Vaping is not as bad as smoking, but it’s not better
By Jessica Berget, Opinions Editor
Vaping has practically replaced cigarette smoking in recent years. Many teens and young adults are trying the new trend, and many cigarette smokers are trying it to kick their cigarette habit. Because there is no tobacco in vapes or e-cigarettes, many are under the impression that it’s the healthier option. Bad news bears—vaping may not be as bad as smoking, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthier for you. Vaping still comes with some health risks that can’t be ignored.
A recent study in Science News for Students found that twice as many kids in high school vape over smoke, and the ratio was even higher for middle-schoolers. Tushar Singh from the Smoking and Health office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that, in 2015, 2.39 million high school kids vaped—a huge difference compared to the 1.37 million kids who smoked cigarettes. Since most people are under the impression vaping is better because of the lack of tobacco, many have forgotten that there are other ingredients that are harmful to your body.
Vapour oil comes in a variety of different flavours and although they all sound delicious, the ingredients tell a different story. Different types of metals have been found in e-cigarette vapour such as mercury, cadmium, nickel, tin, and silver, to name some. Additionally, some cancer-causing and addictive ingredients are found in vaping, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and finally nicotine.
There is another type of vaping which has become popular among high school students called “Juuling,” which contains twice the amount of nicotine as similar products—one Juul pod contains as much nicotine as one to two packs of traditional cigarettes. This is concerning considering how addictive nicotine is, especially to young adults.
Dr Jessica Wang-Rodriguez echoes the dangers of assuming e-cigarettes are better for you. In a study she co-authored, she found that vapourized e-cigarette liquids “induce increased DNA strand breaks and cell death.” Additionally, research by Harvard University found that the chemicals found in some e-cigarettes can cause something called “popcorn lung,” a disease that narrows and weakens the lungs by scarring and inflammation.
There’s no denying vaping is not as bad as smoking cigarettes in some ways, but there are still some health risks to take into consideration before picking an e-cigarette up. Vaping is not as bad for you, but it is still addicting and a bad habit to get into.