re electronic cigarettes safer than cigarettes?
This seems to be the question on everyone’s mind. Surely, a replacement for smoking that might be much healthier and actually deliver benefits? It sounds too good to be true! Alas, however; Vaping is, without a doubt, much much healthier than smoking cigarettes. However, due to a recent “study” (if it even meets the academic criteria to be considered a study?), there is a recent scare about popcorn lung due to trace amounts of a substance known as dialectyl in electronic cigarette juice.
To fully understand the argument, I intend to start from the ground up. Let’s start with cigarettes. According to a variety of sources, cigarettes can have 600 ingredients in them with 4000 chemicals, including 400 toxins, or cigarettes can have around 50 ingredients in them with few to no toxins. But for the people who have smoked cigarettes for awhile… do you feel healthy and full of life after a cigarette? Do you feel like you can take a deep breath without hacking up a lung? Do you feel short of breath? The answer to every single one of those has to be yes, or else you’re lying to yourself – I was a smoker (Marlboro NXTs) for around 3 years, so I know how awful smoking a cigarette can makes you feel. But regardless; let us just assume that smoking is really bad for you. There’s so many ingredients in each specific cigarette that trying to pinpoint which ingredient each toxin relates back to is a daunting task. However, ingredients are known to generate tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, arsenic and many more – of course, this is excluding nicotine.
Nicotine itself is a substance that should be treated with more reverence and caution than its most famous counterpart, caffeine. Nicotine, and caffeine, are indeed drugs. Not drugs as in the marijuana or illicit kind, but drugs as in the kind that will affect your mental state. Nicotine itself is highly addictive. Nicotine acts as a stimulant, driving a heart rate up, increasing focus, and increasing the users’ metabolism. Each cigarette has around 2-3 mg of nicotine per cigarette in it, with heavier brands (like Marlboro Reds) having more nicotine in it.
In stark contrast, electronic cigarette juice (“e-liquid”) has four to five main ingredients in it. Propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, concentrated/natural/artifical flavoring, water or grain vodka, and possibly nicotine. Four of these categories have nothing to worry about, while the nicotine category is the most incriminating and worrisome. Typically, e-juices will usually include these four (five?) ingredients, with a few others to accent the juice and give it a more trademark flavor. Propylene glycol is a synthetic substance, made from propylene oxide (food-grade use), and is typically meant to give the e-liquid its retaining flavors; that is, the most prominent flavor in the e-liquid. Vegetable glycerin is a sweet-tasting, more viscuous liquid, typically extracted from plants (such as soybeans or palm) or the fat of animals (the tallow of animals). Vegetable glycerin is meant to give the vapor its vapor-y effect, creating a big cloud when exhaled and generating that “throat-hit” effect. Distilled water or whole-grain vodka are used in the creation of e-liquids as well, to distill the e-liquid solution and make it much more watery and less like a firm gel. Whole-grain vodka can be used in place of distilled water to give the throat-hit effect a much more noticeable presence. Juices also usually include some form of flavoring, 99% of the time, which can be either absorbed by the propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin – each substance slightly changes the retained flavor of each taste, with vegetable glycerin being much more friendly to sweet tasting flavors. However, there has been few findings on vegetable glycerin or propylene glycol.
Since you now understand the main ingredients of e-juice, another big question that comes to law-makers’ minds is the thought of regulation. Surely, if tobacco companies are to be regulated, then electronic cigarette juices should be regulated as well? The idea is in the right place, but in practice, this is completely unnecessary – the electronic cigarette, or vaping, community is fairly tight-knit. It’s almost impossible to look around on the internet and not find something like a 15% off coupon code, or a “buy 3 get 1 free” type of deal; the vaping community gives back to itself numerous times over. Due to the tight-knit community and the constant exchange of information, a user can decide what type of juice they would like before even ever tasting it (by “type of juice,” this denotes types like menthol juice, dessert-flavored juice, cereal-flavored juice, and many more). Therefore, if a company doesn’t make a good juice, you know about it right away due to discussions in the community. There are many electronic cigarette resources available, typically housed within pre-existing communities, where people discuss the juices they’ve bought and the quality of them, as well as other factors such as price, deals, and quality of service. All it takes is a bit of googling around and some internet detective-work to determine if a juice is tasty or not.
Very rarely does such an issue as severe as the “dialectyl/popcorn lung” scare pop up, and this can even be questioned a bit. Vaping is a very open-source, friendly, and welcoming community. Someone smarter than you, the reader, most likely has a place in a community, and keeps a watchful eye out for things such as good juice brands, good deals, good hardware deals, and many, many more. Studies that typically find negative effects of vaping are quick to be discounted, typically due to the studiers’ gross negligence of how vaping actually works and how people use their own vaporizers.
Without a doubt, electronic cigarettes and vaping their juice is so much safer than cigarettes. Studies are being shoved out to try and discount the credibility about health when vaping, but these studies are ridiculous – one such study found that formaldehyde was released from electronic cigarettes, but that formaldehyde was released only when you used a non-consumer grade coil with little to no juice in a tank; in other words, a scenario that no vaper would ever fall under. Vaping is safe. There are five ingredients, one of which your body is literally made of and cannot do without (water).