Smoking vs. Vaping: Why It May Be Safer to Heat Than to Burn

Smoking vs. Vaping: Why It May Be Safer to Heat Than to Burn

Almost 40 million US adults currently smoke tobacco cigarettes. So, it’s no wonder that 16 million people in the country have a serious smoking-induced illness.

What’s more, many of those who have a smoking-related ailment aren’t smokers. Instead, they developed the disease due to long-term second-hand smoke exposure.

If you smoke yourself, it’s time you compare the effects of smoking vs. vaping. Vaping may not only be a safer option; researchers also link it to higher tobacco quit rates.

On that note, we created this guide on the pros and cons of vaping vs. smoking. Read on to discover how and why the former may be a safer alternative.

Vaping Doesn’t Produce Toxicant Smoke

Tobacco cigarette smoke harbors around 7,000 different chemicals. Of these, 250 can be dangerous to humans. Moreover, at least 69 of these known harmful chemicals can cause cancer.

Vaping doesn’t generate the same kind of smoke from the process of combustion. Instead, it only produces vapor by heating the e-liquid or e-juice. In this way, e-cigarette aerosol may contain fewer harmful chemicals than tobacco smoke.

Vaping May Have Fewer Risks Compared to Tobacco Cigarettes

A 2018 analysis reviewed the established findings of previous electronic cigarette studies. It concluded that e-cigs reduced exposure to tobacco cigarette carcinogens. Note that this only applies to users who completely switched from tobacco to e-cigs.

These findings support those from an earlier study from the Public of Health England. The PHE review concluded e-cigarettes to be up to 95% safer than regular cigarettes. The researchers also reported how e-cigarettes could help smokers completely ditch the habit.

The Centers for Disease Control has a similar stand on the potential benefits of e-cigs. CDC experts believe that these devices may help adults quit smoking regular cigarettes. They need to make a full switch for the e-cigarettes to be effective, though.

In this way, one of the health benefits of vaping vs. smoking is that the latter may help you quit the former. If you have the determination to stop smoking, start by switching to vaping. This may also help ease the side effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Vaping May Have Reduced Third-Hand Smoke Effects

Experts associate second-hand cigarette with 600,000 premature deaths worldwide. That’s on top of “third-hand” smoke, which is the residue left by cigarette smoke on surfaces.

E-cigarettes and vaporizers do come with third-hand aerosol effects, too. However, they may have fewer harmful effects since they don’t create smoke in the first place. Moreover, their vapors don’t have the same toxic content as combustion smoke.

Vaping May Lower Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) Exposure

Tobacco cigarette smoke harbors at least 20 different types of toxic VOCs. Some of these include benzene, ethylbenzene, styrene, toluene, and xylenes. Health experts say that these can cause respiratory, cardiovascular, or nerve diseases.

Vape aerosol also contains some VOCs, but in some cases, to a lower extent. For example, one study found that e-cig users had lower exposures to two to four VOCs and carbon monoxide (CO). Those who completely switched to vaping had the lowest exposures to four VOCs and CO.

You Can Vape Plants and Herbs Too

According to, heating impacts the effects of natural herbs. A perfect example is the decarboxylation process for freshly-harvested cannabis flowers. A vaporizer induces proper decarbing, retaining most of the plant’s cannabinoids and terpenes.

If you burn herbs, you’re burning away their potentially beneficial contents, too. Plus, you put yourself at risk of the negative effects of inhaling combustion smoke.

Vaping Gives You More Control Over Nicotine Intake

Vaporizers allow you to use e-liquids with adjusted nicotine content or even none at all. However, you may find it easier to kick the habit if you make a gradual nicotine reduction. After all, severe withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea and fatigue, can be debilitating.

The above is especially common among heavy smokers, like those who smoke a pack or more each day. In this case, you may want to start with an e-juice that contains 12 to 18 mg/ml of nicotine. From here, you can slowly reduce your dosage to 6 mg/ml, then 3 mg/ml, and finally, zero-nicotine content.

Go With Vape to Say Goodbye to the Stinkies

As is, tobacco smoke smells terrible, being as it’s a product of combustion. It penetrates fibers and layers of clothing, so even undergarments can smell foul. It’s also difficult to get rid of in clothes and may sometimes require double-washing.

Vape aerosol can also cling to skin and clothes, but the smell itself isn’t as bad as tobacco smoke. Moreover, the vaporized e-liquid is easier to clean and remove from garments. You may also want to stick to unflavored e-juices to prevent overly-sweet vapor odors.

Vaporizers Have Lower Risks of Causing Fires 

Smoking materials caused 5% of home structure fires in the US from 2014 to 2018. These incidents accounted for 10% of all civilian fire-related injuries back then. As you might have guessed, these “smoking materials” include tobacco cigarettes left unattended.

Now, you may have heard before that vaporizer batteries can explode. Fortunately, these were uncommon before and are even rarer nowadays. However, you should still be cautious and use only high-quality vapes to stay on the safe side.

Smoking vs. Vaping: The Clear-Cut Winner

There you have it, the most crucial factors that distinguish smoking vs. vaping. As you can see, vaping may be a safer, better choice compared to smoking tobacco cigarettes. It has fewer toxicants, reduced chemicals, and have lower odds of causing house fires.

So, do yourself and others a favor! Ditch the tobacco and make the switch to vaporizers.

Ready for more useful health, fitness, and lifestyle tips and tricks like this? Feel free to stay around and browse our many other guides then!


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