You have probably heard a lot about this topic by now. E-cigarettes are said to be significantly healthier than conventional cigarettes, which makes them an interesting alternative for many smokers. However, many critics also criticize the electronic alternative for various health risks. So how could one answer the question of which model should be preferred better than with a direct comparison? In this article we do not want to devote ourselves to any unfounded criticism, but instead enumerate the hard facts in order to clarify once and for all whether vaping is a sensible alternative to smoking and, above all, what exactly the reasons are.
Chemicals in smoke and steam
“One thing is very clear: if you consume smoke or steam and absorb it through your lungs, this naturally also has certain effects on your own health. These effects have been very well researched, especially with smoking, simply because the cigarette has been a part of society for so long that longer studies have been possible. Even if we can fall back on significantly fewer research results when it comes to vaping, the findings that have been gained through smoking allow many conclusions to be drawn here that we should not fail to mention at this point”.
Tobacco is burned when smoking. The combustion process gives rise to innumerable chemicals, at least seventy of which are significantly related to cancer. Some of the most popular of these chemicals are:
- Nicotine – Nicotine is the main chemical that causes smokers to become addicted to cigarettes and that fuels the desire for further consumption. So there is usually a nicotine addiction in smokers and no addiction to the cigarette itself.
- Hydrogen cyanide – hydrogen cyanide, which is also known as hydrogen cyanide, is a chemical that has a lethal effect and in its pure form has been and is still used today for executions, as a biocide or weaponry.
- Formaldehyde – Formaldehyde is mainly used for preservation or disinfection.
- Lead – Lead is a heavy metal that is deposited in the body when it is absorbed. It has a toxic effect. The factor of environmental pollution should not be ignored here either.
- Arsenic – Arsenic is also highly toxic to humans and is believed to cause direct changes in DNA.
- Ammonia – Although ammonia is used for fertilization, it is toxic when absorbed through the air and has a corrosive effect on mucous membranes. As such, ammonia is responsible for almost half of all deaths from air pollution in Germany.
- Nitrosamines – Animal experiments have shown that nitrosamines have a strong carcinogenic effect in almost all cases. It also causes organ damage and can damage the genetic make-up.
When vaping, the need for combustion is completely eliminated, which can reduce a large number of the aforementioned chemicals. This is also where many people conclude that vaping is safer than smoking. However, there are also some chemicals in steam that we do not want to withhold.
- Propylene glycol (vegetable oil) – Propylene glycol is approved as a food additive in the EU and has the designation E 1529. However, it is mainly used in solubilizers, plasticizers and so-called fog liquids because it is very sensitive to oxidation.
- Vegetable glycerin – Glycerin is a sugar alcohol that is used as a humectant. Animal experiments have shown that consumption of glycerine can pose health risks and was responsible for irritation or cell changes.
- Acetaldehyde – Acetaldehyde can be used in chemistry to produce many substances, but it is harmful to many organs.
Most of the other chemicals in e-cigarette vapor usually come from the use of flavorings. Most of these, however, are classified as harmless and are even approved as additives by the EU. However, further research has yet to investigate whether they present a different risk when ingested as steam and not as food.
Now that we have already looked at the health risk that arises on the basis of the substances produced when smoking and vaping, we want to look more broadly in the following at risks to our own safety and health.
For a very long time, smoking has posed far greater risks to the health and safety of people around the world. However, in the course of this, many regulations were made to reduce the risks. One risk in particular is still relevant today.
- Fire risk – the fact that fire is handled when smoking and the cigarettes often still smolder even after they have been disposed of, leads to many, sometimes devastating, fires every year, in which not only the environment is harmed, but also fatalities occur again and again. The risk is particularly high if people smoke inside buildings or if cigarettes are not properly disposed of. Even extensive regulations could hardly provide a containment.
If you compare it to smoking, vaping has significantly fewer risks for your own health and safety. However, here too there were problems that we would not like to leave unmentioned.
- Exploding batteries – Especially in the early years of the e-cigarette and with the first models, the danger posed by exploding batteries was still very high. It is still not entirely clear what caused this, although inadmissible mods may also have served as a trigger. Since 2007, however, there have not even been 300 reports of e-cigarette explosions, of which just under half resulted in injuries. Compared to the thousands of fires that are started by cigarettes every year, this is negligible every time, especially since the battery problems continue to decrease every year and the technology is constantly improved.
The cost factor
One of the biggest advantages over traditional cigarettes is cost. Thanks to taxes, a pack of cigarettes often costs a lot of money and depending on the amount required, costs of over € 50 per week result. When vaping, you can expect less than half the costs and a starter model is already very cheap to buy. Vaping is therefore many times cheaper over the year and saves a lot of money.
In summary, it can be said that the e-cigarette is neither free nor free of risks and dangers to health. However, all of these results become particularly interesting when you compare them to a cigarette. There you can see that the e-cigarette in most cases performs many times better than the cigarette. It contains fewer harmful substances, is less dangerous to consume and significantly cheaper.
Did you also find all these facts about e-cigarettes and smoking convincing? Just take a look at starter sets for an easy switch. If you have any questions, simply use our contact options . We are happy to help you.