Vaping vs Smoking: The myths, the facts, and the controversies.

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Tanis143

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Ok, this will be a long read, so reader beware. First, what is vaping? For those that don't know (where the hell have you been?) vaping is a different way to absorb nicotine through inhalation than smoking. Instead of burning dried tobacco leaves and inhaling the smoke, a liquid containing nicotine, propylene glycol (do not confuse this with polyethylene glycol) or PG, vegetable glycerin or VG and artificial food flavorings is vaporized on a heating element and then inhaled. The main difference is that smoke is the result of the chemical reaction of combustion and contains many carcinogens while vaporized liquid has very little chemical change as it is going from a liquid state to a gas state and therefor the chemical composition is more easily controlled. Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, cyanide, and various other (to the tune of nearly four thousand) other chemical compounds that uses tar as its carrier. Tar sticks to your lungs and can not be removed unless its coughed up. This builds up over time and is the prime source of lung tissue damage from smoking. In vaping the PG/VG mix acts as the carrier is absorbed by the lungs and broken down as simple carbohydrates by the body. Both of these chemicals have been used for the last 40 years in inhalers, breathing treatment solutions and fog machines. Hospitals will even vaporize PG into their ventilation systems to help purify the air (the pg will attach to microbes and drop to the floor). Just by looking at these explanations you can see already how vaping is safer than smoking, but lets get to that in a minute.

Now, over the last decade there have been many stories, mostly not so good, on vaping in the news. From exploding batteries (true), having 10 times more formaldehyde than cigarettes (false) to it will cause children to take up smoking (mix, but mostly false). Reporters will even state that nicotine causes cancer. Little hint, it doesn't. More on that in a bit. I'm trying not to ramble here. Are you still with me? Ok, good, I've not failed yet. Now, exploding batteries is true. Anyone who has worked with lithium ion (LiON) batteries knows they have a tendency to explode if ran to hot or exceed their amp rating. Look at all the cell phones and laptop batteries that have exploded. They are the exact same batteries used in ecigs. The same style of 18650 that you use for your tactical flashlight I use in my ecig mods. And not all 18650's are equal. And now days its even worse with shady companies rewrapping cheap cells and claiming they can handle 40A when reality they are a 15A cell. If you want a good guide to which batteries are true to their claim look up Battery Mooch. He has a youtube channel and a FB page where he does extensive testing of anything from RC123's to 26650's. And, combine that with people who are either stupid or ignorant and you will get the occasional battery venting or exploding.

The second thing I mention ties into misleading or just downright false studies that try to paint vaping as being just as if not more dangerous than smoking. Some of these were done by researchers getting paid by organizations against vaping ( I know I sound like a broken record, but more on that later) and others were done by ignorant researchers who had no clue how to use an ecig. The prime example of the latter was the report that claimed ecigs produced 10 times the amount of formaldehyde than cigarettes. This is the report. Now, on the face of this study it stated that at higher voltages formaldehyde is produced at higher quantities than smoking. Upon review though it turns out the researchers had no clue on how to use the equipment. The atomizer they use (the part that contains the heating element and wick) was not rated for anything higher than 3.3v. The result was the the wicking material ran dry and started to burn, producing formaldehyde. Subsequent studies have shown that even at extreme wattage formaldehyde is not produced as long as the wicking material can stay saturated. Needless to say many of the other scare stories share this trait. Others were either done mythbuster style (change the conditions until desired outcome is produced) or facts were omitted to make it sound scarier. But why?

Now onto the controversy part. In this there is smoking gun, pun intended. However, there is enough anecdote evidence to make even the most skeptic person stop and look. First off, a question: Who profits from smokers more, big tobacco or big pharmaceutical? Answer: Big Pharma. What??!? Yep, its true. If you add in the "smoking cessation aides" that have a success rate over two years less than 5%, medications for COPD, cancer, etc, Big Pharma loves smokers. They are their prize cows. Not to mention that many state government sold bonds based on smoking rates via TSET payments, then saw those bonds go up in smoke as people converted to vaping. So we have Big Pharma AND several state governments that are losing money. Oh no, this won't do. If you look at every single congress member and house member who have come out against vaping you'll find that they have a rather large pharmaceutical company as a donor. Coincidentally they started yelling and screaming about vaping not too long after they got that donor. Not only that, but organizations, that are supposedly non-profit, that deal with "helping" people kick the habit would see their jobs go up in smoke if everyone switched to vaping. So, all these entities would lose money to the tune of several billion a year if smoking was eradicated. Do you really think they want us to stop?

In the end, you have to make the decision for yourself. I will say my own health has improved. I used to get sinus infections at least twice a year. Since 2011 I have had one. I also don't feel like someone kicked me in the chest when I go up a flight of stairs and I have lost weight. Are there unknowns? Yes. We have no long term studies on the health effects of inhaling vaporized artificial food flavorings. However, all the studies (when you read the actual data) show than all chemicals recorded have been at levels that are just below the safe threshold or so far below that line that they are not even worth mentioning. So the risk factor is low. Much, much lower than smoking. As far as the rest of the components, the nicotine and PG/VG, nicotine is no more dangerous to you than caffeine and as I stated above PG/VG have been used in inhalation products for many years and have shown to be safe for that intended use.

Hey, wake up... yes you, in the third row, I'm done and everyone else has left.
 

Catt57

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I can only add my own personal experience.

I switched from 2 packs a day to vaping about 8 years ago. Before that I was prone to bronchitis 1-3 times a year and a walk across a parking lot left me out of breath. Now the first 3-4 weeks after switching were hell as I was coughing all the time. I found out later it was from my body clearing all of the tar from my lungs as they healed some. Since then I cough a lot less than before, have only had bronchitis once in the lest 8 years, and no longer get winded as easily. I also have gone from 28mg liquid down to 12mg currently.

And don't forget the cost savings. If I was still on a 2 pack a day habit I would be spending over $400 a month for cigs. Right now I figure I spend maybe $50 a month including the cost of batteries and atomizers.

My hope is to one day get the nicotine level low enough that I can stop altogether.

I hate when people try to belittle someone for vaping. Granted there are those that do it for different reasons (the "cloud chasers"), but for me it has been a blessing.
 
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steelfingers

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I've been using Ecigs for 8 years and not smoked a cig since. I run 2 miles 3 days a week, lungs are perfect and I'm so glad I tried them. Of course I'm addicted as hell to the Ecigs, but what the hell.
It was the right decision for me.
 

Dave70968

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Honest question here.......nicotine is used as a pesticide.....how is it no more dangerous than caffeine??
1) The dose makes the poison.
2) Ever seen what caffeine does to spiders?
CaffeinatedSpider.jpg


Caffeinated_spiderwebs.jpg


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effect_of_psychoactive_drugs_on_animals
 

Gunbuffer

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Honest question here.......nicotine is used as a pesticide.....how is it no more dangerous than caffeine??
I probably would have tried it if it were prevalent when I was quitting dip. Glad I went cold turkey and just went chewing gum nuts for a couple years
 

Gunbuffer

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Anything can be used as a pesticide if you put enough on it and increase the content.
I probably would have tried it if it were prevalent when I was quitting dip. Glad I went cold turkey and just went chewing gum nuts for a couple years
also, vaping is working for you guys, that’s great. But I can’t help but think it; in my opinion it’s gay.
 

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