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What Are The Side Effects of Vaping?

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Estimated 4 min read

A look into the side effects of vaping

man standing vaping and blowing a big cloud

The Vector ran an article entitled “Vaping: What are the side effects?”.

I was quite hopeful when they started off as they acknowledged that smoking rates have been declining:

“Though smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes has declined over the years, electronic nicotine delivery systems, known more commonly as electronic cigarettes, have risen in popularity among teenagers, with about 3 million reportedly smoking them in 2015, according to a report by the Center for Disease Control.

But then they continued,

Coinciding with the rise in e-cigarette use, there have been increased concerns regarding the potential side effects and overall health impact of these devices.”

So, they’ve rightly pointed out that smoking has been on the decline, but rather than giving a little credit to e-cigarettes for this, they’ve made it seem almost as if the rise of e-cigarettes could be worse than if these 3 million people had just remained smokers, or in the case of non-smokers who took up vaping, if they’d just taken up smoking instead.

Bottom line: 3 million people vaping is 3 million people either not smoking, or smoking less.

When you consider the fact that vaping is far safer than smoking, how is that a bad thing?

As for “increased concerns regarding the potential side effects”, these sensational points of view are pushed by the mass media solely to stir up fear and rake in the page views (ie. marketing dollars), rather than publish the boring facts like:

“Long-term vaping ‘far safer than smoking’ says ‘landmark’ study”
from Pubmed Health, Feb 2017

“Colin Mendelsohn: The E-cig is safer than tobacco — that’s a fact”
from the Daily Telegraph, Sept 2017

“E-cigarettes around 95% less harmful than tobacco estimates landmark review”
Press release from Public Health England, Aug 2015

In the original article by The Vector, they then go on to talk more about the uncertainties of vaping in general, such as the possible side effects of vaping being difficult to ascertain because of the range of different styles and forms of vaping.

There was no mention of the major side effect that we all know by now; e-cigarettes help you to not die from smoking as much.

Current studies show that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, but let’s assume that all the data is wrong for a second and just for the sake of argument we’ll say that they’re 50% as bad as smoking.

If vaping were 50% as bad as smoking, they would still be a groundbreaking advancement over the alternative, gifting the 6 million or so people that die to smoking each year a real chance to choose something that is 50% less harmful.

I mean, one in every six Americans take antidepressants, and an antidepressant needs to only be 50% effective in treating half of the symptoms in order to be considered “effective”.

Not to mention the side effects of antidepressants. While the media are worried about the side effects of products used mostly to stop smoking, people are happily downing pills every day and letting children take psychiatric drugs that are actually proven to induce suicidal thoughts in adolescents, raising their suicide rate by up to 4%.

So, even if e-cigarettes were only 50% as harmful as smoking (even though they’re 95% less harmful), and studies show that at least 70% of users who use an e-cigarette throughout the day are able to quit smoking (while nicotine gum and patches are only 8.4% and 8.2% effective respectfully), then people in governments all over the world should be jumping up and down to legalize and push smokers to take up vaping. So why aren’t they?

What are the real side effects of vaping then?

Side effects come in many forms and everyone reacts differently to different things. Vaping has been know to cause the following (negative) side effects:

  • Dry or sore mouth
  • Dry skin
  • Dry eyes
  • Mild headache or dizziness
  • Tongue inflammation
  • Sleepiness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Mood changes
  • Coughing
  • Breathing problems
  • Chest pains

Generally these side effects are quite mild and will subside over a short time on their own, but if you do experience any of these and feel you need to see a doctor then you obviously should stop reading and go see a doctor.

Are there positive side effects of vaping?

Every decision should be made on a balance of the possible negatives vs the possible positives (risk vs reward) and vaping is no different. While it’s true there are potential negative side effects (as there is with putting anything into your body), there are also positive side effects of vaping compared to smoking:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Not smelling like smoke
  • Improved sense of smell
  • Improved lung function
  • Relief of asthma symptoms caused by smoking
  • Saving money
  • Being alive for longer

Many of the known negative side effects of vaping are able to be avoided simply by changing nicotine level or vaping style and for me at least, the positive side effects far outweigh the alternative of continuing to smoke tobacco cigarettes.

Currently located in Sydney, Australia, I have been vaping since 2009 and became active in the e-cigarette industry in late 2015. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of visiting over 700 shops in 6 countries.

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