Vaping vs Smoking: What the Ban is Neglecting

In the wake of the UK government’s ban on disposable vapes, and the hot media climate surrounding the issue of child smoking, its fair to say that the reputation of vaping has taken a hit. But have vaping’s long established benefits been forgotten and overlooked in the vaping vs smoking debacle?

It’s 2024, and the general consensus seems to be that vaping is terrible for society. Since the problem of child vaping has now taken center stage in the news, vapes have been blacklisted by the nations tongue, with disposables condemned to be exiled.

What we seem to be forgetting, in this firestorm of morals, is the group at the opposite end of the age spectrum. Generations of tobacco smokers who finally found a way out through e cigarette use.

Vaping vs smoking cigarettes may be a forgotten topic nowadays, but it a clear one none the less. Vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking. Here are the facts:

Vaping vs Smoking: The Health Effects
Cigarette smoking involves the inhalation of over 5000 different chemicals, at least 70 of which cause cancer. Tobacco smoke is particularly abundant in harmful chemicals such as tar and carbon monoxide, which can increase the risk of lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other real health risks such as heart disease and lung cancer.

Electronic cigarettes, in fact, contain none of these cancer causing chemicals. The only recurring ingredient that e-cigarettes share with regular tobacco cigarettes is nicotine, a chemical relatively harmless to health that doesn’t induce disease.

A 2022 study led by academics at Kings College London reviewed international evidence and determined that “vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking tobacco”.

All in all, using e cigarettes significantly reduces the exposure to the potentially harmful chemicals that tobacco smoking releases.

Is Vaping Better than Smoking?
Yes, despite what we may think about vaping individually, vaping is irrefutably better than smoking for our system.

This is not a comment on how great vaping is for everyone; I do not personally vape myself. This is a comment on how severely harmful smoking tobacco is, and how electronic cigarettes have paved the way for so many to give it up.

How Vaping Can Help Quit Smoking
Its easy to forget the role of e cigarettes in society when they fall into the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, such as young people. But for those who need to quit smoking cigarettes, and are at risk of multiple life threatening diseases, the role of e cigarettes is not only pivotal, but powerful.

A project undertaken by the Royal College of Physicians found e cigarettes prove far more popular and successful than nicotine replacement therapy in helping people to quit smoking, while the health hazard from long term vapour inhalation is unlikely to exceed 5% of the harm of exposure to traditional cigarettes.

Furthermore, according to NHS England, research suggests people quitting smoking are roughly twice as likely to stop smoking completely with the use of e cigarettes rather than using other nicotine replacement products, such as patches or gum.

If making the switch to vaping is one that would be beneficial for you, check out our Beginner’s Guide to Vaping.

Breaking the Routine of Cigarette Smoking

Ever since humans first cultivated a relationship with tobacco, their habits have become indoctrinated into the smoking society. Hand to mouth action. Bathing in foggy vapours. A kick in the throat. An airy sensation in the head. It does look cool, it has to be said.

However, these habits factor into a routine, and it is this continual routine that has become almost as addicting as the nicotine itself. Many of those quitting smoking have no success with nicotine patches, or gum, because it doesn’t fill the habitual hole that smoking leaves behind. This can lead to withdrawal symptoms, and a subsequent return to smoking cigarettes.

Here’s where vaping comes into play. Acting as a smoking cessation, an e cigarette will give all of the same sensations that traditional cigarette use gives, yet without the ingestion of thousands of health damaging chemicals.

Vaping is not necessarily a safe alternative for someones body. But when it comes to breaking the stronghold of tobacco products, using e cigarettes can save lives.

Our starter vape kits are the perfect choice for anyone looking to break this stronghold, but don’t know where to start.

Vaping is Less Harmful than Smoking, but it’s Still Not Risk Free
When it comes to breaking a smoking habit, vaping is a practice that can drastically help. However, due to the relatively recent advent of e cigarettes, there are some unknowns surrounding our electronic companions.

People often fear what they don’t know, and when it comes to vaping, it must be said that it is impossible to know what effects they may have in the long term. This has been a reason often used to discredit vape products, despite clear evidence of their success in diminishing tobacco habits.

What Do We Know About Vaping’s Long Term Effects?
The main factor we do not know is how chronic ingestion of propylene glycol affects the respiratory system. It is one of the two chemicals that make up the base of every E-liquid in a vape, along with vegetable glycerin.

