Does the world have to see smoking and vaping as locked in a vicious battle where only one can survive? This does not have to be the case.
Many consumers have chosen to not even try electronic options feeling suspicious about this relative newcomer while they know the risks associated with smoking but feel it is too late to do their bodies any good by quitting now.
There are also non-combustion tobacco products to compete with electronic cigarettes and vaporizers which use tobacco. Choices abound, but is there room in a contest of smoking vs vaping for both to survive?
First, let’s look at the facts about smoking. Quite apart from nicotine-related risks the chance of developing a lung problem or cancer related to smoking is high enough that almost everyone who smokes has a health concern.
Smoking causes or exacerbates asthma, COPD, pneumonia, and heart problems. Smoking-related cancers include lung and oral cancer.
Health problems are just one part of the debate: there are other ugly facts too. Smokers age prematurely. Their breath smells of formaldehyde. Their clothing, house, and car smell nauseating to non-smokers.
Second-hand smoke is a danger so smokers tend to go outside no matter how cold or wet it is if they want to smoke during their work break or at home because no one wants to be exposed to smoking dangers or to the aromas associated with it. Then there is that ugly and distressing smoker’s cough.
Nicotine is not usually related to illness or death but it is a drug that has the potential to do what all stimulants do: interfere with normal rhythms of the heart. This is serious business. Consumers who chew tobacco still ingest a lot of nicotine and are at risk of suffering from seizures, high blood pressure, or heart attack.
Since smoking is addictive because of nicotine but also an addictive behavior, vaping satisfies both elements of this habit without the smoke. Smoke is where the toxins come from; the stuff people breathe in and die from. Vaping eliminates many of those elements, such as tar etc., whether one uses a dry herbal vaporizer or an e cig.
Vaporizers, however, come with their own risks. In particular, nicotine is frequently still present in e liquids and remains in ground herbs so consumers are still getting their fix of this socially acceptable drug. They can continue to put their nervous systems at risk without really understanding the dangers.
But vapor smells much better than smoke. It tastes better and many bosses will allow their vaping employees to use an electronic cigarette indoors although smokers are sent outside.
Vapor, if it lingers on the air, smells like tobacco without the chemicals. Many vapers choose flavors of e liquid such as mint, chocolate, coffee, and custard. There are countless flavor possibilities. Vaping with an e cig is cheaper than smoking by many hundreds of dollars each year.
Yet scientists are still unsure about the properties of vapor. Is it dangerous in its own right, just less dangerous than cigarette smoke? Or is vapor completely harmless?
As a nicotine replacement therapy, vaping appears to be a method of choice for thousands of Americans who continue to “smoke” without combustion. Many never really give up the habit, though, because they are still addicted to the motion and to the nicotine.
Smoking vs Vaping: the Winner
There is no clear winner in this race. At least, with cigarette smoking, consumers know the facts; they realize what they are doing. With vaping, a lot of people are deluded because they hear the good news and ignore the bad. There are definitely some benefits, like no smell of smoke, and they are richer, and have more friends.
It’s not an easy choice to make which habit is better, but one can be thankful that scientists continue to study this intriguing topic, looking for facts and dispelling myths.