Is Vaping Better than Smoking?

Some are old enough to remember when smoking cigarettes was common. Everyone, it seemed, smoked. In restaurants, cigarette smoke was as pervasive as glasses of water; even airplanes had smoking sections. Pretty much wherever there were adults, there were smokers.

And it was deemed the cool thing to do. Movie stars, singers, authors, and many other famous people could be seen with a cigarette in their mouths. In his early incarnations, James Bond could be seen with a gun in one hand and a cigarette in another—and who was hipper than 007?

Cigarette advertising was also everywhere: TV, billboards, radio, and magazines—including rugged depictions of the Marlboro Man and the cartoony Joe Camel. Everyone knew Chesterfields, Benson & Hedges, Philip Morris, Viceroy, Kool, and more, with popular slogans, “You’ve come a long way, baby”; “I’d walk a mile for a Camel”; and “Lucky Strike means fine tobacco.”

For decades, as hard as it is to believe, cigarettes were also advertised as healthy! Ads proclaimed, “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette”; Or “as your dentist, I would recommend Viceroy.” One ad even showed a doctor holding a pack of Lucky Strikes with the words emblazoned next to him: “Smoking is good for you.”

All of this helped lure millions to the deadly habit—and to early deaths.

However, after decades of using their power, money, and lobbying to deny and hide the plain truth from the public, Big Tobacco was forced to admit that cigarette smoking is a health-destroying habit and that nicotine is one of the most addictive chemicals still legal to sell. Labels warning of cancer and other illnesses were affixed to cartons, and advertising cigarettes was banned from airwaves.


A Safe Alternative?

Quickly, users were banned from smoking indoors and on airplanes—and even outdoors in some places. Once regarded as a hip social activity, smoking became something to hide from friends and family, the shroud of smoke from a cigarette akin to wearing a scarlet letter.

But money was still to be made from nicotine addiction. In a day and age of e-commerce, e-banking, and e-books—why not e-cigarettes? It’s better known as vaping.

What is it? It’s using a device, called a vaporizer, or a “vape.” Instead of burning combustible tobacco to deliver nicotine, the vape runs on batteries. With the vape in one’s mouth, puffing activates the battery-powered heating device, which vaporizes the liquid in the cartridge. The person then inhales the resulting aerosol.

There are more than 7,000 chemicals, many of them toxic, in regular cigarette smoke, nowhere near the number that is found in the vapor of a vape stick. Thus, vaping is often hailed as a safe alternative; after all, how bad is vapor compared to ashy cigarette smoke?

Bad enough, in fact. 

Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., director of clinical research at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, admits, “There’s almost no doubt that vaping exposes you to fewer toxic chemicals than smoking traditional cigarettes.” That, however, does not make vaping good for you. In one study, it was revealed that “thousands of chemical ingredients [have been found] in vape products, most of which are not yet identified. Among those the team could identify were several potentially harmful substances, including caffeine, three chemicals never previously found in e-cigarettes, a pesticide and two flavorings linked with possible toxic effects and respiratory irritation.”

Do you really want to inhale pesticides and chemical ingredients that have yet to be identified?


 Vapor Trails

About 15 million Americans are vaping. Part of its popularity stems from the notion that vaping is a way to help people quit using tobacco products; however, many vaping products use nicotine at a higher amount than regular cigarettes, so people are essentially quitting one addictive habit for another. In fact, vaping has actually caused some people to start using tobacco products. 

The evidence is coming quickly: Vaping is not safe. “Over the years, growing evidence against vaping’s supposed safety—and a 2019 outbreak of vaping use-associated lung injury (EVALI) resulting in over 2,800 cases and 68 deaths as of Feb. 2020—is changing the public’s perception of these innocuous devices that come in a dizzying array of shapes and flavors.”

But the battle is just beginning. Big Tobacco is now entering the vaping market, with most cigarette manufacturers owning at least one e-cigarette brand; will they also try to downplay the risks of vaping as they did with traditional smoking?

However supposedly cool vaping might appear to be here and now, those cigarette smokers who suffered serious illnesses, such as lung cancer, didn’t deem smoking so cool in the long run. It’s the same with vaping. The risks inherent in vaping far outweigh any cool factor. It’s simply not in your best interests.

After all, our bodies are gifts from God. We should take care of them the best that we can. To learn more about the relationship between health and spirituality, check out our Study Guide, “God’s Free Health Plan.”

Richard Young
Richard Young is a writer for Amazing Facts International and other online and print publications.
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