How unhealthy is vaping? The truth is we don’t know. It simply hasn’t been around long enough for us to tell its long-term effects. The UK government deem vaping to be 95% safer than smoking. What does that even mean? I have no idea. If nobody’s ever died from vaping and billions of people have died from smoking related diseases surely it is 100% safer? Brushing your teeth is 45% safer than eating popcorn – the numbers mean nothing and are just arbitrarily picked out of Public Health England’s bottom at a moment’s notice, but they show vaping in a relatively positive light so we will take it and wear it like a badge to show off to the dudes smoking outside pubs that say things like “Them ecigs are going to kill you ya know”.
Here’s a link to a decent article from the government expelling vaping myths – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-estimates-landmark-review
Long term it’s probably not good for you, but I have no real evidence to back that up. It’s had it’s place in society for a good 10 years or so now so I would expect to start to see some quality evidence for or against it in the near future, but realistically we need 30 or more years to be sure. I will be old as fuck by then.
One of the current issues with evidence is that there are companies/individuals out there paying for studies to be done so that they can massage the results and paint vaping in whichever way their biased leans. I know that sounds very tin foil hat-esq but it’s a thing that has been happening for years in many different sectors. Governments are even guilty of it. Always best to check where results have come from when studies are publicised. Are they peer reviewed? Who funded them? How big was the control group? Often these details are glossed over by the papers when they print stories about vaping. They only seem interested in publicising sensationalist nonsense about popcorn lungs and the likes. This is all bollocks. More on that in the diketones blog here
One thing that seems clear to me is that I feel healthier. I’m not coughing up weird stuff that looks like it crawled out of Europa’s subsurface sea. I’m not wheezing or coughing constantly any more. I don’t smell, well, not of cigarettes at least.
All of this counts for something. If I am to find out in 20 years that vaping can cause the rare blood disease Porphyria for example, I’ll deal with it emotionally. I’ll take solace in the fact that I felt healthier by not smoking and any possible risk to my health has to be balanced against that. That’s a tangible thing that can’t be quantified by scientific results – How you feel inside yourself.
List of different vaping related tests
Here’s a bunch of different research I found knocking around the internet. Some of it is quite interesting.
Characterization of the Spatial and Temporal Dispersion Differences Between Exhaled E-Cigarette Mist and Cigarette Smoke – https://academic.oup.com/ntr/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ntr/nty121/5040053
Sympathomimetic Effects of Acute E‐Cigarette Use: Role of Nicotine and Non‐Nicotine Constituents – https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/JAHA.117.006579
Metal Concentrations in e-Cigarette Liquid and Aerosol Samples: The Contribution of Metallic Coils – https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/10.1289/ehp2175#c1
Do flavouring compounds contribute to aldehyde emissions in e-cigarettes? – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691518301339
Evaluation of the safety profile of an electronic vapour product used for two years by smokers in a real-life setting – http://www.fontemscience.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/2-year-vaping-study-full-report.pdf
Comparing the cancer potencies of emissions from vaporised nicotine products including e-cigarettes with those of tobacco smoke – https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/27/1/10.long
E-cigarettes: Impact of E-Liquid Components and Device Characteristics on Nicotine Exposure – http://europepmc.org/abstract/med/29046158
Vaping to lose weight: Predictors of adult e-cigarette use for weight loss or control – https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0306460316303781