Have you been thinking about quitting smoking? An estimated 70% of smokers say that they want to quit or would if they could. Its not hard to see why, it’s one of the best things you will ever do for yourself. Smoking harms nearly every single organ in your body, including your heart.
Smoking is the single biggest cause of preventable deaths in the UK, accounting for nearly 80,000 deaths per year. Nearly half of all smokers will die of a smoking related disease.
A lot of people are therefore tempted to turn to vaping as an alternative, but is that any better for you than smoking. Well, let’s have a look.
The most obvious thing to note here is that when you vape it doesn’t burn tobacco or produce carbon monoxide or tar, which are 2 of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.
E-cigarettes work by heating E-liquid that typically contain nicotine, propylene glycol (PG) vegetable glycerin (VG) and flavorings. Compare this to the thousands of chemicals inside a combustible cigarette and you begin to see that vaping is far better, according to the Public Health England 2015 review it is around 95% safer than smoking.
In the same report, Professor Kevin Fenton, Director of Health and Wellbeing at Public Health England said:
“E-cigarettes are not completely risk free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm. The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting. Local stop smoking services should look to support e-cigarette users in their journey to quitting completely.”
In fact, in 2019 all NHS stop smoking services proactively support anyone who wants to use vaping as part of their quit smoking attempt and increase their chances of success.
What About The Money?
Have a think about what a Packet of cigarettes will cost you these days. In the UK on average it will cost you anywhere between £8.89 and £11.70 for a pack of 20.
Lets stay on the low end, 20 a day for a week will be £62.23. A month will be £248.92 and for a year it would work out to £2907.04. For anyone on the higher end at £11.70that’s’s £3931.20 a year. That’s for the people that smoke 20 a day, I know some people that smoke 40 a day. I know I can’t afford that!
Compare that now to vaping, some people can buy a starter kit for Let’s say £24.99 and maybe 30mls of eliquid at the same time for another £10. They are more than happy to buy 30mls of juice a week and make it last, Let’s also say they buy a pack of coils twice a month for a total of £20 too. £84.99 for the first month because they bought the kit, £60 a month roughly after that, or £720 a year!
Of course a lot of vapers, like me buy lots of different juices and have a bigger collection of mods and devices but that isn’t necessary, It became more of a hobby and a way to express myself
There are more costs that can crop up as a vaper, especially when you’ve moved onto a bigger mod and maybe an RDA (rebuildable dripping atomizer). These extra’s are- A decent tool kit, wire for building coils OR pre-built coils, Cotton for wicking your coils, a good battery charger, a few spare sets of batteries so you always have some charged ready to go. I should note that when I started building my own coils I spent £4.99 on some wire that was recommended to me and a bag of cotton for 2.99. Each coil I make lasts me months so it will be a long time before I need to buy wire unless I want to try a different type and the cotton I buy every month, but I don’t have to buy coils every other week at £10 a time so I don’t know if it’s an additional cost or not.
While vaping has been around for many years now it has increased in popularity only in the last decade or so. This means that the public image of vaping seems to be that’s it’s still too much of an unknown science to say for definite how bad it is for you. This had led to many statements about vaping that are at best, untrue. 2 good examples are-
Vaping will lead to smoking. The media has been absolutely flooded with this idea, studies by the big tobacco companies suggest that teens who vape are 3x more likely to start smoking. Think about that. There aren’t many people out there that hate smokers as much as a vaper.
You don’t know what your’e vaping. This is another big topic used to argue against vaping. Diacetyl is something that is always brought up. There’s been a lot of scrutiny into the ingredients that actually make up your E-liquid and therefore a lot of conclusions have been jumped to.
Popcorn lung (bronchiolitis obliterans) caused by Diacetyl has been talked about forever on social media, so naturally it was thoroughly investigated and looked into. The first cases of this grotesque sounding disease was documented in some workers in a popcorn factory. Their symptoms were included a breakdown in lung function that could have required a transplant had it not been picked up. The national institute for occupational safety and health determined that this was due to the huge amounts of the diacetyl that the workers were exposed to.
Diacetyl is a flavoring that’s used in many products, it is basically a buttery taste so you will find it in popcorn, margarine and just about anything that’s tastes of butter. It has been tested and approved by the FDA as a flavourant, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s safe to inhale, which is a valid point.
This fuss was stirred up about vaping because it is dangerous to inhale too much diacetyl, which is where this argument likely stems from, but diacetyl exposure is 750 times lower in vaping than it is in smoking. Do you know any smokers who got popcorn lung? Me neither.
The amount of diacetyl in E-liquid is lower than the amount set by occupational safety standards and up to 100 times lower than in cigarettes. In numbers a single tank full of juice contains around 9 micro grams of diacetyl while a cigarette contains around 430 micro grams.
A lot of E-liquid companies have stopped using the substance altogether and I always check any new juice I buy doesn’t contain any, which is something that i always recommend.
These things explode in your face. Yeah, they can. They have and they always will… If your’e careless with them and don’t follow the correct procedure in terms of battery safety and OHM law. These occurrences are extremely rare and totally avoidable. One of the most common types of vape related injuries that I see involves someone putting an uncovered battery into a pocket or bag with loose coins or keys. That’s not vaping being dangerous, that’s just being dumb.
Do your homework and make sure you fully understand the full safety aspects when it comes to things like batteries and you will have no problems with them.
Smoking cigarettes will always be bad for you, no matter how you do it there is no getting away from that. It will always be expensive too, more and more expensive every budget review.
Vaping on the other hand, Well from a health point of view it is too early to be certain of the long term effects, but it is far better than smoking, Even if it’s only short term as a means to quit smoking and then wean yourself off of nicotine completely. As far as the cost of vaping goes, I believe I cleared that up earlier. it’s as expensive as you make it, or as cheap.
I will continue to vape. Ever since I quit smoking I have found myself getting fitter, as in being able to run further, swim longer, be less tired and irritable all the time. Also, as a surprise, my sense of taste came back to me, which as a foody was a welcome treat. I also have more money at the end of every month too.
Do yourself a favor and have a serious look into proper medical studies from the big health organizations before making the decision to quit, I think you’ll agree that the pros of vaping far outweigh the cons and you’ll be happier for it.
Thanks for reading,