The stories coming out of the US currently would indicate that vaping is not good for one’s health:
“Teens hospitalised for lung damage after vaping” reported CBS News.
“22 people hospitalised with vaping-linked breathing problems” screamed NBC news.
So what is going on? Is Vaping Bad?
Well, scratch the surface of these stories and you quickly uncover the truth - a reality that is a far cry from the story the sensationalist headlines would have you believe.
Vaping unregulated e liquids is bad for your health
Turns out the substances the American teens had been inhaling were from an unknown source, and the type of devices they were using to inhale these unknown e liquids were also unknown to authorities.
One patient who fell ill after vaping a few hits from a new vape cartridge had to be placed in a medically induced coma after his symptoms got worse.
So what gives?
Turns out he had bought a vape cartridge off the street, not from a reputable shop nor from a reputable company.
All of these kids who had fallen ill had purchased products of an unknown nature, not knowing what was in them, who had been in contact with them, who had tampered with them or who had made them. They had no way of knowing what they were inhaling into their bodies.
Another patient who had fallen ill had been vaping e liquids from a company that went out of business several years ago. Meaning he had vaped either e liquid that had gone bad, or someone had made a homemade e liquid and sold it in old packaging.
So, is vaping bad for you?
Let’s take a look at a government-funded report by Public Health Matters to clear this up once and for all.
Clearing up the myths around vaping
There are so many inaccuracies and myths surrounding vaping, it comes as no surprise that still, in 2019, people still believe that vaping is smoking.
Vaping is not smoking. Never has been, never will be.
Here are 5 myths around vaping - debunked.
- Vaping is not going to give you popcorn lung.
Why would your lungs contain popcorn? Because way back when vaping first came about some flavourings used in e liquids to create a buttery flavour contained the chemical diacetyl, which at high levels, is associated with bronchiolitis obliterans. The popcorn lung name of the condition was first discovered amongst workers working in a popcorn factory.
Diacetyl is now a banned ingredient from UK e liquids, so no popcorn lungs for those who opt for buttery flavoured e liquids.
- We do know what’s in e liquids.
E-cigarette haters spread nonsense about not knowing what vapers are putting into their bodies. Yes, for those poor kids in the US where the regulations around vaping are lackadaisical at best, that may be the case. But here in the UK, the vaping industry is heavily regulated, and under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, e cigarettes and all associated products are required, by law, to adhere to minimum quality and safety standards.
As well as following legal packaging and labelling requirements, all producers of e cigarette products must have their products, including full ingredients list, notified to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency prior to retail.
- E cigarettes are not cigarettes, just because they contain nicotine.
This is where some confusion can lie, because cigarettes contain nicotine, as can e cigarettes. But that doesn’t mean that smoking a cigarette and vaping an e cigarette will cause your body the same damage.
That just isn’t true.
Worst of all, almost half of smokers and ex-smokers wrongly believe that it is the nicotine in cigarettes that causes lung cancer. It is not the nicotine, it is the plethora of horrendous chemicals that cigarettes are packed full to the brim with that cause cancer.
Nicotine, according to recent research, carries a minimal risk of harming health.
- E cigarettes do not give off second hand smoke.
The reason e cigarettes don’t give off secondhand smoke is because there is no smoke for them to give off.
E cigarettes don’t give off anything for that matter, other than the stream of exhaled vapour. And that vapour contains nothing but water and minimal quantities of propylene glycol, vegetable glycol, flavour particles and maybe some nicotine.
In fact, Public Health England conducted research in 2018 to show that there are NO identified health risks for bystanders from passive vaping.
- E cigarettes do not encourage kids to start smoking.
If anything e cigarette use amongst teenagers is a way for them to quit smoking (as also recommended by the NHS), and to highlight this, the smoking rates of young people in the UK continues to fall, year on year.
There is no evidence, none, to suggest that using e cigarettes somehow normalises smoking and encourages young people to take up the habit.
So, is vaping bad for you?
E cigarettes are the best way for smokers to quit smoking and stay smoke-free, and if the NHS recommends them, then who are we to argue with this stalwart of British health?
Because e cigarettes and cigarettes are not the same products, they should never be considered the same thing, ever.