Lots of vapers still get a bit of a hard time about their hobby. Thought it's grown in popularity enourmously, there are still stigmas attached to it with many asking the question, 'is vaping safe?'. We know that smoking cigarettes is most certainly bad for our health, largely due to the tobacco, but vaping is tobacco free - so why the concern?
Of course, it's right to be concerned. As with anything we inhale, eat or drink - from sodas to fast food - we need to be mindful of what we put into our bodies. There is a very small risk attached to vaping, but that risk is no greater than say, drinking heavily caffeinated beverages or indulging in a takeaway. It has to be framed in context.
Is vaping safe?
Next time vaping gets a bad wrap, consider this. A new study from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in the US claims that almost 6.6 million lives could be saved by vaping within the next decade. The researchers who carried out the study are calling for health professionals to change their stance on vaping, citing the immense benefits it has over traditional smoking. Vaping has no tobacco and the nicotine amount can be carefully controlled and eventually phased out altogether. Not to mention the main chemicals found in most popular brands of e-juice are FDA approved and completely safe for consumption.
So, how did this study work exactly?
It takes a unique hypethetical approach that asks the question, "What would happen if everyone who smokes in the US suddenly switched to vaping?". Using models based on real life data, the study arrived at the conclusion that there would be 6.6 million fewer premature deaths if everyone switched to vaping. In a statement accompanying the results of the study, the researches said, "a strategy of replacing cigarette smoking with vaping would yield substantial life year gains".
More and more researchers are pushing for public health organizations to start recommending vaping as an alternative to smoking. The UK is already doing that for its Stoptober campaign though the US has shown no signs of moving in a similar direction... yet.
So... is vaping safe?
Honestly? This is an impossible question to answer until time passes and more data is gathered on the long term of effects of vaping. However, one thing we can be sure of is that exaggerated media campaigns and scaremongering have stigmatised vaping to the point where it's often seen to be as unhealthy as smoking. While we've known for years that that is not the case, many more are starting to wake up to the idea. There's no reason to think that vaping is any more harmful than your morning espresso, and it's certainly a great deal better for you than smoking tar filled cigarettes. Even Public Health England state that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco-based cigarettes.
So next time you get into an argument with someone about the health impacts of vaping, or someone sees you vaping and asks, "Is vaping safe?", you'll have some scientific data at your disposable. The evidence used to be anecdotal. Thankfully, that's no longer the case.
What are your thoughts on vaping? Is vaping safe? Do you have concerns? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.