Research indicates that vaping may not be any safer than smoking traditional cigarettes, particularly for people who suffer from inflammatory lung disease.
What is vaping?
Vaping is a term for smoking electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes.
These devices contain chemicals such as nicotine and flavorings, which e-cigarettes transform into an aerosol the user inhales. The chemical combinations in e-cigarettes can be similar to those in standard cigarettes.
Vaping is relatively new compared to other forms of smoking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) it is the most common form of tobacco use among young people in the United States.
Safety of vaping vs. cigarettes
Some health experts, including the Surgeon General of the United States, warn that vaping is as unsafe as smoking traditional cigarettes and should be discouraged, particularly in young adults, as it can create addiction to nicotine and other chemicals.
The CDC suggests that, for current smokers, vaping can be safer than smoking standard cigarettes, particularly if current smokers replace their cigarettes with e-cigarettes, though it warns against vaping for young people, pregnant women, or those who do not already smoke.
Research teams have found that smokers who begin using electronic rather than cigarettes find that they are able to breathe more easily. Some studies have shown, however, that e-cigarettes often encourage people to smoke, rather than being used as a means of cutting back for current smokers.
Research into the long-term effects of vaping has also found that there may be a link between vaping and inflammatory lung diseases.
January 03, 2018
Christopher Nystuen, MD, MBA