Introduction: Why Vaping Attracts Negative Attention
Most of us have been alive long enough to have seen at least one or two products that come along and disrupt an industry.
Tesla’s cars are probably one of the most notorious disruptions - kickstarting a revolution in electronically-fueled vehicles from almost all the major car brands.
As with any disruptive product, there is always a backlash. And why? Because people fear the unknown. They always have!
That isn’t to say the unknown is inherently evil, though. It’s only because of the history of Big Tobacco putting decades of deadly products out into the world, and lying to the public about until scientists told everyone the truth.
The sale of real tobacco products have been declining since then - in North America and Europe, that is.
So, when vaping started gaining traction in the public arena, among those trying to stop smoking, Big Tobacco found their way into the market too. But this was just in time for the non-smoking public to start seeing people on the street with their box mods and other devices, then seeing articles around the internet featuring Big Tobacco companies working in the e-cigarette space.
So, what happened?
People put 2 and 2 together, of course:
Big Tobacco = Evil
Big Tobacco + e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes = Evil
The media thrives on negativity to sell content across various platforms. Without the friction (aka excitement) of polarizing content that divides the public into groups, most people would lose interest in the news.
Just look at what the media has done with politicians over the years!
Divide people into Left and Right, Blue and Red, socialism or capitalism, and you’ll build a group of loyal followers - as long as you continue to deliver messages that agree with those people, they will hang on every word you say.
The same thing is happening with vaping. The media has taken the group that are non-smokers and is trying to push them further away from the e-cigarette users so they don’t end up supporting smokers switching to vaping as a less-harmful alternative.
Let’s get into it…
MYTH 1: Vaping Will Worsen Nicotine Addiction
Usually, a myth brought up when somebody tells their friends or family they’re looking to quit smoking and pick-up vaping.
There is plenty of evidence, however, from peer-reviewed sources that supports e-cigarettes as a cessation method for traditional cigarette smoking.
In fact, one of the more prominent studies took place with over 160,000 participants and it was concluded that vaping may increase the chance of cessation by 86.4% versus cessation without e-cigarette use.
Tobacco cigarettes also contain approximately 12mg of nicotine each, so if you smoke 10 per day that’s 120mg of nicotine being inhaled. Although, it should be mentioned that someone would only inhale that much. Actual absorption rates would differ from person to person.
E-liquid on the other hand, if you’re vaping 6mg/mL and you go through 4mL per day, that’s 24mg daily nicotine being inhaled. Again, the actual absorbed rate will differ.
But as you can calculate yourself: You would have to inhale 10mL of 12mg/mL e-liquid to match that of a pack of cigarettes.
MYTH 2: Second-hand E-cigarette Vapour is Harmful
There have been several studies to debunk this myth.
Many non-smokers who haven’t been exposed to education around vaping will assume (based on their knowledge of tobacco smoke) that second-hand vapour is just as dangerous, and that everyone around you will breathe in all kinds of toxic chemicals.
Take a look at this study. After measuring concentrations of nicotine, aerosol particles, carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds, researchers discovered that the only concentrated chemical floating in the air after taking a hit and exhaling, is nicotine - and even levels of that was 90% less than that measured from a tobacco cigarette.
Note: Nicotine by itself is no more dangerous in small quantities than caffeine is - both a form of stimulant. You’ll even find traces of nicotine in potatoes, eggplants, tomatoes and almost all members of the nightshade family of plants.
Just to offer a different perception of nicotine, it's currently being studied as a cognitive enhancer in senior patients to prevent Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders.
E-cigarettes, or vaping, don’t leave any toxic chemicals in the air - one study even found that there were more toxic chemicals found in the air just from the everyday environment!
MYTH 3: Vaping is Just As Bad As Smoking
Public Health England has removed doubt surrounding this myth several times.
In this journal it was shown that vaping is 95% less harmful than cigarette smoking.
Does that mean e-cigarettes are safe? No. But nothing you inhale is safe except for nice, clean air - and even that’s hard to come by in today’s pollution-filled world.
We don’t know the long-term effects of vaping yet, but the long-term effects that stem from smoking are known, and the causes of those issues are also known - they’ve been measured, and vaping contains only 5% of the markers from those causes.
So, if you’re currently a smoker then reducing the amount of harm you’re doing to your body by 95% sounds like a logical decision, right?
MYTH 4: Vaping Causes Popcorn Lung
If you’ve heard about popcorn lung then you may have already looked up the story behind the name.
Popcorn factory workers, specifically those mixing and packing the popcorn became sick with a lung disease that led to some of them needing lung transplants to survive.
The reason they became sick in the first place was due to inhaling air with extremely elevated diacetyl levels for extended periods of time. Of course, the sheer volume of diacetyl in the concentrations measured was insignificant when compared to smoking traditional cigarettes:
Tobacco cigarettes contain from 300-430μg each. That’s a single cigarette. How many cigarettes does a smoker have in one day?
E-liquid, on the other hand, contained a median of 56μg consumed daily. Now, if those are based on conservative levels of vaping, even when we double the quantity of e-liquid being vaped, it still is less than a third of what you’d get from one tobacco cigarette.
It falls right in-line with the information from the previous myth, where e-cigarettes are found to be 95% less harmful.
MYTH 5: E-cigarettes Can Randomly Explode
Two words can solve the problems exaggerated by the media: Battery safety.
The media has blown this one way out of proportion (no pun intended) due to how rare occurrences are. Things that are unexpected or out-of-the-blue are generally likely to get more social shares and readers.
If you just read a statistic that 98 people reported exploding devices in 2016, you would think “wow! That’s a lot of people getting hurt!”
But when you take a step back and view the entire picture:
There were over 35-million people vaping in 2016. That means less than 0.0003% of those users experienced explosive devices.
And when you take into account the multiple devices that e-cigarette users often have, that percentage decreases even further!
Don't believe everything you read online. Take the information presented to you by the media and other sources, think about it, then perform your own research finding the most trusted sources you can, and draw your own conclusions!