Have you been considering vaping but you're not sure what the hype is about or if you should switch from smoking to vaping? There are many things to consider so we've put together a comprehensive guide to the pros and cons of vaping to keep in mind.
What is Vaping?
Vaping is known as a healthier version of smoking using a smoking utensil known as a vaporizer or e-cigarette. This tool is battery operated and typically utilizes a liquid vaping material, but dry herbs can also be vaped in more advanced vaporizers. The vaping liquid may or may not contain nicotine depending on the variety selected and the liquids are often called e-juice.
Vaporizers have a cartridge that holds the vaping substance, an atomizer that heats the product, and a battery to power the atomizer. When heated and inhaled, the vaping material vaporizes, and vapor is produced, rather than traditional smoke. The act of inhaling is more often than not what makes the vaporizer heat up, but a few on the market also have switches that need to be engaged.
What is Vaping Liquid?
E-juices come in an endless variety of flavors which is why many people find them so appealing. The liquid is typically nicotine mixed with other chemicals to form a liquid solution that can be turned into vapor when the heating coil in the vape pen causes the substance to vaporize.
Vaping liquids can be made from a variety of ingredients and consumers should keep this in mind when selecting their e-juice, they are not all created equally.
Selecting an E-Juice
Be sure to read the ingredients on any vaping liquid you consider purchasing. Not all products contain nicotine, and not all products are going to be well made.
A good vaping liquid should have few ingredients and none should be dangerous chemicals. Most should contain just four ingredients unless the flavoring uses multiple ingredients and all ingredients must be food grade in order to safely be consumed by inhalation.
When did Vaping become Popular?
Vaping has become a regular sight worldwide. People from different age groups and walks of life incorporate it into a regular part of their daily routine and it has become a very trendy thing to do.
The earliest record of a vaporizer was in 1963, but vaping as it is currently known took off in 2003 when Hon Lik, a Chinese pharmacist, created what are now known as e-cigarettes and he patented the technology in 2007, making the invention easy to access across the globe.
Big tobacco companies quickly jumped on board and started producing electronic cigarettes as well as the liquids to use in them, and it has become a multi-billion dollar business.Tobacco companies weren't the only ones to pick up on the business potential of electronic cigarettes.
Because vaping doesn't require tobacco, it is viewed as less harmful than traditional smoking, and a large movement started marketing vaping as a safe alternative to smoking, while still delivering nicotine to the user and preventing the associated withdraw symptoms. Several companies also began producing e-juices that contained varying amounts of nicotine that can be used to gradually reduce the amount consumed by the user and thereby helping people quit their nicotine habit.
Whether you're currently a smoker looking to quit, for a healthier alternative, or if you're just a curious consumer, the pros and cons of vaping should be considered.
What is the downside of Vaping?
Purchasing a quality vape pen can be an expensive endeavor compared to only grabbing a pack of cigarettes at the nearest gas station. While cheap vape pens do exist, they often do not produce quality vapor and break easily.
Finding a balance between budget and quality can sometimes be an issue with vaporizers. Users should take the time to do adequate research before making a final purchase. If an inexpensive vaping tool is all someone can afford, they should consider saving to replace it with a quality piece as soon as possible to get the best and healthiest vaping experience.
Vaping, although similar to smoking, can take a while to learn to do properly. The way people take a drag off a cigarette is often quick and deep, but most vape pens require long slow draws or several quick draws in a row to properly heat the e-liquid. The sensation is not as harsh as smoking and new users may not know when they are drawing vapor in and when they are not.
Trial and error is the quickest solution to this problem and most people will pick it up quickly, but it is something to consider when looking for a smoking alternative.
Cheap products might only combust dry herbs instead of vaporizing them. Combustion destroys the herbs being burned and in the case of cannabis, destroys the THC, rendering the herb less-potent and destroying the benefits of consumption.
This can be avoided by carefully selecting a quality vaporizer, especially if you intend on using it to vape dry herbs of any kind.
Vaping products that contain nicotine or other drugs can be habit forming. Someone who does not currently smoke tobacco products who makes the decision to vape a product containing nicotine will become addicted to it just as smokers do. It is not a risk-free endeavor but is certainly a healthier option than smoking.
People who vape using nicotine may also find it easier and more pleasurable to consume through vaping than through smoking. This increases the amount of nicotine consumed each day and effectively making an existing nicotine addiction even worse.
Even individuals who consume e-juices that do not contain nicotine may become addicted to they psychological aspect of vaping. People begin to associate vaping with certain activities, whether they are positive or negative, and may be more likely to feel stressed if they can't vape as a form of release or comfort.
Lack of Regulation
Because vaping is still relatively new, the long-term effects of different vaping substances and the true health effects of vaping aren't fully known even though it is undoubtedly healthier than traditional smoking.
The FDA does not control what is used to make vaping liquids, making it very important for consumers to do their own research to understand what they are consuming and the effects it may have on their health both short and long term. Most vape pens contain no warnings concerning potential health risks because they change based on the vape liquids being used.
Just like vaping nicotine can't prevent addiction to it, vaporizing different substances can lead to an array of potential health concerns. One of the primary concerns with vaping is the use of propylene glycol, a chemical used in the production of many vaping liquids. This product can promote dehydration, a potentially dangerous condition.
Some people are more sensitive to this chemical than others and may even be severely allergic to it.Cheaply made vaporizers may also release harmful toxins and carcinogens when heated, making it even more important to select a quality vaping device should you decide to vape.
People who have smoked for a long time likely have a buildup of toxins in their system. When the person stops smoking the body begins to expel as much of these toxins as possible and may even try to convince the individual to consume them again by producing uncomfortable side effects such as nausea, headache, coughing, or other ailments. This may be experienced even if the level of nicotine being consumed each day remains the same when converting to vaping.
