Evidence of nicotine harm to the human body has many smokers attempting to quit the addictive habit daily. One of the best smoking cessation methods according to modern research studies is vaping.
One of the best smoking cessation methods according to modern research studies is vaping. The traditional cigarette requires combustion of over 6000 chemicals including 20 carcinogenic ones. Vaping needs no combustion; hence most harmful tobacco chemicals are eliminated in e-juices not to mention, you can use vape juice with no nicotine. This article covers how vaping improves one’s overall health and reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
Is vaping less harmful than smoking?
E-cigarettes were initially designed as a smoking cessation aid. Since they first hit the market in 2006, they have helped lots of former smokers quit smoking. Reports show that currently, 52% of e-cigarette users are former smokers. Growing evidence suggests that e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes. E-cigarette technology has evolved considerably since they were introduced in the market in 2006, enhancing nicotine delivery for vapers who do not use 0mg nicotine e-liquids. Just how much safer than smoking is vaping?
An expert independent evidence review conducted by Public Health England stipulates that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than the traditional cigarette. The review, led by Professor Ann McNeill also found that almost all the users of e-cigarettes in Britain are ex-smokers. However, according to the review, 44.8% of the population does not know that vaping is less harmful than smoking.
Vaping is less harmful than smoking because:
- It eliminates second-hand smoke which causes ear infections, respiratory problems, and death in children. This smoke also causes nasal irritation, coronary heart diseases, lung cancer, and low birth weight in adults.
- It does not involve combustion, eliminating the dangerous byproducts of combustion found in traditional cigarettes such as tar.
- Also e-juices lack the dangerous products used to treat tobacco in traditional cigarettes such as ammonia.
- Finally, nicotine levels in vaping vary and vapers can choose no nicotine vape juice completely avoid the dangers of nicotine.
Unless you use vape juice with no nicotine, you will experience the effects of nicotine when vaping such as mood changes due to alteration of the balance of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain. Vaping, however, delivers nicotine more safely than cigarettes.
Does using e-cigarettes help people quit smoking?
As mentioned earlier, e-cigarettes were first introduced to aid smoking cessation, and the largest percentage of e-cigarettes users are former smokers. Findings from the review by PHE also revealed that e-cigarettes help at least 20,000 people every year to quit smoking in Britain.
In a separate cross-sectional survey of 222 first time e-cigarette purchasers conducted in 2010, it was found that 31.1% of the sample had a 6-month point prevalence of smoking abstinence. Two-thirds of the sample reported a reduction in the number of cigarettes they smoke per day and almost half of the sample reported abstinence from smoking for a period. 34.3% of the respondents who were not smoking at 6 months, reported that they were no longer using e-cigarettes or any nicotine-containing products at the time. The respondents using e-cigarettes more over 20 times a day had a quit rate of 70.0%.
Vaping as a smoking cessation tool helps a lot of people who taper off nicotine till they begin vaping on 0mg nicotine e-liquid. That said, the fact that some vapers continue to smoke in parallel with vaping cannot be ignored. Even form the survey discussed above, it is evident that while vaping for smoking cessation works for some people, it does not work for others. However, if you are passionate about quitting smoking, you should try and gradually wean yourself off nicotine till you begin using no nicotine vape or stop vaping altogether.
Does vaping serve as a gateway to smoking?
Vaping has been accused of causing an upsurge of teen nicotine addiction. In fact, several cities in the USA such as San Francisco have an outright ban on kid-friendly e-cig flavors. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also expected to ban some e-juice flavors and sale of e-cigs online, to curb what has been termed as a rising teen epidemic. The big question, notwithstanding, is whether vaping serves as a gateway to smoking.
In 2016, the journal Pediatrics published a cross-sectional study that purported that, young people who vape are more likely to smoke. The study was received with much criticism by a cross-section of people.
Prof. Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at the Queen Mary University of London said that the authors misinterpreted the findings and just like other researchers before them, they only proved that people who try things, try things. Prof. Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, King’s College London also weighed in on the study. She said that the authors seemed to be putting forward that idea that one puff of an e-cigarette can cause some young people to try smoking within the next 16 months. She further said that if that were the case, we would see a rise in tobacco smoking amongst the youth but what we are seeing is a decrease of the same.
In a survey dubbed Monitoring the Future conducted by the University of Michigan, it was found that more than 75% of 12th graders use vape juice with no nicotine and only 25% prefer nicotine in their vape juices.
The Centre for Disease Control (CDC) released a Youth Risk Survey in 2015 which showed that smoking among high school students had decreased by 10.8%. In the 2015 report, 11% of high school students smoked cigarettes. The CDC recently released the Youth Risk Survey 2017 which showed that the percentage number of high school students smoking tobacco had decreased from 11% in 2015 to 7.8% in 2017. For the first time in 2017, the CDC asked students whether they vape. 11.6% of the respondents reported having used vaping products.
Based on these statistics, vaping is not a gateway to smoking. If vaping is a gateway to smoking, how come the tobacco use levels keep decreasing every year even though people are vaping? Nonetheless, it is a known fact that teenagers who are into experimenting will experiment with lots of things, cigarettes included. Therefore, the fact that some who try out vaping might try out smoking cannot be rule out entirely.
Smoking per day increases one’s chances of heart disease, but e-cigarettes do not.
5the effects of smoking on blood pressure have been investigated over and over again, and there are varying opinions amongst experts on whether vaping helps to reduce prolonged high blood pressure.
Nicotine causes constriction of veins, and as a result, the blood vessels overwork to supply blood to vital organs in the body. For this reason, smoking has been thought to cause high blood pressure, but this has been proven wrong by recent research. According to recent reports, smoking does not directly affect one’s blood pressure. Conversely, it raises one’s blood pressure slightly when the cigarette is being smoked.
Though smoking does not directly raise one’s blood pressure, it brings about adverse health effects for people already suffering high blood pressure and increases their risk of suffering diseases such as:
- Heart failure
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
- Peripheral arterial disease
Experts suggest that vaping can help smokers keep their blood pressure in check. This is especially true because vape devices carry nicotine differently compared to smoking, where the nicotine goes directly to one’s bloodstream.
One study conducted in 2016 found that former smokers who switched to vaping significantly reduced their systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Hence, if you are a smoker looking to keep your hypertension in check, consider switching to vaping and with time, using 0mg nicotine vape e-liquid.
Vaping advocates should not gloss over the grave health risks, like high blood pressure. This problem should be addressed because it is affecting smokers who are trying to quit and vapers in real time. It is also worth noting that some vape juices still contain nicotine, which is responsible for vasoconstriction. To be safe vapers should work towards using no nicotine vape.
Blood pressure matters because it puts people at the risk of other serious illnesses including heart failure. Thus, to diminish the chances of worsening one’s high blood pressure, smokers should consider switching to vaping and using vape juice with no nicotine. Family and friends of smokers suffering from hypertension should also support their efforts to quit by putting forward safer ideas such as no nicotine vapes. Do not forget to read more on how harmful is second-hand smoking to non-smokers and try quitting to avoid putting your friends and family in harm’s way.