Vaping vs. Smoking
While smoking has been around for many centuries, vaping is a relatively new phenomenon that has become popular among Millenials. A report conducted by UBS Securities LLC reveals that between 2011 and 2012, the e-cigarette market sales rose from $250 to $500 million (Palazzolo 1). Vaping has been marketed as a safer and stylish option to conventional smoking, and probable smoking recess tool. While there is a consensus regarding its aesthetic appeal, the portrayal of vaping as a safe alternative has created a controversy, leading to divisions within and among scholars and organizations such as FDA about the safety of e-cigarettes. Unlike smoking that has been proven to harm humans, the long-term effects of vaping are unknown. However, recent research suggests they could be detrimental. Considering that both smoking and vaping have tobacco as their main ingredient, it is conceivable that both pose health risks and, as such, e-cigarettes cannot be a safe alternative to conventional smoking.
Smoking subjects both primary and secondary users to increased health risks. Specifically, the combustion of tobacco produces over a thousand chemicals that harm body organs. These chemicals are profoundly harmful and have a strong association with leading health conditions, such as cancer, respiratory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases. Vaping, on the other hand, contains less toxic chemicals compared to the 7,000 chemicals found in regular tobacco cigarettes. However, e-cigarettes also consist of harmful substances, which pose danger to human health. The nicotine found in e-cigarettes is highly addictive and can affect the brain development of teenagers, children, and fetuses in women. Even more, the e-cigarette vapor possesses dangerous substances such as diacetyl, which is associated with cancer-causing chemicals and metals such as lead and tin (Palazzolo 4).
Smoking is the primary cause of a substantial number of deaths. In the United States, smoking is a leading cause of death, claiming over 4800,000 lives every year. Approximately 90 percent of all deaths related to lung cancer originates from smoking. Also, 80 percent of deaths linked to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are due to smoking. Compared to smoking, vaping has recorded fewer deaths. Although a lot remains unknown about vaping, six deaths caused by vaping have been reported in 2019. Over 450 cases of acute lung injuries connected to vaping have also been reported, proving the likelihood of vaping being deadly (Gottschalk et al. n.p).
Smoking has numerous safety and health concerns. The most common safety and health issues related to smoking are hazards regarding smoking-material fires. Over the years, a high number of fire incidences caused by smoking has been recorded. In the year 2011, about 90,000 smoking-material fires were witnessed in the United States, leading to the death of 540 people. A total of 1,640 people were injured and property worth $621 million was destroyed. The safety issues linked to smoking have seen more legislation become enacted and more regulations put in place to stop more severe risks. Compared to smoking, vaping has considerably lesser safety and health risks. Nonetheless, some safety problems have been reported since the inception of e-cigarettes. In 2007, the explosion of batteries was a major safety threat associated with vaping (Belluz n.p). However, no injuries were recorded during the explosions.
Smoking is an addictive and expensive habit. Due to the combination of nicotine and tobacco, traditional cigarettes are extremely addictive. Studies show that over 60 percent of smokers are unable to quit smoking due to the addictive nature of conventional cigarettes. Further, smoking is expensive as smokers tend to smoke every day. With a pack of cigarettes costing about $13, an average smoker is likely to buy 5 packs a week which will cost him around $65. In a year, an average smoker is expected to have spent $3120, a small fortune. Compared to smoking, vaping is relatively cheaper, but also highly addictive and, as such, a threat to young people’s health. Both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes consist of nicotine, which tends to be as addictive as cocaine. However, more nicotine can be found in e-cigarettes, thus, making them as addictive as regular cigarettes. Cost-wise, vaping is cheaper than smoking, as it costs around $50 to buy an e-cigarette starter kit that will go for a year. Moreover, compared to smoking, vaping poses a greater peril to young adults as they perceive it as a fashionable trend worth imitating. Statistics show that the number of teens who experimented with e-cigarettes increased from 5% to 19% between 2011 and 2015 (Gottschalk et al. n.p). As such, the marketing of vaping as a safe alternative is likely to introduce a larger percentage of young people to smoking. This presentation may lead to a big number of addiction cases among youth.
Although the long-term impacts of vaping remain unclear, it is certain vaping is not a safer alternative to smoking. Even though the effects of vaping appear to be low when compared to those of smoking, it is clear that vaping poses similar threats. As noted, just like smoking, vaping poses health risks and safety concerns and leads to addiction. In addition, vaping is a tremendous peril to the youths as it is likely to serve as a gateway to conventional smoking among young people.
Belluz, Julia. “Vaping May Be More Dangerous Than We Realized.” Vox, July 10, 2019. com/science-and-health/2019/3/28/18277658/vaping-health-effects-vs-smoking“>www.vox.com/science-and-health/2019/3/28/18277658/vaping-health-effects-vs-smoking. Accessed 18 September 2019.
Gottschalk, Laura, Fraga, John-Anthony, Hirschfield, Jared, and Zuckerman, Diana. “Is Vaping Safer than Smoking Cigarettes?” National Center for Health Research, 2019. www.center4research.org/vaping-safer-smoking-cigarettes-2/
Palazzolo, Dominic L. “Electronic Cigarettes and Vaping: A New Challenge in Clinical Medicine and Public Health. A Literature Review.” Frontiers in Public Health, vol. 1, 2013, pp. 56.
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