Many hard core smokers make the switch from cigarettes to vaping in order to fight the addiction to nicotine and the harmful implications it unleashes on the body, but is vaping really better for your health than smoking cigarettes?
Both cigarettes and vapes known also as e-cigarettes contain nicotine. Cancer Research Uk confirms that at least 70 chemicals contained in cigarettes can cause cancer due to the fact that the compounds damage the parts of DNA that protect us from the disease and the more cigarettes a smoker indulges in per day the greater their risk is of developing cancer. Other issues caused by cigarette smoking include high blood pressure, heart disease and asthma. The chemicals in cigarette smoke have the ability to provoke cells that line blood vessels and lead to narrowing those vessels which according to the Centers of Disease and Control Prevention can induce coronary heart disease which in many cases can be fatal.
Are You Smoking Yourself to Death?
How Smoking Affects Your Mental Health
Smoking has been associated with a greater risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. Smoking increases tension but nicotine creates an immediate sense of relaxation so that people misguidedly believe that smoking relieves their stress but in effect it perpetuates it. The temporary feeling of relief soon gives way to withdrawal symptoms and increased cravings and the cycle of tension followed by smoking only intensifies leading many to chain smoking as a way of tackling their addiction.
The Grip of Cigarette Addiction Can be Overwhelming
So is vaping a better alternative to the hazardous risks of smoking cigarettes? Not everyone who vapes is actually aware that they’re still inhaling nicotine the very risky substance that they are trying to break free of.
A Truth Initiative Study which is is America’s largest nonprofit public health organization dedicated to a future where tobacco and nicotine addiction are things of the past has confirmed that 63% of users don’t realize that e-cigarettes contain nicotine. And the study shared that one JUUL cartridge which is a form of e-cigarette that delivers nicotine to the lungs without using fire and smoke can contain as much nicotine as a whole packet of cigarettes.
The other risk involved in switching from smoking cigarettes to vaping is that it does not necessarily make it easier to give up the habit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids. Also research has shown that e-cigarette smoking can actually promote addiction to vaping- only inducing you to replace one habit with another or to actually indulge in both. Although a recent review did find that nicotine e-cigarettes were more effectual than nicotine replacement therapies and behavioral support in assisting smokers to break the habit, the majority of smokers who utilized vaping as a smoking cessation aid ultimately ended up using both. E-cigarettes produce a number of dangerous chemicals including acetaldehyde, acrolein and formaldehyde These aldehydes can cause lung disease as well as cardiovascular heart disease.
Another substance contained in e-cigarettes is Vitamin E acetate which is a thickening agent frequently used in vaping products. The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) sees vitamin E as an area of concern after an outbreak of lung injuries and deaths associated with vaping.
So even though e-cigarettes smell better than cigarettes they are only disguising the harmful chemicals that they actually contain.
A University of Central Florida researcher has also uncovered new dangers related to vaping in a new study published in June, 2023 which found that vaping creates chemical reactions in the mouth that can destroy good bacteria while simultaneously increasing germs that cause cavities, gum disease and cellular changes that can lead to cancer.
This is bad news for those migrating from cigarette smoking to vaping in an attempt to quit what they know is a dangerous habit for another that has its own high risk factors.
The best way to rid yourself of nicotine and reduce the risks of debilitating or fatal disease is to go cold turkey. Any addiction takes courage and determination to break, but the longer you abstain from the habit the easier it is to relinquish.
6 Tips to Free Yourself from Cigarettes and Vaping
1.Practice mediation to calm your mind and imagine yourself not smoking or vaping and embrace your healthy body. See yourself living your life without cigarettes or vaping.
2. Chewing gum helps to keep your mouth busy instead of puffing away. Use as a distraction when needed.
3. Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise that makes you break into a sweat is perfect for lowering stress levels and releasing endorphins which is the same kind of fix that smoking brings. Even if you aren’t that fit start of with walking once a day at least and make it a daily habit to boost mood and fitness.
4. Try using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) which gives you nicotine in the form of gum, patches, sprays, inhalers or lozenges but does not contain the other harmful chemicals in tobacco. NRT can assist in relieving some of the physical withdrawal symptoms so that you can focus on the psychological aspects of quitting.
5. Stay clear of other smokers and areas where others smoke as much as possible during the withdrawal period. Tell others you are giving up smoking/vaping and stay away from anyone who tries to sabotage your efforts.
6. Be kind to yourself. Nicotine is extremely addictive and produced to be so. If you suffer set backs don’t beat yourself up. Move forward with more determination to give up an unhealthy habit that has a real potential to end your life.