Smoking Vs. Vaping Smoking: What Are The Differences?

Absolutely, smoking and vaping nicotine both carry health risks, but vaping is often viewed as a potentially safer option, particularly for those trying to quit smoking. However, the long-term effects of vaping remain uncertain, and emerging evidence suggests there may be risks associated with it.

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Smoking Vs. Vaping Smoking: What Are The Differences?

Certainly! Let’s explore the distinctions between vaping and smoking, their impact on health, and the available solutions for quitting permanently.

What Is The Difference?

When you light up a cigarette, the tobacco burns, producing smoke loaded with nicotine and a slew of harmful chemicals that can seriously damage your lungs when you breathe them in.

In an electronic cigarette, the liquid, which can include flavors with or without nicotine, gets heated up to make vapor when you vape. The heat needed to make this vapor is lower than what’s needed to burn tobacco in a cigarette, but it’s still high enough to produce toxic chemicals.

What Are The Dangers Of Vaping?

The vapor from vaping contains fewer and different chemicals compared to those from burning tobacco. While this might appear less harsh on the lungs, it’s not entirely harmless.

There are health risks associated with other chemicals present in vaping products, meaning that even nicotine-free liquids may pose risks. For instance, certain chemicals in vape liquids, such as vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol, are considered safe for ingestion. However, when heated, they produce new chemicals that may not be safe for the lungs.

When heated, poorly manufactured devices can also release contaminants like nickel, tin, and aluminum, which can further irritate the lungs.

Here are some of the known risks associated with vaping:

  1. High Nicotine Levels: Some vaping liquids contain significant amounts of nicotine, which can lead to addiction and affect brain development in fetuses, children, and teens.
  2. Irritation to Eyes and Skin: The liquid in vapes can be irritating to the eyes and skin.
  3. Diacetyl Inhalation: Certain chemical flavorings contain diacetyl, which, when inhaled, can cause inflammation and potentially result in permanent scarring in the smallest airway passages, a condition known as popcorn lungs. There is no lasting treatment for this.
  4. Device Malfunctions: Malfunctions in vaping devices can lead to injuries from fires and explosions.
  5. Formaldehyde Formation: When heated, certain chemicals in vape liquids can produce formaldehyde, a substance hazardous to health. Prolonged exposure to high levels of formaldehyde may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

What Are The Dangers Of Smoking?

Cigarettes have been around for much longer than vaping, and decades of research have demonstrated the harmful effects of smoking on health. According to the Government of Canada, every 11 minutes, a Canadian dies from tobacco use, and thousands more are diagnosed with tobacco-related illnesses.

Here’s a more colloquial version of the risks associated with smoking:

“Smoking comes with a bunch of risks, like getting hooked on nicotine, which is tough to kick. It also knocks down your life expectancy and quality of life.

Plus, there’s a higher chance of getting lung cancer and at least 15 other types of cancer. It messes with your heart and lungs too, upping the risk of cardiovascular and lung diseases.

And don’t forget about dental issues, like losing teeth and having breath that could clear a room.”

Which Is Better?

Nicotine’s addictive whether you’re smoking or vaping, so you can get hooked just as fast with either. And because nicotine’s a stimulant, it can ramp up your heart rate and trigger anxiety.

Health Canada acknowledges that vaping is less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Actually, when people use it to quit smoking, vaping can lead to short-term improvements in overall health. But, it’s not meant to be a long-term fix.

The top way to boost your health is to ditch all nicotine products altogether.

What Can I Do To Quit Smoking For Good?

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, as anyone who’s tried knows firsthand. If you’re ready to kick the habit, your pharmacist can be an invaluable ally on your journey to being smoke-free. They’re not just there to dispense medication – they can provide you with the information and support you need to succeed.

Your pharmacist can help you develop a personalized quit plan tailored to your specific needs. They’ll ask about your smoking history, past quit attempts, and any medical conditions that might affect your ability to quit. Armed with this information, they can recommend the best approach for you, whether it’s gradually cutting back, using nicotine replacement therapy like patches or gum, or even prescribing medication to help ease withdrawal symptoms.

Depending on where you live, your pharmacist may also be able to prescribe medication that could be covered by your insurance, making quitting more accessible and affordable. So don’t hesitate to reach out – your pharmacist is there to help you every step of the way on your journey to a smoke-free life.

What You Should Remember

  • Both smoking and vaping aren’t good for you, especially in the long run.
  • Your pharmacist can give you the right support to help you quit smoking for good!
  • Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your health.
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