Is Vaping Safe? We Give You Our Thoughts.

The Ultimate Question when it comes to switching from smoking to vaping: Is Vaping Even Safe? You've read in an article from some big news outlet somewhere, or from a friend, or a friend of a friend, that vaping is no better than smoking, and that it might even be more dangerous, but is that true? The simplest answer to that question is: No. That is not true. But nothing in life is that simple; there's an abundance of information floating around regarding the safety of electronic cigarettes. This story began decades ago, and it began with smoking.

A Brief History of Tobacco Regulation

Starting in 1970, the United States government began the bulk their efforts to regulate smoking and smoking advertisements in the modern era. Although, for decades (up to centuries in some cases) prior to the 1970's, there had already been a plethora of information released in Europe regarding the dangers of smoking, this was the first real step that American lawmakers had taken in regulation. The 1970 Bill, the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act, banned the advertising of cigarettes on television and radio, effective January 2nd, 1971. This was in response to the first universally acclaimed anti-smoking report, done the Royal College of Physicians titled: Smoking and Health, which drew a direct connection between the purported adverse effects of smoking on consumers' health, and cases in which smokers tested positive for such health concerns. This report effectively legitimized all claims of the effects of smoking, and began a domino-effect of regulatory action in the realm of smoking and tobacco advertising. 
In the decades following the 70's, further regulation was put in place, and anti-smoking advocacy groups began campaigning publicly for bans on purchasing for people under the age of 18+, smoking in public places, samples. In 1998, the four largest tobacco manufacturers, Phillip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, Brown and Williamson, and Lorillard, and the attorneys general from 46 U.S. States settled on the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement which required tobacco companies to pay a minimum of $206 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement being active. At this point, society is fed up with smoking, parents and children are heeding the warnings of tobacco use, and governments around the globe are cracking down on tobacco companies, but one thing isn't changing. Cigarettes are still around. They're still harmful, and there's still hundreds of thousands of people dying each year from tobacco related illnesses. To this day, the most common preventable cause of death in the United States is still tobacco smoking - something needed to change. 

The Invention of Harm Reduction Technology

In comes Hon Lik, a brilliant Chinese pharmacist, inventing one of the most revolutionary pieces of technology in the history of public health, the electronic cigarette. After failing to quit using the traditional and pharmaceutical methods like patches, lossanges, and gums, Hon developed the technology that would be adopted and used for his invention, and put it to use. After quitting smoking with the help of his invention, he sold the product to be mass produced in China, and through several stages of evolution, the public has landed amidst the explosion of an industry that was built with that original invention. The vaping industry was reported to be a $5 billion industry in 2015, and if regulations do not limit growth, will continue to rise into the teens in the coming years. Though the use of this technology, it's estimated that nearly 10 million Americans have successfully quit smoking cigarettes. This is something to celebrate, right? That's 10 million people that have found a way to separate themselves from one of the deadliest consumer products of all time...
Nope. Now's when the fearmongers get the band back together to raise hell for yet another time. But, this time around, it's been much more difficult to make their point. 

Fear of Vaping: Justified?

Toxic chemicals and device safety are among the top choices for anti-vaping advocates to use as ammunition in their fight against vaping and the harm-reduction technology, but is there backing to the hype? In some ways, yes, there is. In regards to device safety, in particular, its pretty simple to find a video or an article showing a battery explosion or fire. In those cases, it's terribly sad, and a little scary, to see that something like that could even happen in your own pocket. However, what these news outlets don't tell you, there's a laundry list of factors that could go into something like that happening, and almost all of them boil down to the user itself. For example, when using a chainsaw, it's important to follow the instructions. Cut away from yourself, don't have anyone standing nearby, don't jerk the chainsaw, use both hands, cut the wood over your own center of gravity, etc. The list could go on, but you get the point. People get hurt using chainsaws every single day, and I don't know for sure, but probably in larger numbers than there are people with exploding batteries. What you don't see, though, is the anti-chainsaw advocacy group standing on their soapbox depicting the dangers of chainsaws and why they should be wiped off the face of the Earth, do you? 
Of the 10 million  vapers in the United States, there have been minimal cases of battery explosions and device malfunctions that lead to consumer safety issues. Even if, by some chance, there were 100 reported cases of battery explosions that led to hospitalization, you're still looking at a 1 in 100,000 chance of something happening to you. If you do not take care of your batteries: not keeping them loose in your pockets, not using a battery that's wrapping is destroyed, not marrying your batteries for mechanical devices, you're far more likely to experience some kind of issue than you would be if you simply used proper battery care practice while vaping. It's simple. Be smart, and you most likely will not get hurt.  
The larger point of argument by anti-vaping advocates is not in battery safety, it's in the chemicals that reside in eLiquids and their flavorings. There's a lot of fear generated through consumables, as without a full glimpse into what you're actually consuming, the unknown can be relatively trepidacious. However, from what we do know, the dangers posed by electronic cigarettes and vaping pale in comparison to it's counterpart, the traditional cigarette. There have been a few different things in particular when it comes to toxins in vape juice that took the media by storm, one of which is Diacetyl. 
Diacetyl is an organic compound, and it's the reason behind "buttery" foods tasting buttery. While it can be found in eLiquid, Diacetyl is also present, in much larger quantities, in traditional cigarettes. Diacetyl is believed to be the cause of a disease, known scientifically as Bronchiolitis Obliterans, and commonly referred to as Popcorn Lung. Its common name is in reference to its origin, or the first place that it had been found, in a popcorn factory in which a handful of factory workers came down with the disease after having been exposed to powdered Diacetyl in their working environment. 
While the FDA includes Diacetyl on their GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list of chemicals, that pertains to consumption by eating or drinking, and not by inhalation, as there has not been enough testing in inhalation by vapor or aerosol for it to be proven harmful. As of now, no link has been found between smoking or vaping and Popcorn Lung, but it's still something to be aware of. Unlike tobacco companies, many eJuice manufacturers have removed all usage of Diacetyl from the production of their flavors, and now it's about making sure that the industry stays on top of testing and being on the lookout for new studies regarding its side effects. 
The biggest thing to understand regarding vaping is to find as much information as you can. In order to avoid anything unsafe, or potentially unsafe, it's extremely important to consult a physician or to do your own research.
With questions, email
Thank you for reading, and VAPE ON!


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