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Negative health effects of vaping: Are they any?

As vaping becomes increasingly popular, it's the question on everyone's lips - what are the negative health effects of vaping? Daily, we see stories in newspapers and on television discussing the health risks of vaping. Many of them cite recent studies from ambiguous organisations that we've never heard of, so what should we believe? For many vapers and would-be vapers, the question isn't whether or not there are any negative health effects of vaping - the question is whether the health risks outweigh the rewards.

Everything we put into our bodies, including various food and drink, carries some element of risk. The trick to good health is to find a balance that works for you. The first thing to note when assessing the potential negative health effects of vaping is that it commonly replaces that most dangerous of consumer products - the cigarette. An overwhelming majority of vapers are actually ex-smokers looking for a tobacco free, healthier way to get their fix and do what they love with minimal risk. When stacked alongside smoking cigarettes (inhaling smoke from the burning of plant material), the risks of vaping pale in comparison.

The fear factor

We're not going to pretend that there is airtight evidence stating that vaping is 100% risk free, but let's take a look at the facts as they stand. In the past year, both Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians have concluded that the long term risks associated with vaping are likely very low. In fact, the Royal College of Physicians reported that any harm from vaping is unlikely to exceed 5% of that from smoking cigarettes. Food for thought.

Even in light of these reports from trusted sources, many aren't convinced. Over the past decade or so, thankfully, the general public have seen the light and we've concluded that smoking is a bad, unhealthy habit. One of the problems with vaping is that it looks a lot like smoking, and that association is hard to shake. If a non-smoker sees somebody vaping, they assume they're doing some unhealthy and bad because of those associations.

What's more, the chemicals involved in vaping sound rather scary. Many anti-vapers are quick to point out that vape juice contains toxins and is there for bad for you. If we take this logic though, everything is bad for you. Take coffee for example. Did you know that coffee contains 22 known carcinogens and an addictive stimulant? Yet drinking a cup of coffee is perfectly fine, because it doesn't look like smoking. Do you see the association problem?

Vape juice and flavourings

Different research bodies have different opinions, but one thing most of them agree on is that the actual harm (if any) comes from the actual vape juice as opposed to the act of vaping itself. Many vaping opponents cite the insane number of chemicals involved in vaping, but when you boil it down there's actually very little to be concerned about. In addition to the obvious chemical ingredients like propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), and nicotine, e-liquid usually contains simple food flavorings to give it a distinct flavour. Each flavoring itself can contain lots of chemicals, but these are widely regarded as safe and used in countless consumer products.

Are there any negative health effects of vaping?

If you carpool with office colleagues all through the week and some of the guys are regular smokers, you really need to think about the type of friends you have. If that’s not the case, then maybe your old Aunt Patricia smokes like a chimney, contaminating your clothes. Or maybe you are a smoker yourself but your girlfriend isn’t really a big fan of smoking.

Nobody can claim that vaping is 100% safe. It's a relatively young pasttime with no long-term cases to study. However, what is clear is that it's certainly a lot less harmful than smoking and there's no reason to think that inhaling propylene glycol will have any long-term impact on our lungs. It's right that we should be concerned and question the act of vaping - as we should with any new technology or consumer product - but all signs point to vaping as being a safe and enjoyable alternative to smoking.

Are you an ex-smoking vaper? How would you compare the two? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below. For advice on vaping or information on how to get started with a vape kit, contact us today.