Another side to the story...

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I hope you got a chance to read the last three blogs on vaping. My last blog got an interesting conversation going on FaceBook.  It went like this…..oh and by the way we contacted Jacob and got his permission to use his name in this blog.

 

VENTMASK posted a GIF “Mind Blown” on FaceBook….

 

The VentMask: Ok it may not blow your mind...but it is good information!😁-TheVentMaskTeam

 

JacobH: There's no such thing as "vape smoke". Let that blow your mind for awhile.

 

Guy Rawson Your right! One question often asked by smokers and non-smokers alike is, “what is the difference between vaporising and smoking?” Although they look similar, they‘re quite different things.
Before looking at how they are different, it‘s good to look first at how they are each produced. Smoke is created through an open flame; through burning or combustion. When a herb such as cannabis or tobacco is smoked, it is quite literally being destroyed by the high temperature of the fire.
Vaporising, on the other hand, is not such a brutal process. As opposed to burning, vaporizing doesn‘t involve an open flame, which greatly reduces the temperature the herb is exposed to. When cannabis is vaporised, it is heated up exactly to the point where the cannabinoids change their state from solid resin to gaseous particles. 
In the case of an E-Cigarette, only the carrier liquid (PG or VG) is vaporised, which then carries with it the nicotine, flavours and other ingredients.

 

JacobH: yeah, I agree. Take a gander at the article, full of "facts" to make you lol.

 

Guy Rawson But too bad they’re both no good for ya.

 

JacobH:  Too bad smokers have an alternative to completely killing themselves. Also Guy, check out the real studies showing vaping is 95% safer than smoking. Vaping also provides an opportunity to ween from nicotine, oral fixations, and eventually complete sobriety of smoking/vaping. You know, unlike cigarettes. Vaping easily saved my life from many ailments brought on from tobacco addiction. Needless to say, too bad almost nothing is good for you these days.

 

Guy Rawson: that’s awesome! Yet if kids don’t vape it’s much healthier not to start. Glad that you are in better health and wish you a long happy life!

 

JacobH: Agreed on the kids.

 

So this got me to thinking….I had written this blog from the perspective of a non-smoker/vaper with the intent of showing one thing, vaping is dangerous to your health. Now what was stated in the blog was indeed fact, big advertising IS targeting  youth as a huge audience for this product. There IS medical proof that vaping is harmful to your health and the common sense portion of inhaling a chemical vapor into your lungs is going to be unhealthy for you, even though there hasn’t been enough long term clinical studies because vaping hasn’t been around that long.  Children have and do get into the vape liquid if it hasn’t been put out of reach and left about and get sick from ingesting it. All those facts that can be researched, BUT WAIT KEEP READING BECAUSE JACOB SHED SOME LIGHT ON A DIFFERENT FACET OF VAPING THAT I WRONGFULLY IGNORED!! (I hope my wife isn’t reading this blog today… I’ll never hear the end of me admitting I was wrong on some point)

 

What I did not write about was the facts that were brought out by the comments from this reader. There are always other opinions and I believe this has merit to be included in this blog series. Lets explore the other side of the vaping coin.

 

This from an online article[1] :


Search for the term ‘vaping’ online and you’d be forgiven for thinking that it is an activity fraught with risks. The top stories relate to health problems, explosions and that vaping leads to smoking in teenagers. For the average smoker seeking information on vaping, a quick internet search offers little reassurance. Might as well continue smoking, the headlines imply, if these products are so dangerous.

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But the reality is that they are not. In the past year, more than any other, the evidence that using an e-cigarette is far safer than smoking has continued to accumulate. 2017 saw the publication of the first longer term “study” of vaping, comparing toxicant exposure between people who’d stopped smoking and used the products for an average of 16 months, compared with those who continued to smoke. Funded by Cancer Research UK, the study found large reductions in carcinogens and other toxic compounds in vapers compared with smokers, but only if the user had stopped smoking completely. A further recent study compared toxicants in vapour and smoke that can cause cancer, and estimated excess cancer risk over a lifetime from smoking cigarettes or vaping. Most of the available data on e-cigarettes in this study suggested a cancer risk from vaping around 1% of that from smoking.

E-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking because they don’t contain tobacco. Inhaling burnt tobacco - but also chewing it - is hugely damaging to human health. Remove the tobacco and the combustion and it is hardly surprising that risk is reduced. That doesn’t mean e-cigarettes are harmless. But it does mean that we can be relatively confident that switching from smoking to vaping will have health benefits.

