Why vaping doesn't actually damage cells like smoking does
Another week, another overblown and out-of-context media scramble about vaping. This time, dozens of leading outlets are making headlines about vaping being just as damaging as smoking for our cells.
Fortunately, not all journalists are so quick so jump on the bandwagon of anti-vape culture, with some outlets, such as New Scientist, arguing to prove just how false those claims really are.
As we already know, an independent review has shown that e-cigarettes are as much as 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes, so why are new headlines suggesting otherwise?
The study in question exposed human cells to e-cigarette vapour (both nicotine-based and nicotine-free) to see the effects. The results showed that cells exposed to vapour were far more likely to die than those that were unexposed. And while the damage from nicotine-free vapours was slightly less, there was still evidence of harm from such substances.
It sounds quite conclusive when you put it that way, but what many of these inflammatory headlines failed to include is the testing process, which is extremely significant.
When researchers exposed human cells to cigarette smoke, those cells all died within one day. When researchers exposed human cells to vapours, they did it every three days for between one to eight weeks. In no uncertain terms, that timeframe shows that vapours took significantly longer to harm cells.
Therefore, headlines claiming that vaping is ‘no better’ than smoking are entirely incorrect. In fact, this seems to only add to the growing list of evidence that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than combustible cigarettes. This doesn’t mean that e-cigarettes are completely and utterly healthy or good for you, but it does mean that you can’t put them in the same category as cigarettes.