are relatively new in the market compared to traditional combustible cigarettes, most people assume they are unregulated. However, this is not necessarily true.
E-cigarettes are subject to regulations by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States, which cover various aspects, including manufacturing, importing, packaging, labeling, advertising, promotion, sale, and distribution. In fact, some e-cigarette products such as Vuse Pods, Logic Pro, Logic Power, and other Vuse Vape Pods have already been authorized by the FDA as of 2022.
Most people are aware towards the health risks of inhaling secondhand smoke from combustible cigarettes. However, it is not yet clear to what extent secondhand exposure to e-cigarette vapor, also known as vaping, poses similar risks.
While the vapor from vapes looks particularly the same as the smoke from cigarettes, they are totally distinct from each other. Smoke contains a mixture of harmful chemicals, including tar, carbon monoxide, and carcinogens, making it absolutely terrible for the smoker and everyone nearby. Meanwhile, vaporized e-liquid only consists of water vapor mixed with small amounts of nicotine and chemicals that aren’t nearly as harmful to your health.
The pushback against vaping has led everyone to question its efficacy in helping an individual quit smoking. The statement vaping is not an effective smoking cessation tool is not accurate, as many users have found the use of the device to be highly contributional towards their quitting journey.
Additionally, the Cochrane review found strong evidence that the use of e-cigarettes has been even more effective in helping a smoker quit than the other traditional nicotine replacement therapies, including nicotine gums and patches. If you’ve had a hard time curbing the smoking habit, e-cigarettes could be just the solution you were looking for.
Another popular myth about e-cigarettes is it’s the infamous gateway device for youth and non-smoking adults to eventually find their way to combustible cigarettes. However, these allegations aren’t clearly backed by scientific evidence.
While some studies have found that young adults who use e-cigarettes are likely to attempt combustible cigarettes in the future, it is crucial to note that most of these individuals do not become regular smokers. Furthermore, adult e-cigarette users primarily use them as a tool to quit smoking instead of the other way around.