These new studies and others have influenced policy, at least in the UK. In England, a broad consensus endorsed by many health organizations has existed since 2016 encouraging smokers to try vaping. This year additional organizations, like the Royal College of General Practitioners and the British Medical Association issued new reports also pointing to e-cigarettes as a positive choice for smokers trying to quit. And for the first time, Public Health England included e-cigarettes in its advertising for ‘Stoptober’ an annual stop smoking campaign. In Scotland, a large number of organizations led by Health Scotland issued a statement making clear that vaping is definitely safer than smoking that was also supported by Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer.

Overseas, many countries still ban e-cigarettes and using them can result in fines or even imprisonment for vapers or vendors. Yet gradually this is changing. 2017 saw a complete reversal of New Zealand’s position on these devices and their new policies look very similar to those in place in the UK. Canada is also legalizing e-cigarettes, although details of the regulatory framework are still being ironed out. These countries are following the research evidence and in time others may follow.

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A primary reason for caution in many countries is the fear that vaping will lead to smoking, particularly in young people. This year we did see research suggesting that some teenagers experimenting with vaping go on to smoke when followed up a year later, and this included studies from the UK. There seems little doubt that there are groups of young people susceptible to both. Yet these studies can’t prove that it was the act of trying an e-cigarette that lead to subsequent smoking - many other factors could explain this, including the simple fact that tobacco is still widely available. 2017 saw the publication of the world’s largest study to date of young people and vaping, including over 60,000 teenagers. It found that while experimentation with these products was occurring, regular use by teens who had never smoked remains very low, at less than 1%. Meanwhile in the UK and many other countries like the USA, youth smoking rates continue to decline at an encouraging pace. If vaping was causing smoking, these trends would reverse.

So, what is the average smoker to make of the continued controversy, and seemingly insatiable press interest around e-cigarettes? Who should they believe? Good sources of information do exist but they are not prominent enough. We need clear public information, from reputable sources, to shout above the noise and deliver the facts. And these are the facts. If you are a smoker, the best thing you can do for your health and the health of those around you is to stop smoking. If you choose to vape to stop smoking, that’s great, and no one should criticize you for that choice. I think we may well see a public information campaign along those lines in the near future. And from my perspective, it can’t come soon enough.

Linda Bauld is Professor of Health Policy at the University of Stirling and Deputy Director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies. She also holds a Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention at Cancer Research UK, and is the current President of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco Europe. Her research is funded by government and charitable sources and she has never conducted research or consultancy for tobacco or e-cigarette companies.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/science/sifting-the-evidence/2017/dec/29/e-cigarettes-vaping-safer-than-smoking

Take note of that last paragraph….specifically…. “Her research is funded by government and charitable sources and she has never conducted research or consultancy for tobacco or e-cigarette companies.” To me that is a clear indication of accurate and truthful information, no big money company paying her.

The best evidence to date shows that using e-cigarettes is very dramatically less dangerous than cigarette smoking. Death from all causes within the ages of 25 to 79 is three times higher for smokers than never smokers. Compared to smoking, long-term health effects of e-cigarettes have been judged as likely “much less, if at all, harmful to users or bystanders.”

The 2014 Surgeon-General Report concluded that “The burden of death and disease from tobacco use in the United States is overwhelmingly caused by cigarettes and other burned tobacco products; rapid elimination of their use will dramatically reduce this burden.”

Recent reports suggest that vapers should be cautioned about how they use high-voltage devices because they can produce high levels of the carcinogen formaldehyde. But that, however, is not one of the common ways people use e-cigarettes. High voltage devices and long puffs can produce a bad taste that is avoided.

Burned cigarettes contain many carcinogens: the FDA lists 79 “harmful or potentially harmful” carcinogens in tobacco products and tobacco smoke.

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Keep in mind that reports of a product being “not safe” in some way does not necessarily mean that it cannot overall be much safer than another product.

As is evidenced by our conversation with Jacob, the use of a vape mod has enabled him to ween his addiction to tabacco and lead a healthier life, and this was a facet of vaping I excluded. (Please lord don’t let my wife read this…tho I know she will.)

So I extend a heartfelt “Thank You!” to Jacob for giving me his point of view, and expanding my point of view.

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Last words…if you smoke or chew tobacco products, quit by whatever means it takes. If you don’t smoke or vape don’t start.  Make informed decisions based on what will help you lead a healthier, longer and satisfying life style.

Thanks again Jacob!

-TheVentMaskTeam member Guy R.