Is Vaping a Safer Alternative to Smoking?

Updated on December 7, 2019
Lonnie Bell profile image

I'm a former 25 year smoker who has been vaping for nearly 6 years. My experience with this revolutionary product has been all positive.

Origins of the E-Cigarette: Quick Nugget

It was all started by a man named Herbert Gilbert in 1963, who originally patented the electronic cigarette concept after searching for a more "pleasant'" smoking experience —but without the stench and negative effects of tobacco.

He discovered a way to get the desired sensation of tobacco without actually burning tobacco leaves through this unconventional method. Unfortunately, dreams of mass production were never realized, and the patent fell stagnant. It was never picked up by a manufacturer and remained in effect for years, until the turn of the new century.

In 2003, the electronic cigarette was introduced and debuted in the China market, eventually making its way to popularity in the United States by 2006. The product was designed by a man named Hon Lik who was desperate to search for an alternative to smoking after losing a family member to cancer.

Today, vaping is a multi-billion dollar industry with vape shops popping up on every corner all over the world. It's a trend that caught on and spread like wildfire and seems to have no sign of burning out.

Vaping Knocks Out Tobacco in Stunning Defeat

Current statistics show that approximately 16.7% of adult males and 13.6% of adult females in the U.S. are tobacco smokers. Right now, over 16 million people in the U.S. are currently living with a disease caused by smoking tobacco products.

It goes without saying that those numbers are at epidemic proportions. According to The American Cancer Society, more people die as a result of smoking than all deaths due to HIV, vehicle accidents, murder, suicide, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse combined.

Just to put into perspective how dangerous tobacco smoke is, below is a list of chemicals found in each cigarette or tobacco product:

  • Hydrogen Cyanide
  • Formaldehyde
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Ammonia
  • Uranium (Radioactive Materials)
  • Benzene
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Polycylic Aromatic Hydrcarbons (PAHs)

With ingredients like those, it's no wonder people are desperate for an alternative. Before vaping emerged on the scene, there were only a couple of choices: Quit cold turkey and lose your sanity or roll the die with each lit cigarette dangling from your mouth. Or just don't pick up the habit at all.

Recently, there have been numerous reports concluding how unhealthy vaping has become. While this may be true in a very small percentage of cases, there are also many benefits to vaping (if you are tobacco-dependent).

For starters, vaping liquid nicotine does not cause cancer. In fact, evidence obtained by the International Agency for Research on Cancer suggests liquid nicotine is a safer alternative to inhaling tobacco smoke as nicotine, in itself, is not classified as carcinogenic (the potential to cause cancer).

The Surgeon General of the United States indicates that nicotine does not cause cancer. It does not cause acute cardiac events or have any relation in cause to coronary heart disease.

With that said, here a few positive benefits of vaping published by Medical News Today:

  • Raised alertness, euphoria and sensations of being relaxed
  • Concentration and memory - Studies have been shown that nicotine appears to improve these areas. It is believed this is due to an increase in acetycholine and norepinephrine, which increases sensations of wakefuleness and arousal.
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Psychodynamic effects - Relating to improved mental and behavior states
  • Increased levels of beta-endorphin

Bottom Line

If you're a smoker, the chances of kicking the nicotine habit are nearly next to impossible. There are people who have kicked the cigarette habit for years only to succumb to the temptation to "light up" from certain triggers.

Truth is, once addicted to nicotine, the addiction will be there for life, no matter how long you suppress it. It's basically a disease just like any other addiction such as alcoholism or substance abuse. It's coded in our DNA if any smokers are in the family tree of ancestry. A wise man once said, "You were a smoker long before you picked up your first cigarette."

I smoked for 25 years. I switched to vaping and have been for the last 6 years. I no longer have the dreaded "smoker's cough". My lungs have expanded so I can take deeper breaths. I'm not "winded out" easily as I once was when I smoked. My skin is clearer. My teeth are whiter. My sense of smell and taste is heightened and most of clothes and I don't smell like a chimney.

Vaping is not the healthiest alternative compared to quitting nicotine altogether, but it sure beats filling your lungs with deadly chemicals from smoking. That's an alternative I can live with.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


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