Are e-cigarettes an alternative to smoking cigarettes?
E-cigarettes are a fairly new phenomenon, having been around for a little over ten years there is still much to learn about the health effects when compared to traditional cigarette smoking. Here we offer the facts in such a way you, the reader, can decide if you want to consider vaping a viable, healthier alternative to tobacco smoking.
Traditional Cigarettes – The Chemicals
It is widely accepted that smoking cigarettes is not good for your health, the links to cancer and heart disease are well known and documented. Let’s list a few of the chemicals released by burning tobacco. These are the carcinogens, the collective name given to substances that can lead to cancer.
- Carbon Monoxide
- Hydrogen Cyanide
- Nitrosamines (Most nitrosamines are carcinogenic)
- Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These PAHs are pollutants generated during the incomplete combustion of organic materials (e.g. coal, oil, petrol, and wood).
Sounds delicious right?
E-Cigarettes – The Chemicals
It’s important to say at this stage that there are many variables in vaping to consider because of the unique ways that a user can customise to suit their preferences. Other factors include the brand of the device, the battery and the e-liquid as well as frequency of use and age of the vaping device components.
There have been a lot of studies over the last few years to determine whether vaping is safer than tobacco cigarettes and these have led to the following conclusions.
There was a study (link here) looking into which toxic metals were produced by the vaping process. Scientists found a number of harmful chemicals in e-cigarette vapours, among these, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde. Studies have shown that the vapour produced by a small number of the test subjects vapour contained toxic metals after they were heated by an e-cig’s very hot coil. The hotter the coil, the greater the level of toxins measured.
These metals included
- Cr – Chromium
- Ni – Nickel
- Pb – Lead
- Mn – Manganese
- Zn – Zinc
Another study by the Spanish Council of Scientific Research compared traditional cigarette smoke to e-cigarette vapour. They were looking for comparisons in the production of 156 volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos wrote, “The results of the study basically showed that indoor air and normal exhaled breath contains more VOCs that the e-cigarette aerosol!”
The important part of these studies to take away is that simply saying these were found does not mean they are at toxic levels, just that there are toxic compounds. In fact, this study says “Optimal combinations of device settings, liquid formulation and vaping behaviour normally result in e-cigarette emissions with much less carcinogenic potency than tobacco smoke”.
Read the reports for yourself, draw your own conclusions.
Double coils and ceramic coils burn at lower temperatures and showed substantially lower levels of metals found, leading to the belief it is the coils themselves, rather than the e-liquids, that were producing the results. Renew your coils frequently if you are concerned about this.
Obviously, putting any substance in your lungs which is not fresh air is not good for you. There really is no-one but you that can decide what you want to do with your body, we have outlined the health risks of both cigarette smoking and vaping, from here on in it’s your decision. We know from the facts that if we needed to choose between the 2 options, given the facts, which one we would choose.
For further help on selecting your products, please contact us or visit us in a Shosha store near you, see below for your nearest stockist.
One of the largest contributors to ill health for vape users is not the actual practice of vaping but faulty, cheap batteries.
Always use a known brand battery and the correct charger. Overcharge protection should be incorporated for your safety. Ask us for details if you are unsure.