There are a lot of mixed opinions out there about vaping. You might have come across an article talking about the health benefits of electronic cigarettes, and the very next day see a news report that makes vaping sound dangerous. If you’ve been thinking about making the transition lately, it can be a confusing choice to make. In this guide, we will cover the real vaping pros and cons so you have a clear frame of reference to decide whether it’s right for you.
Benefits of vaping
1. It’s safer than smoking: Just ask the Royal College of Physicians. They’re a prestigious organization representing over 35,000 doctors worldwide. They have stated that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking based on their extensive research. Since there’s no combustion, tar or ash associated with vaping, switching to it from smoking enables the user to experience health benefits from being smoke-free. That means better oral hygiene, skin health, circulation, lung capacity and an improved sense of smell and taste.
2. No noxious odors: One of the biggest advantages of vaping is that you and your environment won’t smell of smoke. Vaping may have an aroma from the flavors used, but it’s not the smoke from dead tobacco leaves! To some people, the smell of vapor is barely noticeable. Sometimes you might even get a few complements on the aroma. Even if you vape tobacco flavors, it won’t smell like the rank fumes that come from burning tobacco leaves.
3. Control over nicotine intake: Vaping gives you full control over your nicotine dosage. E-juice is available in a variety of strengths, ranging from nicotine-free to high-strength nicotine. You can choose exactly how much nicotine is in your vape, if you decide to use any at all. Most vapers tend to start off with high nicotine levels, and gradually work their way down to lower levels, or eliminate it completely.
4. Control over vapor output: A major advantage of vaping is having control over the amount of vapor you exhale. Smaller devices like pod vapes are designed for convenience and low vapor, whereas the high-powered mods are better suited for cloud chasing. Adjusting the power output, airflow, and coil type also lets you fine tune your vapor volume. You can be as minimal or showy as you like, depending on how you choose to vape.
5. Flavors for every palate: When it comes to flavors, there are virtually endless options to choose in e-juice. There are also new flavors being created all the time, so you’ll never run out of new ones to try. Some of the more popular favorites include fruit, desserts, beverages, foods, menthol, and tobacco.
6. Instant satisfaction: The convenience factor is high with vapes due to how quickly you can silence cravings. Although advanced vapes may require initial tinkering, lots come prefilled and are ready for immediate use. Either way, once the vape is ready, taking a hit is as simple as pushing a button or drawing on the device (some have an automatic draw). While all vapes need a charged battery and e-juice to continue working, the average vape can sustain you throughout the day with no maintenance or upkeep. It’s ready when you are.
7. Price points for every wallet: There is a vapor product out there for you, no matter what your budget is. The vaping market has expanded in the last past few years and competition is plentiful. There are a wide range of products in every price range—from disposable e-cigs, to sophisticated vape mods and top-shelf e-liquids. If you’ have less than ten dollars to spend, you can still find a vape that’s ready for immediate use.
8. No experience needed: Yes, there are some more advanced products out there, but there are also many that cater to the rank beginner. There are countless options that require no prior experience. Devices like pod vapes and beginner vape starter kits are perfect examples. Some of them are draw-activated, so all you need to do is puff on them and they automatically engage.
9. Wide access and availability: Vaping is much more accessible than when it first started. Today you can find vapor products in your local convenience stores, gas stations, smoke shops and of course, vape shops. There are also many great online vape shops that deliver everything you need, directly to your doorstep. Just about every single place that sells tobacco these days, is most likely going to also carry vapor products.
Cons of vaping
1. Overwhelming options: There’s almost unlimited choices in equipment, e-liquid, and even vaping styles. It can be hard to process, especially compared to the relative ease of choosing a cigarette brand and lighting up. That’s why it’s so important for new vapers to start simple with a basic starter kit. You can also find help at a vape shop, a vaping forum, or from friends who vape. Luckily, experienced vapers are usually happy to help teach you how to vape!
