Is Vaping Safer Than Smoking Tobacco?

Approximately 10.8 million American adults vape, that’s close to one in 20. Many choose to vape because they believe it’s safer than smoking tobacco, but is that actually true?

The Difference Between Vaping and Smoking Tobacco

While cigarettes contain tobacco, e-cigarettes ordinarily do not. That’s why so many people assume that vaping is safer.

However, tobacco isn’t the only reason smokers get cancer. Cigarettes contain a variety of cancer-causing chemicals, and many of those chemicals are also found in e-cigarettes. Researchers have found a variety of dangerous chemicals in e-cigarettes, including:

  • Compounds found in antifreeze
  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Volatile organic compounds

Tobacco-specific compounds have also been found in vaporizers that are marked “tobacco-free.” Since e-cigarettes share many of the same chemicals with traditional cigarettes, it’s believed that vaping can lead to chronic inflammation and cancer.

Vaping and Your DNA – What You Need to Know

Vaping can also damage your DNA. The American Chemical Society found that after a 15-minute vaping session, participants’ saliva had high levels of acrolein. Acrolein causes DNA damage and negatively impacts DNA repair. DNA repair is necessary to fix damage to DNA molecules. By damaging DNA and inhibiting repair, acrolein impedes the DNA’s stability.

Exposure to e-cigarette smoke alone can also damage your DNA. The National Institutes of Health found that exposure can cause mutations in the DNA that lead to bladder and lung cancer in mice. Researchers have yet to conduct the same studies on humans, but this is cause for concern.

Danger for Teens

While vaping is dangerous for anyone, it might be most dangerous for teens and young adults. Most vapes contain nicotine, a highly addictive substance that impedes brain development in people up to the age of 20. Nicotine has also been found to impact attention, mood, learning, and impulse control. These developmental issues follow teens into adulthood.

That’s not the only issue, either. Young adults who use nicotine have also been found to use drugs later in life, and those who vape are more likely to pick up cigarettes down the road. Studies show that those who begin smoking e-cigarettes by ninth grade are likely to use smokable tobacco products within a year.

The Jury Is Still Out

Scientists haven’t had very long to study e-cigarette use as the product has not been on the market for long. While many researchers have confirmed negative effects such as the ingestion of harmful chemicals, cancer-causing materials, and delayed brain development in teens, no one can really know the full impact. It could take decades to fully understand the dangers of vaping, so people are encouraged to stop now while they still have their health.

Your Health Is in Your Hands

If you’re a smoker or a vaper, it’s important that you get a checkup with a health care provider. Compare health insurance quotes and save money by calling (855) 401-8383. You can also get a quote online and sign up for health insurance today.