Last Updated on March 3, 2020
While we know that e-cig devices, pens, mods, and even larger tank devices that utilize refillable e-liquid juices of different flavors lack all of the thousands of harmful chemical additives and carcinogens, tar, and tobacco contained in regular cigarette products. Even so, some vape users still have questions and concerns regarding the overall safety and long-term health consequences of using these products.
The medical community hasn’t yet arrived at a foregone conclusion on the long-term health consequences, but what we do know at this juncture (even from physician recommendations and the medical community at large) is that in comparison to smoking, vaping remains a much safer alternative for a variety of reasons.
I began to personally speak to physicians and members of the medical community to try and explore the risks and benefits of transitioning from smoking to vaping, in an attempt to truly understand the matter from the most scientific and logical perspective possible.
While for obvious liability reasons, they will typically always preface with the “unknown clinical research phase” stipulation commentary, they will also strongly recommend a transition and state that vaping is generally vastly healthier by comparison.
And if asked directly, they will generally always recommend switching over from daily cigarette smoke to vaping for harm-avoidance reasons and for improved health benefits.
In fact, when visiting your physician for an annual physical, you will actually generally avoid the typical “stop smoking” lecture, and most of the information I have gleaned in speaking to several physicians and members of the medical community directly (to summarize) is “what we think and know now is that vaping is much safer than any traditional tobacco product and cigarette smoking, and while we are still testing the products, we do believe it is much safer and hear former smokers claim to feel much healthier after switching.”
With that said, the most negative piece of information I have heard is simply in the recommendation against the overuse of nicotine, which is also typically absorbed at a lower rate via vaping in comparison to smoking.
Coming directly from physicians, even with limited knowledge as this is still an early growing trend, that is a fairly strong message given liability concerns and seems to suggest we can safely surmise that ingredients contained in e-liquid juicing products and vaping products are a much better alternative than traditional smoking and tobacco-based products.
What Is Contained In E-Liquid Vaping Juices?
Perhaps the most important consideration to factor in when deciding if e-liquid juices and vaping devices products are right for you and generally safe are the ingredients contained in the products themselves.
E-Liquid ingredients are generally comprised of varying levels of nicotine, flavorings, Propylene Glycol (an ingredient found in many of the foods we eat, especially cheeses or in medicinal binding agents), and Vegetable Glycerine, a plant based ingredient that is also an additive ingredient in foods we eat.
Both Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerine, barring any specific allergies (which are very uncommon) are considered safe for human consumption and are found in many food products we consume on a regular basis.
One of the most important considerations to bear in mind prior to purchase of vaping devices and e-liquids, and perhaps the most important takeaway of this entire piece, is ensuring you are working with a verified and regulated distributer, as all devices and e-liquids are manufactured differently, and some of them are unregulated and a minority are supplemented with other ingredients with unknown safety risks. This is the most important factor for everyone from novices to the most experienced vaping users to bear in mind.
The largest risk of the ingredients in vaping e-liquids is generally drying out the mouth and throat, so it is always advisable to drink plenty of water during use.
Here is a basic look at the two ingredients and how the correspond with vaping use:
Propylene Glycol (PG)
- Generally provides stronger hits of flavor and nicotine, more comparable to regular cigarette products
- Does not effect the quality of flavor of the e-liquid juice
- Is colorless and odorless
- Is contained in many additives in foods we consume on a day to day basis
- May rarely cause an allergic reaction in an extreme minority of users, who may opt for VG products instead
- Is best for users looking for products most comparable to hits of actual cigarette product
Vegetable Glycerine (VG)
- Is a suitable alternative for those allergic to PG products
- Has a thinner consistency by comparison
The main question then becomes about the dangers of nicotine itself. While harmful in toxic quantities of overdose and as a drug that acts as a stimulant in the body similar to caffeine, physicians have come to a global consensus that the problem with smoking absolutely lies in the harmful additives contained in cigarettes rather than in the nicotine content itself.
While users can certainly become addicted to nicotine, a growing body of researchers on the matter who have studied the topic for years in comparison with traditional smoking wants users to understand the nuanced risks. And while the debate may be heated, the large bodies of scientific evidence suggest those who die of smoking related causes ultimate succumb to carcinogens, tar, tobacco, and other binding agents that break down every cell in the body and destroy various organ functioning systems of every part of the body.
What Does Our Current Body Of Evidence Suggest? Safe Or Not?
To conclude, while we are still in research phases related to long-term effects on the body with respect to the use of e-liquid devices for vaping, in looking at the ingredients they contain (in safe, regulated models from trusted manufacturers), in conjunction with first-hand knowledge from physicians and the medical community at large, we can safely conclude that a transition from smoking cigarettes to vaping and the use of e-liquids is by and large the better option.
If you are a daily smoker, be it light to heavy, you can find suitable e-liquid replacement products that are aligned with your specific smoking profile that can satisfy both psychological and behavioral cravings while providing a new form a self-selection in the form of various e-liquid juices, a process which allows for more autonomy, variety, and will allow you to interchange products to your liking at your convenience.