However, like vegetable glycerin, which is a clear liquid made from vegetable oils and actually offers many health benefits, propylene glycol is a chemical widely used. It is found in various coffee based items, sweeteners and dairy products.

However, like vegetable glycerin, which is a clear liquid made from vegetable oils and actually offers many health benefits, propylene glycol is a chemical widely used. It is found in various coffee based items, sweeteners and dairy products.

With regard to inhalation, a 2018 study found that small doses of inhaled propylene glycol showed no pulmonary function deficits in 10 healthy men and women. Research suggests that the ingredients which make up an e cigarette appear to present no significant hazard. As stated before, it is yet to be determined whether their continued usage will present future issues.

Of course, the highly addictive substance nicotine also forms the genetic makeup of an e cigarette. But hang on…

Nicotine Isn’t What You May Think It Is
Nicotine use, tobacco, smoke, cancer, cardiovascular disease. They all seem to go hand in hand in the eye of public health. Lets get it straight, nicotine addiction is a bad thing. When packaged into the chemical hell hound that is a cigarette, it can keep someone hooked. Plus, it has no place in the bodies of non-smokers.

Yet when on its own, nicotine remains a naturally produced, valued pharmaceutical drug that has been used safely for many years for smoking cessation.

Nicotine’s benefits prove bountiful when used correctly, in order with those trying to stop smoking. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is prescribed by pharmacies all over, and has proved a key factor in the antidote for those who stop smoking. Tobacco’s greatest ally may actually be its worst enemy.

How much Nicotine is used in Vaping vs Smoking?
Many disposable vape pens are available in a strength of 20 mg. Nicotine is measured by the mg, meaning a 20 mg/ml disposable vape that holds 2 ml of E-Liquid would have a total of 40 mg inside; equivalent to roughly 20-40 cigarettes.

But a huge advantage that vaping has over its tar tampered counterpart is the ability to customise nicotine strength.

Finding the right nicotine strength is crucial in helping to stop smoking, as it will help to stave off nicotine cravings and prevent any withdrawal symptoms.

For example, if cravings and withdrawal symptoms still persist when using an e cigarette, the body is taking in less nicotine than it is used to. The benefit with vaping products – you can increase or decrease nicotine strength if need be. If a vaping device causes nausea or any other related problems, decrease the strength.

Secondhand Smoke

Passive smoking brings about its own health risks, and is especially harmful for those who have less developed respiratory systems. According to research conducted by the NHS UK, children who share a household with a smoker are more likely to develop asthma, chest infections and meningitis.

In addition to this, adults who breathe in secondhand smoke regularly are more likely to get the same diseases as smokers, due to the volatile organic compounds present in cigarette smoke.

These volatile compounds do not exist in e cigarette vapour. Yes, there are other chemicals involved. But none of these release the potentially harmful substances that traditional cigarettes do.

How to Quit Vaping When You’re Ready
The age of e-cigarette use has seen many people quit smoking. Adult smokers and young adults alike have stopped their tobacco use in favour of vaping, and frankly, the evidence cannot be denied that e cigarettes are an effective means to dissuade smokers from their chemical burning rituals.

But its hard to say vaping is a healthy alternative. It remains difficult to tell exactly how persistent, daily e cigarette use affects the body in the long term.

It would be prudent for former smokers to, eventually, stop vaping. But its a gradual process.

I would recommend setting certain times of the day to use e cigarettes, and slowly reducing these sets over a period of time. A set vaping routine can sound boring to some. For those who aren’t fans of set timings, another good tip would be to gradually reduce the strength of the E-Liquid, before potentially getting some prescribed NRT.

But relax, there’s no rush, stopping smoking cigarettes is already one of the biggest achievements someone can take in the protection of their health.

Conclusion: The Future of Vaping
Despite the research and evidence behind the science of e cigarettes, its future does not look entirely bright here in the UK.

Demonised by widespread media representation, and with further restrictions planned on top of the disposable ban, including an increase in tax on vaping products (which would see the cheap cost of vaping rise to the ridiculous use of tobacco cost), its becoming clear that the incentives for smokers to switch to vaping are wildly dropping.

This is worrying. The bigger picture of e-cigarettes is not being painted, and people have seem to forgotten why exactly they exist in the first place.