Vaping has become a trendy take on smoking, and with January resolutions to quit smoking just about wavering, it might seem like a good idea to try vaping.
Vaping, for those not in the know, is the process of inhaling nicotine-laced chemical compounds through an electric cigarette, which superheats the vape liquid to create the faux-smoke.
There are nicotine free versions and a variety of flavours, from blueberry bubblegum to oatmeal and raisin.
Vaping has gotten a bit of a bad wrap lately, with allegations of shoddy craftsmanship causing E-Cigs to explode in peoples faces (warning, graphic content) and start fires in people homes.
The companies have also been accused of appealing to children with their fruity flavours.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released a report last year which found that e-cig use had tripled in the past year among middle and high school students.
The cigs were mostly unregulated for a long time, but in May 2016 the European Union imposed standardised controls on liquids and vaporiser cigarettes across the EU as well as making the disclosure of ingredients in vaping liquids a requirement.
Child-proofing and tamper-proofing for liquid packaging was also made a requirement.
The danger with E-cigarettes is that you don’t actually know exactly what’s in the liquid cartridges.
According to the American Lung Association, they “don’t presently know what is in e-cigarettes. However, in initial lab tests conducted in 2009 the FDA found detectable levels of toxic cancer-causing chemicals, including an ingredient used in anti-freeze, in two leading brands of e-cigarettes and 18 various cartridges.”
There are also dangers as the liquid heats up to vaporised, which can create new chemical concoctions that you are then inhaling so you think you are ok when in fact, you just don’t know.
“To use an e-cigarette, you load the liquid and apply electricity, heating the liquid until it vaporizes. At this temperature, the chemicals inside the fluid undergo a breakdown process and are converted into other chemicals,” according to neurologist Dr Karl Perlmutter.
“When the e-cigarette liquid broke down, it produced both formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasing agents, a known carcinogen.”
The U.S. Surgeon General found that e-cigarettes can expose users to several potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine, carbonyl compounds and “volatile organic compounds” .
Research into the brand is a must, as according to Cancer.net: “E-cigarettes may contain harmful substances. However, the types or concentrations of chemicals, including nicotine, vary based on the brand.”
So while vaping doesn’t have as many cancer-causing compounds as smoking, it’s still not 100 percent safe.
Either way you choose to look at it, the best substance to smoke is usually nothing at all.