Is vaping bad for you?

Vapers Among Us
In recent years did you ever see someone puffing away at their vape pen and think “Hey that looks cool!”? Probably not. But then when you see celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Katy Perry doing it does it seem just a little cooler?

The Social Warzone
Social media plays a big role in our society. It had a big influence on the high numbers of smokers among the LGBTQ community (30%), thanks to the marketing efforts of Big Tobacco that started back in the 90’s. Vaping has also been popularized in this way, but what do we actually know about it? In the last few years, vaping itself has grown from just a few hundred people to thousands around the world.

Vaping is Expanding
Those who are familiar with Comic Con and WonderCon may be surprised to know vaping has its very own conventions. The two most popular ones where manufacturers and vapers meet are called Vapefest and the Electronic Cigarette Convention in the US.

What is Vaping – The Definition
For a layperson, we can define vaping as:

“The act of inhaling water vapor from an e-cig.”

The vapor is the gaseous form of flavored e-liquid – which may or may not contain nicotine. You can find e-liquids in virtually every imaginable flavor and a wide variety of nicotine strengths. Unlike smoke, vapor looks very thick and can smell very sweet, depending on the liquid. But, is it any less harmful than smoking?

Vaping Pros
Why are people for vaping, what is the big draw?

It’s cheaper
According to Dallas News, switching to e-vaporizers you have the potential to save up to $1,800 a year.

It has fewer health risks than cigarettes
Vaping offers a potential for smokers to reduce their health risks if electronic cigarettes are used in place of tobacco cigarettes and are considered a step toward ending all tobacco and nicotine use.Thomas Eissenberg, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond

In 2014 the American Heart Association (AHA) in an online 20-page extensive report stated, a little cautiously that:
(…)[e-cigarettes] present an opportunity for harm reduction if smokers use them as substitutes for cigarettes.

Vaping Cons
In an article by Project Know, electronic cigarettes were found to still give off carcinogens, increasing the chances of getting cancer.

Also most E-liquids contain nicotine that is first of all addictive and secondly, in large enough doses can be fatal.

What Can I Use To Vape?

If you’re curious about the types of vaporizers out there, here is a quick overview of the different types:

Common Types of Vaporizers
• E-Cigs:  These are very simple basic devices, that come prefilled with e-liquid and are ideal for smokers who want to have a feel of vaping.
• Vape Pens: Vaporizer pens are slightly bigger and more powerful than e-cigs.
• Vape Mods: These are the most powerful portable vaporizers. They offer an insane amount of vapor and flavor.
• Desktop Vaporizers: Are typically very big as well as very expensive but offer the best vaping experience. Desktop vapes are usually used to vape materials other than e-liquids i.e. dry herbs and oils.

Types of Vaporizers Based on Material
There are four types of vapes depending on the material you want:
• Vaporizers for E-Liquids: Used for e-liquids, they can range from very small cig-a-likes to very powerful vape mods.
• Dry Herb Vaporizer: Are mainly used for cannabis, and mostly used for recreational purposes as well as for medicinal purposes.
• Vaporizers for Waxes/Oily Concentrates: Used for waxes as well as concentrates, these are the rather less common type of vaporizers.
• Hybrid Vaporizers: Usually, the most expensive type of vapes are the ones that allow you to vape more than one material.

Vaping Health Relation – What Does the Science Say?
What about our health, isn’t this what is up for debate? With all the conflicting reports on how vaping truly affects us it is a hard topic to figure out.

If you want to know whether vaping is the lesser of the two evils or not, instead of writing a conclusion myself, I’ll quote Professor Kevin Fenton (Director of Health and Wellbeing at PHE) narrative:
E-cigarettes are not completely risk-free, but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm. The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting. Local stop smoking services should look to support e-cigarette users in their journey to quitting completely.

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