Ever since the beginning of recorded history, man has had a peculiar fixation towards the imbibing of tobacco. Only in the recent decades has there been an appreciation of the herb’s adverse effect on our health, yet many still continue to enjoy it routinely. The modern cigarette also contains a large number of chemicals and additives.

Some time back, an American by the name of Herbert Gilbert invented the world’s first smokeless non-tobacco cigarette. His idea was to exchange burning tobacco and paper with flavored vapor or steam that contained nicotine. However, it wasn’t until 2003 that this product became actually marketable, thanks to the efforts of another individual from China, by the name of Hon Lik.

There still hasn’t been a final verdict on whether vaping is totally healthy and safe, however, most people do agree that it is far safer and healthier than consuming conventional cigarettes. Here is a breakdown of the comparison between smoking and vaping, with the hope that you will be able to make a more informed decision after going through it.

Vaping vs Smoking: Tar

One of the primary factors is tar. Vapor contains absolutely no tar, whereas smoking anything will yield a toxic, thick byproduct. If you blow cigarette smoke on a piece of white cloth, it will rapidly turn yellow, whereas blowing vapor will have no effect at all: now imagine what smoking will do to the insides of your lungs.

Vaping vs Smoking: The cost

Some smokers argue that they don’t have the cash to afford vape gear, but once you do the maths, you’ll realize this is a false argument. A pack of cigarettes will cost around $15 and you could buy a complete set of vape gear for around $105 i.e. the price of smoking one pack of cigarettes each day for a week. Vape juice costs can vary, but for $15, you could get a bottle that could last you from a day to more than a week depending on the frequency of use and the quality of the juice itself.

Smoking vs Vaping: Unknown chemicals

Note that when discussing e-liquids, we are only talking about those e-liquids which are manufactured by trusted companies that observe sterile conditions, based in the US or countries that have comparable regulations.

E-juice has only four core ingredients. The first one is glycerin, an organic compound that is present in vegetables. The second one is propylene glycol, an ingredient also present in asthma inhalers. Third there is food grade flavoring that is incorporated to give the juices a distinct taste. Lastly, there’s nicotine, which isn’t really a carcinogen, but it is highly addictive – but worry not, there are many juices that are completely free of nicotine too.

Note that the long term effects of imbibing food grade flavors present in the e-juice are as yet unknown, however no study has yet been performed that proves a major negative effect in the long term. Everything considered, it is just the same as smelling anything else – we are inhaling the ‘scent’ into our lungs and blood stream. Also remember that flavoring is only a tiny fraction of the actual e-liquid.

Cigarettes contain several lethal ingredients such as carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, to name but a few. A recent article mentioned the presence of formaldehyde in e-liquid at high temperatures as well. The study was later debunked several times, and even disputed by the scientists who originally put it forth. The chief argument was that the vapers would never need those kinds of high temperatures in order to get a proper vaping experience. Put another way, you wouldn’t be able to stomach the taste of the temperature conditions set forth by the experiment. On the other hand, cigarettes, even when used properly, still contain formaldehyde, so remember that when a tobacco smoker tries to lecture you about the dangers of e-liquid.

Cigarette chemicals

Cigarette smoke has more than 4000 chemicals that include 43 identified carcinogens (cancer causing materials) as well as 400 other toxins including tar, nicotine, carbon monoxide, as well as ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, DDT and arsenic.

E-cigarette chemicals

  • Glycerin – naturally present in vegetables.
  • Propylene glycol – commonly found in asthma inhalers.
  • Nicotine – the main stimulant.
  • Food grade flavoring – used in plenty of food products.

Vaping vs Smoking: Safety

Safety is a big concern for most individuals who want to switch from smoking to vaping. It can be hazardous if you don’t know about the correct usage of batteries, particularly when you are using sub ohm atomizers on mechanical/unregulated mods.

Brands such as Innokin and Aspire prioritize the production of the safest products possible. Unless you are utilizing extremely low resistance sub ohmic builds with more than 50 Watts power rating, battery safety won’t be a big problem for you. Like all other lithium batteries, adequate care must be provided to ensure safe usage of the device, whether it be a vaporizer, or any other portable electronic gadget such as a smartphone or a laptop. You can be absolutely certain about the safety of any electronic device, but compared to cigarettes, these are a lot safer. Let’s not forget about the fire hazards that smoking a cigarette carries.

Note that as far as long term effects are concerned, you should remember that e-cigs haven’t been around for long enough to draw any meaningful conclusions. However, it is a fact that around 50% of the people who smoke traditional cigarettes will die because of their habit.

Conclusion – are vape pens bad for you?

In spite of the evidence we present in favor of vaping, remember that it still isn’t absolutely healthy and safe. However, relatively speaking, it is a much healthier and safer alternative as compared to smoking. It has also proven itself to be one of the most effective methods for quitting conventional smoking. The popularity of vaping is growing, and chances are that it might replacing conventional smoking for good in the future.