If the symptoms are severe or do not go away in a reasonable amount of time, the individual should seek medical assistance.
Smoking doesn't require a battery and can be done at any time as long as you have the smoking material and a lighter. However, vaping requires batteries as the vaping tool to be charged, which can be inconvenient. While most can be charged from a USB charger at home or on the go, it's easy to forget to charge the vaporizer or remember to take the charger with you.
Some vape pens may have interchangeable battery pieces that allow the user to have a backup ready to go when the current on drains, but many need to be directly plugged in and cannot be exchanged with another one, limiting the convenience of the tool.
Just like any piece of technology, e-cigarettes may malfunction. Quality products are less likely to have problems than cheap versions, but there is always going to be some risk of malfunction. The battery may stop charging, the heating mechanism may go out, or the liquid chamber may suddenly start leaking. There's no way to prevent mishaps from happening 100% of the time.
What are the pros of Vaping?
Little or No Smell
Many vaping liquids have little to no smell when being used. The ones that do have a scent generally smell pleasant, or at the very least they are unoffensive. It also does not leave a residue behind in the same way traditional smoking does.
People who vape do not have to be concerned with their clothing absorbing the smell or the smoke discoloring their skin or belongings.If you've ever seen the walls of a smoker's home once a picture has been taken off the wall, you know how much smoking can discolor the walls and anything else it touches.
People who wouldn't be comfortable smoking in their homes are often okay with vaping in their homes because it isn't noticeable. Of course, caution should be taken to keep children away from the vapor produced even if it does not contain nicotine or other drugs just as a safety precaution.
Reduced Exposure to Harmful Chemicals
Cigarettes are full of toxic chemicals and carcinogens in addition to the addictive compound nicotine. In fact, most traditional cigarettes contain between 4000 and 7000 chemicals in each stick, many of which are produced by or carried in the smoke they emit. There are traces of extremely harmful substances including formaldehyde and arsenic.
Unfortunately, it isn't just the person smoking who ends up exposed to these toxic chemicals. Anyone exposed to the second-hand smoke from the cigarette is also exposed even though they aren't making a choice to be.
Using a vaporizer, even when using a product that contains nicotine, significantly reduces or even eliminates exposure to these harmful chemicals. That is why vaping has much less smell and the people who vape instead of smoke have far fewer health problems. In fact, most vaping liquids contain 4 or fewer ingredients including propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, flavoring, and in some cases nicotine compared to over four thousand chemicals and seven hundred carcinogens found in traditional cigarettes.
With increasing awareness of the health concerns relating to smoking, most places have smoking bans in effect. Distant are the days of smoking in restaurants and other public places. Many areas even have smoke-free zones outside to help limit the risk of exposure to second-hand smoke. However, vaping is not yet regulated as tightly.
Although it may be banned inside, most places will allow the use of e-cigarettes outside because it is viewed as safer and does not produce harsh smells that will drive people away from the venue.
E-juices that do not contain nicotine are often enjoyed by previous nicotine addicts to help fill the psychological void and can also be enjoyed by people who have never consumed nicotine but want to experience the flavors of various e-juices
Smoking tobacco is detrimental to dental health. It causes yellow teeth and can substantially increase the risk of mouth and throat cancer and even gingivitis. Vaping does none of these things!
Vaping, even with a product containing nicotine, will not yellow the user's teeth like smoking will. While it might be easy to spot smokers walking down the street with their discolored teeth and skin, that isn't true with people who vape instead.
Not just for Nicotine
Many people enjoy the flavors available in e-juices and have never had a nicotine addiction. It has been a way for non-smokers to participate in the social aspect of smoking without the health risks.
Although the initial expense is far more than traditional smoking, vaping can be more budget friendly long-term. This is because the liquids will last longer than tobacco and if you gradually reduce the strength of nicotine in the e-juice you vape, you'll find the liquids become even less expensive. This is because they do not include as much of the drug or may contain none at all.
If the person vaping knows what e-juices they like best, it is also possible to order them in bulk to get discounts or take advantage of sale prices. Be sure to keep expiration dates in mind when making bulk purchases.
Technology is Improving
The technology used for vaporizers is continually improving. Many more advanced e-cigarettes are entering the market and offer an array of features based on the needs of the user. Some e-cigs are called mods and contain larger batteries and various heat settings to alter the experience. Mods typically offer a display that shows the temperature, how much battery is left, and helps control unnecessary heating of the mechanism if it runs out of vape juice.
Completely Customizable Experience
Vaping has become a trendy thing because of the never ending variety of vape pens and substances available on the market. Vape pens come in several different material finishes, colors, and designs whether you want something that looks classy or something more exciting and fun. The nicotine level in e-juice varies based on the formulation and can be purchased in different flavors or without flavors.
Flavorless e-juice that contains nicotine can even be mixed with e-juice that does not have nicotine but has the flavor the user is looking for. Even the flavors can be combined to create a truly customized vaping experience. The limits are only your level of creativity!
To Vape or Not to Vape?
Ultimately, this decision is up to the individual. It's important to be educated and understand what vaping is and the ingredients used in the vaping material selected. Consuming unknown substances is never a good idea whether is vaping or smoking and both options do pose some level of health concern.
Although vaping produces significantly fewer health problems compared to smoking according to current data, it isn't entirely risk-free. Addiction to nicotine and allergies to substances used in the e-juice are the two biggest concerns.If someone is looking for a healthier alternative to smoking, vaping is certainly an option to consider to help reduce the health risks associated with traditional smoking.
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