Is Vaping Safe? What Are the Potential Safety Concerns?
Vaping has always been a controversial topic among lawmakers, medical professionals and tobacco control groups. Further adding to the confusion is the fact that the world’s major nations – from the United States and the United Kingdom to Australia and New Zealand – have all chosen to regulate vaping in slightly different ways. Meanwhile, wealthy activists like Michael Bloomberg have purchased advertising time around the world in an effort to advance an anti-vaping agenda, contributing to widespread media bias.
This article is an attempt to assess the safety profile of vaping in a fair and balanced way. Vaping is not safe in absolute terms, but the general scientific consensus seems to be that if you’re going to use nicotine either way, it is far better to vape than to continue smoking cigarettes. In this article, we’ll point out some of the latest research findings on vaping and address a few potential safety concerns that exist outside the act of vaping itself.
Before we dig in, we want to address one crucial topic. When we discuss e-cigarette safety, we’re talking about the safety profile of vaping as it compares to smoking. The safest option is not to use nicotine at all and to avoid inhaling anything other than plain air. Vaping is an alternative for adults who are already cigarette smokers, are already addicted to nicotine and either can’t or won’t quit. If you don’t smoke, please do not vape.
What Do the Experts Say About Vaping?
Research into the safety of vaping is ongoing and probably will be for quite some time. Studies about this topic have framed the core question of vaping safety in different ways.
Is vaping safe in absolute terms? There’s no way that inhaling a nicotine-infused vapor can be completely harmless compared to inhaling nothing but air. Some studies approach the topic with that mindset and conclude – as you might expect – that vaping isn’t safe.
On the other hand, other studies approach the topic more pragmatically and answer the question in terms of harm reduction. People have used nicotine for millennia, and they’re not likely to stop any time soon. So, is vaping safer than smoking cigarettes? Most experts agree that it is.
What E-Liquid Ingredients Are Potentially Dangerous?
One of the aspects of vaping that makes it difficult to establish a definitive safety profile is the fact that vaping comes in so many different forms. With so many different types of hardware – and a virtually infinite array of e-liquid formulas – “vaping” doesn’t mean just one thing from a scientific standpoint. Suppose that vaping does increase the risk of chronic lung disease compared to not using any form of inhaled nicotine. Is that only the case if you’re using cloud chasing hardware? Is it only the case with e-liquids containing certain flavours? The research conducted to date hasn’t been nearly granular enough to make those determinations.
There are, however, at least three e-liquid ingredients that we know aren’t safe to inhale. E-liquid manufacturers know that these ingredients aren’t safe, so you’re not going to find them in any mainstream vape juice. With that being said, these are the ingredients that we know do not belong in any e-liquid.
Can E-Cigarette Batteries Overheat and Explode?
If you’ve read about vaping in the news, you may have seen reports of e-cigarette batteries that have overheated while charging or during operation, sometimes causing fires and injuries. You may have also noticed that such reports are much rarer today than they were a few years ago, thanks to better product designs and the fact that more people are aware of the problems that can happen when lithium-ion batteries are handled improperly.
Modern vaping devices fully regulate their power output, thus helping to prevent the possibility of overloading your battery because you’re vaping in a way that isn’t safe. In addition, it’s important to note that while fires do happen with lithium-ion batteries, those fires are much, much rarer than the ones that people around the world start every day with lit cigarettes.
By following these three simple steps, you can reduce the chance of your e-cigarette’s battery overheating to almost zero.
How Can I Protect Children and Pets From Nicotine Poisoning?
The final potential safety issue presented by vaping is that of nicotine poisoning. Today’s e-liquids are designed to be as appealing to the palate as possible, which means that they often smell and taste like very convincing recreations of snacks, beverages and candies. The fact that e-liquid tastes so good, though, has led to several situations around the world in which children have managed to open bottles of vape juice and ingest the e-liquid. Vape juice bottles always have child-resistant caps, but as you probably remember from your own childhood, child-resistant caps don’t deter nimble hands for long. Keep your vaping supplies where children and pets can’t reach them.