Vaping vs Smoking: Weighing the evidence

All the known dangers and potential risks of vaping and smoking in one place.

Every discussion of vaping should include a comparison with smoking. That’s because most vapers were smokers, and if not for vaping, most vapers would still be smokers. On top of that, if vaping survives the huge challenges to its very existence, millions of would-be smokers will be diverted from cigarette addiction by low-risk nicotine alternatives like e-cigarettes.

But when it comes to actual science, far too few studies employ a direct comparison between vaping and smoking. That’s probably because studies are done largely by people in the tobacco control field, and most of them want to see total elimination of all nicotine use.

So if a paper compares, say, carcinogenic compounds in smoke and vapor, the results will show that smoke contains vastly larger quantities of the things that cause cancer. And pointing that out doesn’t serve the cause of abstinence very well. However, comparing vapor to clean air makes vapor look bad.

More than sixty years of science has proven that smoking is a very risky activity. Around half of all long-term smokers will die prematurely from its effects. The science on vaping is much newer, but what we do know is that no serious or widespread harms have been proven.

According to the 2014 Surgeon General’s report on smoking, about 16 million Americans suffer from some smoking-related disease, with 480,000 of them dying each year. Let’s look at the major categories of health problems caused by smoking and see if vaping poses risks in the same areas.

Cancers form when toxins damage or mutate a cell’s DNA and cause it to grow out of control. A tumor can remain local, or the cancer can spread, and even move from one organ to another.

Most people are familiar with cigarette smoking as a cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer kills more Americans than any kind of cancer, and most (but not all) lung cancer victims are smokers. It is a particularly brutal form of cancer.

However, smoking can cause many other kinds of cancer too, because cancers can form not just in areas that have contact with the smoke, but also from smoke byproducts in the bloodstream and organs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking can cause cancer almost anywhere in the body.

Read more at vaping360.com

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