2. Technology learning curve: Not only is the market saturated, a lot of the devices are for hobbyists. Although advanced hardware is not for beginners, much of the information on the internet focuses on it. This can lead you to think vaping requires complex knowledge to experience it. That’s not true! Vaping can be very simple despite how it may seem.
3. Youthful perception: Depending on your area, the legal age to buy vapes is either 18 or 21 years old since the enactment of Tobacco 21 laws. But that’s just the minimum age requirement. The popular perception about vaping is that it’s a young adult activity. Adults that vape can be found in any age bracket from 18 on up. The sad part though is that many older adults don’t feel a connection to the culture of vaping, which very well could help them with their deadly addiction to smoking.
4. Cumulative costs: Like other consumable based products, vaping requires repeat purchases. No matter how your device is designed, e-liquid will always need to be replenished. The price of e-liquid and quantity it’s sold in varies. Some brands are expensive, but there’s also plenty of cheap e-juice available. Still, one bottle will not last forever. And while the price of one bottle is rarely going to make or break someone, the costs will add up when buying too many flavors. This is why many begin choose to DIY e-juice. It’s relatively easy to do and it cuts costs significantly.
5. Stigma of nicotine: Nicotine is a lightweight as drugs go. It’s a mild stimulant that also paradoxically relaxes the user. But because its history is inevitably tied to smoking — which is a highly dangerous delivery mechanism—nicotine has a bad name. Many people don’t distinguish between nicotine and smoking. If you’re going to use it, you might have to grow a thick skin and learn to ignore some dirty looks and uninformed opinions from judgmental types. Most people don’t know the facts about nicotine, so it’s advisable to arm yourself with the truth.
6. Uncertain health risks: The most long-term study on vaping is 3.5 years. It showed no negative health effects from its participants. Unfortunately, there’s no longer-term research beyond that. Because vaping is a new phenomenon, barely a decade old, it’s impossible to have truly long-term data. If you vape, you’re taking a risk that some serious hazard might be discovered in the future. But if you’re using vaping to stay off cigarettes, you can at least rest easier knowing that you’ve distanced yourself from the well-documented dangers of smoking.
7. Scary headlines: There are lots of myths and rumors about vaping perpetuated in the news. Some of them have a kernel of truth, some are just made up. Some headlines may be true but are isolated cases made to look like an epidemic. Almost nothing in life is truly safe from possible harm, but the onus is consistently put on vaping to be such. What we know for sure is that it’s much safer for you than smoking.
8. Treated like smoking: Vaping looks like smoking, and both can provide nicotine for those who want it. Aside from that, they have little in common. When you light a cigarette, you’re incinerating dead tobacco and inhaling the smoke, which is full of tar and carbon monoxide that damage your lungs and cardiovascular system. Although second-hand vapor has been shown to be non-toxic, vapers often get treated like they are poisoning the air when vaping. Most spaces where smoking isn’t allowed also prohibit vaping.
9. FDA regulations and rules: The FDA was given regulatory authority over cigarettes and tobacco in the 2009 Tobacco Control Act. That Congressional act also gave the FDA the ability to define new products as tobacco if they contain “nicotine derived from tobacco.” Oddly enough, even for e-liquid that has zero nicotine, the FDA requires a disclaimer that the product does contain it. That’s how the FDA “deemed” vaping products and e-liquid (and their components and parts) to be tobacco products in 2016, no matter the actual contents. The “Deeming Rule” allows the agency to approve or deny which products can be sold, and that process is just beginning.
The choice is yours
By now you should have a better understanding about the pros and cons of vaping. There are a number of points on both sides. But if you consider that vaping is an alternative to smoking, it should be obvious that it’s the best choice of the two. Although vaping is not the only way to combat cigarette addiction, all the other choices have pros and cons as well. Chantix has helped some people quit smoking too, but one of its side effects is “thoughts or actions suicide”—how is that for a scary!
Vaping is not a magic bullet for everyone though. You might decide that it’s not for you, but you might enjoy it so much that you never go back to smoking. Whichever choice you make, you now have a sober sense of the benefits and the downsides of vaping.
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