Smoking VS Vaping: is it a battle?

vaping smoking

(Unsplash, 2019)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Styliani Triantafyllidou, a 2nd year student of the International Medical School of the
University of Naples Federico II in Italy, but originally comes from Greece. She is
 affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


An increasing number of people has started smoking e-cigarettes over the last years. As a result, a new conflict is introduced about smoking. Is vaping better that smoking?

On the one side, there are people who support that using electronic cigarettes makes cessation of smoking easier. But, at least for now, this argument lacks of scientific evidence and vaping is not an FDA approved method to quit smoking.

Also, considering the fact that e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco leads some people to the assumption that vaping is less harmful. This point of view is supported by Public Health England, according to which, vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.

On the other side, it is necessary to mention that e-cigarette aerosol is harmful since, based on CDC, it contains carcinogenic chemicals which means that even if electronic cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes they are still dangerous for people’s health.

In addition, e-cigarette liquid can cause poisoning because electronic cigarettes usually contain higher levels of nicotine in respect to other nicotine products. In fact, there have been reported emergency cases of children who swallowed e-cigarette liquid and became ill. Equally concerning to that are the candy and fruit flavors of e-cigarettes which target teenagers who may find smoking more appealing which increases the risk to start smoking.

In order to conclude regarding whether vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, we need more data about electronic cigarettes. However, we do know that both traditional and electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, which is highly addictive, and can cause health problems.

So, we shouldn’t forget that the goal is to adopt behaviors that benefit our health, not compromising with something that is less harmful! The point is to prevent people from smoking, not trying to turn smoking into something “healthier”.

References
National Institute on Drugs Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Poison Data System, American Association of Poison Control Centers
Office on Smoking and Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

About the author

Styliani Triantafyllidou is a 2nd year student of the International Medical School of the
University of Naples Federico II in Italy, but originally comes from Greece. She joined
the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations this year. She is
passionate about science and in her spare time enjoys reading books.

 

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