A Lot of People are Blowing Smoke...
There is a lot of misinformation surrounding this topic and when it comes to vaping vs smoking we just wanted to clear the air, pun fully intended.
Let us start off by saying this, if you do not smoke, you should not start vaping. Although vaping has been shown to be 95% safer than tobacco, not vaping or smoking anything is your safest bet. This is not a vaping vs not vaping article, it is a vaping vs smoking article. Nobody is saying that vaping is healthy, we are simply saying it is a harm reduction strategy that can help you quit smoking and a strategy that has multiple benefits over the alternatives.
Top 5 Benefits of Vaping vs Smoking
There are definitely more, but the 5 benefits we will be focusing on today are:
- Vaping is safer than smoking
- Vaping is cheaper (for most people)
- Choice of nicotine strength and flavour
- No smoke, ash or lingering odours
- Less harmful to others and the environment
1.Vaping is Safer Than Smoking
Let's start this section with a few quotes from The Government of Canada's website:
- "Vaping is less harmful than smoking. Many of the toxic and cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco and the tobacco smoke form when tobacco is burned."
- "Quitting smoking can be difficult, but it is possible. Vaping products and e-cigarettes deliver nicotine in a less harmful way than smoking cigarettes. These products may reduce health risks for smokers who can't or don't want to quit using nicotine"
- "Nicotine is not known to cause cancer. It is approved for use in nicotine replacement therapies, such as the patch or nicotine gum."
As you can see, despite all of the scare tactics seen recently in the media vaping is still considered a safer alternative to combustible tobacco. The UK also seems to agree. According to an article posted by gov.uk in 2015, Public Health England has published an expert independent evidence review that has three major findings:
- the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking
- nearly half the population (44.8%) don’t realize e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking
- there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers
This has been an ongoing study and if you're interested in viewing the 2019 evidence update you can click here and view the study for yourself.
We could have used this space to give you our personal opinion on vaping but as a company that has been actively involved in the vaping industry since 2015, we understand that our opinion may be viewed as biased. This is why we decided to share factual information straight from the government based on scientific evidence rather than tell you our thoughts on the subject.
Let's move on to benefit number 2.
2. Vaping is Cheaper (for most people)
Now you may have noticed the words "for most people" in brackets. This is because for some people, vaping is more of a hobby than a way of quitting smoking. Some vaping enthusiasts like to have the newest and hottest devices to hit the shelf or try every flavour known to man. For the sake of this article we are going to focus on your average vaper and the people who are trying to quit.
We pulled the data from our sales and discovered that the average annual spend of our customers was a little less than $800. Let's do the math and compare this to a 2 pack a day, 1 pack a day and half pack a day smoker.
For our purposes, we are going to assume a pack of cigarettes costs $15.00. Let's do some math.
2 Packs a day - $15 a pack x 2= $30 a day. $30 a day x 365 days = $10,950
1 Pack a day - $15 a pack x 365 days a year = $5,475
1/2 pack a day - $15 a pack/2 = $7.50. $7.50 a half a pack x 365 = $2,737.50
In our scenario above, even a half a pack smoker a day can save an average of $1937.50 a year. A 2 pack a day smoker can save over $10,000 a year.
For someone unable or unwilling to quit nicotine this is great news. You can still satisfy your nicotine craving while saving enough cash for a down payment on a house in 3 years by switching to vaping.
So you're feeling better and you have more money in your pockets, what other ways does vaping have the edge over smoking?
3. Choice of Nicotine Strength and Flavour
When you walk into the store to get a pack of cigarettes you typically have two choices of strength and one choice of flavour. Strengths you get light and regular, flavour you get.....well, tobacco. Thankfully when you switch to vaping, not only do you get to choose between all of your favourite flavours, you also get to control the amount of nicotine you are consuming.
Let's talk nicotine. When it comes to nicotine in eliquid, it generally comes in two forms. You have regular nicotine also known as "free base" nicotine and you have salt nicotine. Free base was the first product to market but the problem with free base is that it gets harsher on the throat as you increase the strength. Salt nicotine was then introduced and allowed vapers to get a higher concentration of nicotine with a smoother draw.
Generally speaking, free base is available from 0mg to 12mg and salt nicotine is available from 12mg to 50mg. Most users trying to quit smoking start with a lower wattage device paired with some salt nicotine and as they work their way down in nicotine strength they transition to free base on a higher wattage device.
