Understanding the Real Health Risks and Dangers of Vaping

Even though vaping was invented to circumvent the typical health hazards of smoking, virtually every day there is a heated discussion regarding the health hazards of using e-cigarettes. Some people suspect that while some discussions may well be legitimate, many are stories planted in newspapers and the television by folks who have stakes. With multiple stories about vaping making the headlines week after week, the average customer tends to be left more than a little confused. Even though the Royal College of Physicians and Public Health England have concluded that the danger posed by vaping is very low and “unlikely to exceed five percent of the harm from smoking tobacco”, there is still merit in clearing some of the clouds of confusion that envelope the issue.

Presence of Hazardous Chemicals

It is true that the e-liquid used in vaping units or e-cigarettes have a number of chemicals that are considered hazardous to human health, however, the real truth is that the concentrations of these chemicals are extremely small and far lower than that in tobacco. Many of these chemicals are regularly inhaled by us and do not cause any problems. To put in its perspective, coffee has been established to contain 22 known carcinogens, as well as a stimulant that is addictive, but nobody seems to be complaining because the level of the carcinogens is very low and does not present any health hazard. Dry vaping does cause inhalation of formaldehyde but no smoker in his right mind would continue to dry vape because the experience is terrible

Dangerous Flavorings

One of the strongest criticisms of vaping is that the liquids contain flavors that are dangerous and there are even comparisons with the 5000 or more chemicals in tobacco smoke. Diacetyl is often held to be the biggest culprit but the real fact is that in e-liquids, it is found in small quantities while in tobacco it is much more. Even though the food flavors are certified to be safe by the FDA, you should appreciate that it is not for inhalation but only for ingestion. As of now, there is not enough published research on the toxicity of food flavor vapors as the concept is still very new. Some food flavors have been suggested to be responsible for sore throats and upper airway irritation but on a realistic basis, you just cannot compare it with tobacco smoke.


Nicotine is close behind hazardous chemicals as a punching bag. While it is a stimulant, there is no evidence, despite a popular belief, that it causes cancer. Even in conventional smoking, that has multiple and established hazards, nicotine is not identified with any real health impact. Organs and blood vessels are damaged by a number of products of combustion but not nicotine, which is also found in tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, as well as tobacco. Nicotine may be addictive but is not really a physical health concern in vaping as well as in smoking. Concerns about pregnant women’s exposure to nicotine through smoking tobacco are equally applicable to vaping, though, in the latter, there is an option to go nicotine-less or use e-liquids that are very dilute.

Like almost everything, nicotine in really high doses can be poisonous but to achieve that effect through vaping is impossible. If you are using a really high-nicotine content juice even in a small vape, you may feel dizzy or even get a stomach upset, but damaging your health seriously is not possible. You, however, need to keep it out of reach of kids so that they don’t experiment and drink the liquid.

Particulate Matter

Presence of particulate matter is perhaps one of the most far-fetched arguments against vaping and is largely a crusade that Stanton Glantz, a professor at the University of California-San Francisco. Regardless of the number of stories regarding this that have appeared in the media, it is a fact the particles produced by combustion such as cigarette smoke and vehicle exhausts cannot be compared with the vapor droplets contained in aerosols because not only is their composition radically different but their behavior inside the human body is also not the same.

PG and VG

Alarm bells rang in 2014 when it was reported that someone in Spain had died of lipoid pneumonia due to inhalation of e-cigarette liquids containing vegetable glycerin (VG). However, that it is a vicious smear campaign is amply proven by the fact that VG is not a lipid but an alcohol that is neither an intoxicant nor toxic. Due to their clean records, both VG and PG are regularly used in fog machines in concerts and clubs. While there is no evidence that points to VG or PG having any toxic effect on human, studies on animals have also not produced any results that are remarkable. If anyone is really concerned, he should try to reduce the volume of VG or PG inhalation and use an e-liquid with higher nicotine content to make up for the deficit.

Secondhand Vapor

Even after a number of studies, there is no evidence to establish that secondhand vapor is of any consequence to people near someone who’s vaping. In a closed environment, bystanders may be exposed to some amount of nicotine in the vapor exhaled by the user but definitely none of the hazardous chemicals and particulate matter contained in secondhand cigarette smoke.

Encourages Smoking

Some of the fiercest critics of vaping say that it encourages people to take up smoking cigarettes; however, there is no proof that can substantiate this claim. Rather, vaping has been on the rise while teenage smoking, as well as adult smoking, has been declining at a healthy rate. Many of those vaping are actually people who have quit cigarettes.


Vaping is a very recent phenomenon and as such, there has not been adequate research conducted, that proves the long-term safety of vaping for certain. While it looks like being improbable, the results of long-term vaping could surprise us all. However, based on the evidence that we currently have, it does look like beyond doubt that vaping is a far safer option to smoking cigarettes.

Author Bio: Anthony Karen is a health expert who has been running many health seminars and public discussions. She also manages her blog and reviews the health-related details provided by authentic sources.

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