Vaping or quitting smoking? Vaping is definitely better than smoking tobacco, but quitting is still the wisest choice.
Science has already noted the damaging effects of vaporization, and although these are not as severe as those of tobacco, however, should not be overlooked.
E-cigarettes were invented by the Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik in 2004. They have been promoted as an alternative, not only to tobacco but also to quitting smoking. However, vaping has become an addictive practice, and the worst part is that many believe it is completely free of contraindications.
Since their discovery, the use of e-cigarettes has increased by 600%. It is worrying to know that adolescents represent the group in which it is most widespread.
There is already talk of an epidemic in the United States. At this point, the question arises: to vaporize or quit smoking?
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Tobacco and its effects
Tobacco is a plant native to America and has spread all over the world thanks to the Spaniards and the Portuguese. In America, tobacco had – and still has – a sacred connotation among indigenous communities. It was consumed only during rituals, and not every day and compulsively.
Tobacco is addictive due to the action of a substance contained: nicotine. Apart from addiction, not all the effects of this substance are known. However, the most harmful effects are due to the combustion of tobacco.
Tar is one of the substances produced when tobacco is burned and is the leading cause of lung cancer. Likewise, the carbon monoxide generated during combustion is a poisonous gas that steals oxygen from red blood cells. There are 250 other substances in tobacco that are harmful, and 50 of these are carcinogenic.
Vaporization and its effects
Vaporizing means inhaling the vapor from an electronic cigarette, or similar device. E-cigarettes are devices that run on batteries and contain liquid-filled cartridges. This liquid contains nicotine in different proportions, as well as other chemicals.
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The electronic cigarette heats the liquid substance until it vaporizes. The smoker inhales this vapor, which is why we talk about vaporization. Since it remains in the body for a short time, not all its effects are known.
However, vaporization in adolescents has been associated with a slowdown in cognitive development due to nicotine. Likewise, it can affect concentration, memory, learning, and mood. It also predisposes you to develop other addictions.
An article in The New England Journal of Medicine reports that those who vaporize are exposed to the ingestion of substances with harmful potentials, such as ultra-thin particles, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds. It can also irritate the lungs and damage them.
The main differences between vaping and smoking are the following:
- Nicotine: Tobacco always contains nicotine, while the electronic cigarette or vaporizer does not. In the latter one can suppress nicotine or include it in different proportions.
- Tobacco: Vaporizers contain no tobacco, but other chemicals. As anticipated, some are just as harmful.
- Carcinogenic potential: The vapor has not yet been shown to have carcinogenic potential, although it can irritate the lungs and cause respiratory problems.
- Harmful Effects: According to the UK Department of Health and the UK Royal College of Physicians, vaping is 95% safer than smoking. We emphasize: this does not mean that it is harmless.
Vaporizing or quitting smoking
There is an indisputable truth and it is that the best option is not to vaporize but to quit smoking. Although the effects of steam are not fully understood, experts agree that it can cause lung damage and in some cases lead to death.
Having an addiction is not good. It is a behavior that prevents free development and affects many situations. Additionally, an employee always has a higher risk of developing other addictions.
Vaping can be a good option to start quitting smoking. However, the ideal is to consult a doctor to establish a plan that is appropriate to each person’s particular circumstances and avoid surprises that can be extremely negative.