Vaping Facts by the Numbers

The relative newness of vaping makes statistical data about vaping facts and potential dangers of vaping difficult to quantify. In light of the current vaping epidemic which has spawned many questions about the safety of vaping, we can only scratch the surface of the problem with limited answers.

As continuing research unfolds, we must be satisfied for now with some of the following observations:

1. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are NOT risk-free.

Although it’s generally agreed that vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes, there is no evidence that vaping is actually a safe alternative. While research is still in its embryonic stages, it indicates that vaping may lead to several negative health consequences, including:

  • Damage to the brain, heart, and lungs
  • Problems with pregnancies, deliveries and stillbirths in pregnant women
  • Stunted development of the brain and lungs when use occurs during pregnancy or adolescence

2. Vapes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug with known health risks.

Using nicotine, regardless of how it is delivered, increases the risk of addiction. Nicotine addiction is notoriously difficult to reverse. Vapes can deliver up to 4 times the nicotine of a cigarette, thereby driving the addiction deeper and harder to quit.

3. Using e-cigarettes and other vaping products is not a proven method for quitting smoking

E-cigarettes and other vaping products may actually perpetuate addiction, in some cases making it even harder to quit smoking. The attempt to use nicotine to quit nicotine is a wasteful exercise in futility. It only sidesteps the problem.

4. Vaping is not done exclusively by people trying to quit smoking.

Vaping and Juuling are increasingly popular with young people, including those who had never smoked cigarettes previously and never intended to. Many young people are known to begin to smoke cigarettes only after using e-cigarettes.

5. Vaping devices are frequently used in addition to smoking cigarettes, instead of in place of them.

Many smokers use these products alongside traditional cigarettes. Vapes are particularly popular in places where smoking is not allowed or is not convenient. The end result is an increase in total exposure to nicotine and its harmful effects.

6. Nicotine can affect brain development in young people.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to the popularity of using vaping devices and to their effects. The younger a person is when experimenting with nicotine, the greater the risk of addiction. Brain development is more vulnerable to the effects of addictive substances than in an adult brain. Vaping may also contribute to related physical health problems later in life.

7. E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are not FDA approved.

Vaping products are not approved by the FDA as effective and safe smoking cessation aids. Until very recently, makers of vaping devices were not bound by recognized standards of safety. Despite the new regulations, e-cigarette manufacturers are free to project a risk-free image in their marketing.

8. There is little consistency across different products.

Limited federal oversight over vaping devices make it difficult to accurately assess the dangers of any specific product. There is considerable variation from product to product in the nature and concentration of the ingredients.

9. No evidence that the aerosol from these products is safe.

The long-term health effects of delivering nicotine and other additives in aerosol form remains unknown. While some additives may be safe at room temperature, studies are inconclusive regarding the potential for chemical changes when these products are exposed to heat. Furthermore, ultrafine particles suspended in the aerosol may interfere with proper lung functioning later in life due to introduction to deeper recesses of the respiratory tract.

10. The spread of vaping devices may be re-normalizing smoking as well as vaping behavior.

Since 1964, smoking declined from 42% to 14% among American adults. The increase in popularity of nicotine devices and their widespread availability is reversing the progress made over decades of intense efforts to reduce cigarette smoking,

Conclusions

Using nicotine to break a nicotine addiction is an act of desperation.

This is the main reason for their low success rates and plays right into the addictive mindset that the tobacco and vaping companies benefit from.

Nicotine fulfills all the criteria of an addictive agent, including drug-reinforced behavior, compulsive use, physical dependence, and increased tolerance.

Yes, it will temporarily relieve the cravings… It does so in the same manner as lighting a cigarette… And keeps you hooked in the same way…

Using any aid that contains nicotine such as pills, patches, gums, and vaping will all keep you addicted. They only serve to postpone the inevitable.

Successfully quitting smoking means quitting nicotine.

 

8 Replies to “Vaping Facts by the Numbers”

  1. Very interesting article. As you said, there are limited statistics available about the vaping ‘epidemic’, common sense tells me that using nicotine in any form just prolongs the addiction to it. I am curious how the FDA didn’t get involved earlier on. My 25 year old son vapes and insists that it’s better than cigarettes. I agree with you – I don’t think it is.

