Vaping is a common topic in the news and on social media, but there are a lot of inaccuracies and misconceptions out there.
Here we take a closer look at four important facts.
Vaping does not produce smoke
Unlike cigarettes, vaping devices products do not contain or burn tobacco, and as a result they don't produce any smoke. Instead, vaping produces a visible aerosol or vapour that looks like smoke.
Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, is the result of burning tobacco that creates or releases thousands of compounds including many toxicants. These can cause cancer and other smoking related illnesses. By not burning tobacco, the vapour from a vaping device delivers far fewer and lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarette smoke.
This comparatively lower level of toxicants and an understanding of the potential harm caused by these chemicals is the primary fact relied on by the many authorities around the world to conclude that vaping on its own is likely much less harmful than cigarette smoking.
E-liquids do not contain tobacco
While some vaping devices are designed to look similar to cigarettes, and are chosen by many as an alternative to smoking, e-liquids do not contain tobacco – even those that are tobacco flavoured.
Nicotine isn’t carcinogenic
While nicotine is addictive, it is widely acknowledged that the cause of many smoking-related illnesses are the toxicants in the smoke produced when tobacco is burned. Nicotine by itself isn’t a carcinogen, meaning alone, it doesn't cause cancer.
Those with certain medical conditions must not use vapour products containing nicotine. They are not suitable for use by anyone who is:
- Under the legal age to use vapour products, as defined by their local jurisdiction
- Allergic or sensitive to nicotine
- Pregnant or breast-feeding
- Advised to avoid using tobacco or nicotine products for medical reasons
- Suffering from an unstable heart condition, severe hypertension or diabetes
E-liquids and e-cigarettes must also be kept out of reach of children because accidental swallowing of nicotine can be harmful or even fatal.
Vaping is not without risks
E-cigarette aerosol can contain harmful chemicals, and e-liquids also often contain nicotine, which is addictive. Research from Public Health England suggests that vaping is safer than smoking, but it is not without risks. There are currently no long-term studies into the health impact of vaping devices or e-liquids, which is one reason why public health authorities’ advice remains that if you don’t already smoke, you should not start, nor should you start to vape.