Yes Or No? Vaping From A Doctor’s Perspective
The debate continues to rage on over Vaping. Is it safe? Does it help reduce or even stop people smoking cigarettes??
Having not been a smoker myself, but with more of my patients asking me about vaping vs smoking, I decided to look into it a little more.
There is no definitive answer to the above, as NICE (our clinical regulator) has informed us: ‘it’s too soon to tell’. E-cigarettes and Vaping are fairly young in their lives at the moment have only been around for the last decade. This has meant that there is little in the way of testing or evidence to look back at to make any firm conclusions. Basically, people have not been Vaping for long enough for us to know the long-term effects.
- Vaping is the inhalation of a water vapour.
A battery operating coil heats a liquid which contains nicotine that has been extracted from tobacco. It also includes flavourings and ‘other chemicals’ which together form the vapour that is inhaled.
It is thought that there are less ‘toxic chemicals’ in the vapour produced compared to the approximately 7,000 chemicals in tobacco cigarettes, most of which are toxic.
2. There is still Nicotine in the Vape: the addiction continues:
Nicotine is still present in the vapour which means that users are still at risk of these harmful effects. These can include: addiction, withdrawal symptoms, rise in heart rate and blood pressure.
3. Does it help you stop smoking?
The evidence is patchy here, but it is thought that because you can control the strength of the nicotine you can gradually wean yourself off it. The school of thought is that generally speaking those that vape are more likely to stop smoking than those who go cold turkey.
4. Will it ‘explode’?
There have been several stories about vapes exploding in pockets and bags. This has been put down to misuse of the equipment. There is a standard regulated battery and coil length that is used. People who modify this e.g elongate the coil (allows for more vape), cause the battery to be overworked and can cause it to explode.
So – is it safe? This would depend on the person asking it:
Ask me: a non-smoker, no addiction to nicotine, I would say – no it’s not safe.
Ask a smoker trying to quit – ‘yes, it is SAFER, than smoking a tobacco cigarette.’
By Dr Vibhu Kaushal