This is a guest post.
We’ve all heard the hype and the nonsense about vaping and e-cigarettes – good or bad, healthier or more dangerous, cheap or expensive – but what’s the real truth? Here are five myths that are ready to be exterminated.
E-liquids are a mysterious brew
There are essentially four base ingredients to an e-liquid: vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavorings. The first two are used to create vapor and carry flavor respectively. Nicotine is harmless but carries addictive qualities. Flavorings vary – they can be artificial or natural – and are composed of hundreds of different chemical compounds.
Sometimes confusion arises regarding propylene glycol, which can be confused with diethylene glycol, a common ingredient in antifreeze – check before buying. Yes, buying e-liquids from a non-reputable company is not the wisest choice, but buy from a trusted dealer and you won’t have any issues.
Everyone knows about them
Ask a veteran smoker about vaping. Perhaps even more pertinently, ask an elderly non-smoker about the term, and there’s a strong likelihood they’ll have no idea what you mean. Certainly, this writer has been told by his elderly mother that she saw someone smoking a ‘metal cigarette’ in town on at least one occasion. They’re not cigarettes, and are more accurately a viable alternative to ever trying a cigarette in the first place.
Even if a person is aware of the concept they might not recognize the difference between a Vape Pen (generally more accessible to the newbie) and the mod, for example. People are still relying on pieces such as this Daily Mirror guide to steer their way through.
They’re as bad as cigarettes
Intuitively, it doesn’t seem right to assume this, since the two are completely different; it’s only the final action that’s the same. Despite that, 22% of people believe they’re more harmful than cigarettes.
Vapers have grown familiar with the old refrain: “not enough testing has been done yet”. But what they won’t have heard was the recent opinion from Public Health England, which not only states that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, but could also obliterate it. According to a Guardian info graphic the relative harm of e-cigarettes is negligible compared to cigarettes and cigars.
The next step could be licensing through the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency – costly, but perhaps necessary to convince skeptics.
Pound for pound, most studies have found that it actually turns out cheaper by as much as £2-3,000. Once the initial outlay has been spent, such as on a Phoenix e-cigarette starter kit, the e-liquid is largely the only cost.
Potentially, though, it could turn out to be cheaper still. Anti-tobacco campaigners and public health specialists want the NHS to be more positive about e-cigarettes – and perhaps even contribute towards their costs.
Everyone/No-one who tries them will quit tobacco
We don’t know the answer definitively, but the evidence is promising, certainly in comparison to traditional nicotine replacement therapies such as patch and gum.
For example, Gizmodo presents several sources of research, including at least one international study which states that 92% of users reported reductions in their smoking when using e-cigarettes and only 10% stated that they had urges to smoke tobacco. That’s by no means an all-or-nothing statistic; willpower and experimentation are still requirements to quit, and not everyone possesses these qualities.