    1. Hi Betsy !

      The FDA didn’t get involved until 2009 when Congress passed the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. The FDA stepped up the game last September when the FDA Director, Dr Scott Gottleib, called out Juul for targeting Kids in their advertising.

      Your son is right about it being “Better” than cigarettes, but it is still only the justification to continue using nicotine.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  2. John

    Very helpful article!

    I never tried vaping. I used to smoke cigarettes but I quit the year my wife died of cancer (that was many years ago and she didn’t even smoke) The E-cigarettes are sold as a safe alternative to tobacco and where I live, are even allowed in public places so I am grateful that you are dispelling some myths. 

    I have also heard of various vaping devices exploding and hurting the owner…can you confirm this? Perhaps going back to regular smokes is a safer alternative…

    Thank you for all of your information. 

    1. Hi Dennis,

      Yes, E-cigarettes are also falsely marketed here as “Safe” and are even marketed as “Health and Wellness” aids. This deceptive advertising reinforces the smoker’s excuse to continue to use nicotine, rationalizing that “It is safe” when very clearly it is not.

      I have heard of vaping devices exploding, but I am not sure if that has been rectified or not. If not, I would bet that the vape people’s R&D departments are eagerly working to fix that.

      Congratulations on stopping smoking!

      John

  3. I understand your point of view, but vaping is similar to what is known here as an Oka-pipe. You are smoking through a pipe that has water beneath it, so this will cause you to have water on your lunges. It can possible damage your brain the same way a vape does. What I’m saying is that the vape, from my point of view is better then a oka-pipe. If there is any risk m by using a vape, there are no signs yet. 

    But I understand where you are coming from. Smoking is bad, period! I’ve heard people report that they have gotten their urge of ciggerates away. But after a while that urge comes back. 

    A vape is just another device made by Mann to surve the same purpose as a cigerret.

    This was a great life lesson well learned thank you and all the best.

    Aabidah

    1. Hi Aabidah,

      I have never heard of an Oka-pipe. I will have to look into that. It sounds a lot like a hookah.

      You are absolutely correct when you say ”  A vape is just another device made by Mann to surve the same purpose as a cigerret.”… It’s all about keeping nicotine addicts hooked on their terrible products.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Hi John,

    Great article on Vaping. I think that Vaping to quit smoking is a crock. As you said, many of these deliver more nicotine than a regular cigarette would. There may be some upside in that you don’t get the tar and other carcinogens that you get with a cigarette, but on the other side, you have the introduction of other possible health risks that are as yet unknown. 

    I was a 2 pack a day smoker for 25 years, I started when I was 15. The ONLY way I was able to quit was by making a conscious decision that I was not going to be a smoker anymore. I did that after I began feeling discomfort in my chest and my breathing repeatedly while smoking at work. My doctor prescribed me Wellbutrin (marketed as Zyban for smoking cessation) which I took for 30 days before I quit. It really helped with the physical withdrawal and depression when quitting. After that, I had to conquer the psychological habit part of it which was nothing compared to the physical addiction.

    I remember keeping a pack of cigarettes and a lighter in my car for about a year after I quit, just to make me feel better. Ya know, just in case. It’s been 15 years since I quit, and I feel strongly that I would not be living the life I have now if I had not quit when I did. 

    Strangely, by the same token, I know that if I took a drag off a cigarette I’d be hooked again. I’ve had numerous dreams about smoking and I wake up in a cold sweat every time, thinking OMG, what have I done…lol

    I hope the FDA gets a better handle on Vapes as well as more studies into the negative side effects. I’ve watched my 31-year-old son, who I remember saying he would NEVER smoke, start using a Vape a few years ago. Of course, now he’s addicted. I just hate it.

    Thanks for what you do to help others kick the habit!

    Cheers,

    Michael

    1. Hi Michael,

      It’s funny that you mentioned carrying cigarettes after you quit. It is a little known and very effective technique that you discovered.

      You mentioned a physical addiction as well as a psychological addiction. Very astute. Failure to recognize this causes many smokers to get past the physical withdrawal  only to relapse down the road due to not treating both.

      Thanks for your insightful comments.

      Be well.

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