Vaping has gained widespread popularity since Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik invented the first modern vaporizer in 2003. Lik intended for his device to replace traditional nicotine delivery systems like smoking. Over the years, however, the vaping culture has evolved from being a smoking cessation aid into a lifestyle. Today, it’s not unusual to come across a vape with no history of cigarette smoking.
But as an aspiring vaper, there are several things to know before joining in on the vaping craze. Most importantly, it would help to understand vaping compared to cigarette smoking. Are there real benefits of vaping compared to smoking, or is it all but a marketing hype? Read on as we unpack a side-by-side comparison between vaping and smoking.
Defining Vaping and Smoking
What Is Vaping?
Vaping refers to the process of inhaling heated vapor produced when certain materials are heated in a unique device called a vaporizer. A vaporizer is also known as an electronic cigarette (e-cig) or vape device.
Vape materials come in different forms, including e-liquids (also called e-juices, vape juices, or vape oils), dry herbs, and wax concentrates. However, e-juices are the most common materials people vape.
E-liquids typically contain four essential ingredients: vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), flavorings, and nicotine. Each of these compounds impacts your vaping experience. For instance, vegetable glycerin is famous for its vapor-producing abilities, while propylene glycol aids in the carrying of vape flavors.
Vaporizers also come in all shapes and sizes. The devices range from simplistic entry-level units called cigalikes to highly sophisticated gadgets called box mods. Shopping from a reputable vape shop USA may help you hunker down on a suitable vape device for you.
What Is Smoking?
Vaping may be a relatively new concept. But smoking needs no introduction. The only thing worth noting here is that smoking involves combustion and smoke production, whereas vaping does not. As you shall find, it’s that very smoke that health experts take issue with.
Differences Between Vaping and Smoking
Vaping has always been touted as a healthier alternative to cigarette smoking. If reports by the American Heart Association (AHA) are anything to go by, millions of people still take vaping as a way of quitting smoking. But is vaping the magic bullet to the scourge of cigarette smoking?
To answer that question adequately, it’s essential to compare the health implications of vaping and cigarette smoking.
Now, cigarette smoke contains about 7,000 chemicals. Out of this number, researchers have identified at least 70 highly toxic chemicals, including carbon monoxide, benzene, and heavy metals like mercury and lead. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cite the following as the most worrisome health risks of chronic cigarette smoking;
Damage to every organ in the body
Over 480,000 deaths annually in the United States alone, including 90% of all lung cancer fatalities and 80% of all deaths resulting from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Low sperm count
Increased risks of miscarriages and congenital defects
Some of the health risks associated with vaping include;
Reduced overall immunity
Nicotine is an addictive chemical that makes people hooked on cigarettes. It also happens to be a common vape juice ingredient. Besides its addictive nature, nicotine also comes with a host of health concerns, including delayed brain development among fetuses.
As far as nicotine consumption is concerned, vaping appears to be healthier than cigarette smoking. That’s because vape juices contain varying nicotine potency. Therefore, it’s easier for vapers to experiment with e-juices formulated with lower nicotine strengths.
You can even replace nicotine-based e-juices with e-liquids formulated with other healthier herbal extracts, such as cannabidiol. That’s in contrast to smoking, cigarette rolls typically contain nicotine, and the chemical is usually available in predetermined doses.
The combustion that occurs during smoking has a way of ruining the flavor of the herbal extracts smoked.
That’s because high temperatures generally destroy terpenes, the plant compounds that give herbal blends their distinctive flavors. This is the reason most smokers struggle to savor the aromas in their cigarettes. On the other hand, vaping allows vapers to experience fuller flavors. That’s because there’s no smoke produced, which would otherwise mar the taste of the flavors in vape materials.
So, if you care about savoring the distinct flavors of herbal blends (and I bet you do), you’ll have better luck vaping than smoking.
Cost and Economic Implication
According to the NCI, the average cost of a cigarette pack is $6.26. That’s considerably lower than the average cost of a vaporizer, which may set you back as much as $50. If you factor in the cost of e-juice, which typically ranges from $0.125/ml to $0.416667/ml, it’s evident that smoking is far more affordable than vaping.
So far, Bhutan is the only country in the world where it’s entirely illegal to sell, distribute, or use tobacco. Other countries have relatively permissive tobacco rules. The only requirement imposed by health regulators is that cigarette packets should display warning signs on the dangers of smoking.
On the other hand, vaping remains banned in numerous countries worldwide. These bans generally target specific vape materials, such as cannabis products. Some countries ban electronic cigarettes, with others imposing sweeping bans on all kinds of vape accessories.
Therefore, it’s essential to establish your local vaping laws before becoming a vaper.
Vaping and smoking are all effective methods of consuming herbal extracts. However, vaping is healthier and cost-effective in the long run, while smoking enjoys higher legality worldwide.