As you work your way from salt nicotine to free base the draw gets smoother, the flavours get better and your cravings get less intense. Which is the perfect segue to flavours.
Eliquid is available in just about any flavour the human mind could imagine. From blue-raspberry ice and strawberry cheesecake to cactus and dill pickle chips there is a flavour for absolutely every ex-smoker to enjoy. Don't worry, if you're absolutely stuck on the flavour of tobacco there are plenty of tobacco variations available as well.
The palate isn't the only thing that will benefit from the flavour. A majority of our customers that have quit smoking credit the flavours for their success. If it isn't enough that it's safer and cheaper, it tastes and smells WAY better. Having an endless amount of delicious flavours to choose from makes the decision just THAT much easier.
So we have touched on health, cost and the controllable factors like nicotine strength and flavours. Now let's discuss the fact that vaping has no smoke, ash or lingering odours.
4.No Smoke, Ash or Lingering Odours
Even most smokers will admit that the smell of cigarette smoke isn't appealing. The smell can linger for hours on your skin and clothing, the ashes can make a mess and ash trays are an eye sore. Not to mention that the smoke will stain your clothes, skin, teeth and even your walls. Let's face it, smoking is just disgusting for both those who smoke and those around them.
When you switch to vaping, these all become problems of the past. No more toxic smoke in the air making it hard to breathe, no more messy ashes and no more lingering odours.
Vapour dissipates much quicker than smoke and won't stain your clothes and walls. Plus, we're pretty sure most people would prefer to smell peaches or cinnamon buns over tobacco smoke any day of the week.
The worst thing you may have happen is the moisture from the exhaled vapour sticking to the windows in your car causing a film to build up on the inside. Not to worry, you can make a DIY "fog bomb" by stuffing some kitty litter in a sock and tying the open end. Toss it on your dash board and problem solved!
This brings us to our final point for this article. Vaping is less harmful to others and the environment.
5. Less harmful to Others and the Environment
There are a variety of factors that make smoking harmful to non-smokers and the environment. You have second-hand smoke, litter from discarded cigarette butts and fires started from smoking to name a few.
Second Hand Vapour
So far, there is no evidence that second-hand vapour is a serious threat to non-vapers. When vaping, there is no smoke because there is no combustion. Combustion is what happens when you light something on fire. When you vape, the liquid is heated by an atomizer within the device to produce the vapour you see. The vapour that is not inhaled by the user falls to the ground and dissipates.
You know we love the science so let us introduce a fact to back our opinion. According to a 2016 University of California study, 93.8% of the inhaled dose is retained by the user.
Cigarette Butts and Packaging
We also have the issue of cigarette butts and the waste produced from smoking. One can argue that the packaging involved in vaping produces more waste than smoking but a majority of this packaging is recyclable. You can recycle the juice bottles, coils (without the cotton), plastic and cardboard packaging etc. whereas you cannot recycle cigarette butts and they are often found littered all over the ground.
Fires Caused by Smoking
According to UC Davis, a study published in Preventative Medicine states that "Smoking causes an estimated 30 percent of fire deaths in the United States and 10 percent of fire deaths worldwide. Each year, over one billion smokers throughout the world light over 6 trillion cigarettes, creating a potential source of ignition from cigarette butts and from cigarette lighters and matches that fall into the hands of young children."
Smoking is dangerous in MANY ways for both smokers and the people around them. Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death on the planet. There is no denying the harm caused by smoking cigarettes and the multitude of benefits from switching to vaping.
Can You See Through the Smoke?
Let's wrap this up. We all know there is no long term studies to prove one way or the other but the evidence that does exist is pretty clear and both government and science seem to agree....vaping is better than smoking. The fact of the matter is that not vaping and not smoking is the best choice. That being said there are MILLIONS of people who are un-willing or unable to quit smoking. For those people, vaping is the best solution. We aren't here to tell you what to do, we are just here to provide you with the facts....the choice is ultimately yours.
I had been a chain smoker for about 35 years and was already diagnosed with COPD. I wanted to quit smoking but just couldn’t manage to overcome the craving… the nicotine pacifier. And then, my son introduced vaping to us.
One February night, 7 years ago, I smoked my last cigarette and started vaping the next morning; and I haven’t wanted a cigarette since. Its been suggested to me that I was ready to quit and that’s why vaping worked for me. Perhaps, but if I can quit smoking, ANYONE can.
I’m still vaping, and yes, its the new pacifier, but I’m a lot healthier because of it.