Smoking vs. Vaping – Which is the Lesser of Two Evils?
Some people may clump smoking and vaping into the same evil category, but the two are actually worlds apart. Check out a detailed comparison that puts smoking up against vaping to determine which is the lesser of the two so-called evils. You’ll quickly see that one is far more “evil” than the other for multiple reasons across the board.
Vaping is Safer
Decreasing the risk of health issues is one of the main reasons people aim to quit smoking, and vaping can be a safer alternative. How much safer? A Public Health England report estimated vaping to be about 95 percent safer than smoking, a statement the organization continues to uphold.
A research report published in European Addiction Research ranked a number of nicotine products on a scale of 1 to 100 based on their potential to do harm. Cigarettes received the highest ranking of 100. Vaping products were on the opposite end of the scale, ranking lower than 16.
Vaping Contains Far Fewer Chemicals
Harmful chemicals, including a number of carcinogens, are part of the reason smoking is so deadly. Cigarette smoke is packed with more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 43 known carcinogens and 400 other toxins. In addition to tar and carbon monoxide, cigarettes contain the not-so-pleasant ingredients of ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, formaldehyde and DDT.
E-liquid used in vaping contains significantly fewer chemicals, depending on the type of e-juice you choose. At the very least, vaping liquid contains two chemicals that serve as the main constituents of e-liquid: propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG).
E-juice companies that rely on natural flavors, like real tobacco extract, don’t need to include any additional chemical flavorings, colorings or preservatives often found in artificially flavored liquids.
Vaping Doesn’t Burn Things
Combustion, or the burning of all those cigarette chemicals, is the other part of the reason smoking is so hazardous to your health. The European Addiction Research article encouraged the switch from cigarettes to non-combustible sources of nicotine, which are much less harmful.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb likewise noted that nicotine within itself is not the greatest problem, but the way it’s delivered is. He pointed out that nicotine attached to smoke particles from burning cigarettes results in a delivery mechanism that’s deadly.
Not only does vaping refrain from burning nicotine or other components in e-juice, but it won’t burn holes in your couch, car seats, shirts or other items that are frequently ruined by cigarette burns.
Vaping Lets You Choose Nicotine Levels
If your overall goal is to get rid of nicotine altogether, cigarettes won’t help. Vaping can. Most vaping liquids are available in several different nicotine levels, typically ranging from about 18 mg all the way down to zero. The nicotine level of 18 mg translates to 1.8 percent as the total amount of nicotine found in the product.
People looking to quit smoking can start with higher nicotine levels and then gradually work their way down to e-liquids that contain no nicotine whatsoever. If you wish, you can still keep up the habit for the taste, experience and ritual, but without the nicotine or other harmful chemicals found in traditional cigarettes.
Vaping Costs Less
Pack-a-day smokers easily shell out more than $2,200 each year on cigarettes, a cost you could cut considerably by turning to vaping. While the startup cost of buying a vaping device may be a bit higher than a pack of cigarettes, ongoing purchases of e-liquid will cost less than the ongoing purchase of cigarettes.
While the annual cost of vaping depends on the type of vaping liquid you choose and how quickly you go through it, you’ll still be saving money. Daily vaping with a refillable device means you’ll have to regularly buy e-liquid and replacement coils for your device. This estimated cost runs around $930 per year, a savings of more than $1,200 when compared to smoking.
Vaping Has Less Environmental Impact
Cigarette butts are the most prominent forms of litter in world. An estimated 135 million pounds of butts were dumped across the U.S. alone in 2005, just to give you a snapshot of what cigarette butt litter is like. Cigarette butts also leach lead, arsenic and nicotine into the environment, are toxic to aquatic ecosystems, and take up to 10 years to degrade.
Creating all those cigarettes isn’t all that great for the environment, either. Every year, tobacco production consumes the wood of an estimated 60 million trees, with a single tree destroyed for every 300 cigarettes produced.
Vaping is much kinder to the environment. For starters, it doesn’t come with any disposable butts. Devices do have disposable cartomizers, which are typically dealt with at home and can easily be thrown in the trash. Vaping device batteries can be recycled in many area programs, as can rinsed-out e-liquid containers.
Vaping Doesn’t Stink
When a smoker walks into a room, the whole room often knows it. Cigarette smoke leaves an obvious smell on hair and clothing, as well as throughout a smoked-in home or car.
Cigarette smoke can travel 6 feet or more in all directions in an outdoor environment, creating a zone of stench for anyone who walks by. The smoke is also known to travel through vents and even small cracks in the walls in apartment complexes or other buildings, bringing its distinctive odor along with it.
While those standing close to someone who is vaping may pick up a slight scent of the e-liquid when exhaled, the odor is usually subtle and short-lived. It doesn’t penetrate the clothing, hair, home and car, nor does it travel through vents to annoy your neighbors.
Vaping is Friendlier for Hygiene and Social Life
In addition to smelling like a walking ashtray, smoking can leave you with yellow fingernails, stained teeth, and bad breath. Smoking may actually be a deal-breaker in the dating scene, with some people specifically avoiding those who smoke. Smoking in general has become widely despised, and those who despise it are frequently not shy about admonishing smokers in public.
Vaping not only keeps you free of cigarette stench, but it also doesn’t shade your nails or teeth with a distinctive yellow hue. Bad breath is not necessarily an instant byproduct, and you may be more likely to get a date. While those who are uninformed or just plain rude may still admonish vapers, you at least won’t have to live under the social stigma that smoking creates.
If you initially thought smoking and vaping belonged in the same evil category, you are now likely to reconsider. Vaping wins out as the safer, more flexible, less detrimental and less expensive option – that may even give the average dating life a boost.