Is vaping safe?

For many who are unaware of the history and internal workings of e-cigarettes, it’s easy to understand why they might think it’s a brand-new idea and therefore wonder ‘is vaping safe?’ – but in fact, the concept of vaporizing is not very modern at all.

Vaporizing has been used for over 2500 years, originating in Egypt where hemp would be used on hot stones, creating a breathable vapour that users would enjoy in a similar fashion to a Turkish bath.

In the 20th century, there were many failed attempts to create a vaping device that could be used safely in lieu of cigarettes. Major breakthroughs came as a result of the large number of people who smoked marijuana in the latter half of the century. Many began to use a device invented by Eagle Bill in the mid-1990s, which was discovered to provide the same ‘high’ usually gained by smoking a joint, but avoiding the need to inhale smoke.

As the popularity of these vaporizers grew, many looked toward vaping as a way to replace traditional cigarettes. Pharmacist Hon Lik produced a prototype device in 2003 that allowed for the absorption of nicotine while avoiding the intake of tar and the other dangerous chemicals inhaled by the average smoker.

Research has increased confidence in vaping safety

As the designs became more advanced, the devices became more popular, as smokers who were looking to quit finally had a smoking cessation device that was truly effective in limiting their need for traditional cigarettes.

Naturally, people wanted to know ‘is vaping safe?’ and companies which faced losing profit as a result of their popularity tried hard to have them banned. But their failure to provide any scientific evidence led to cases being thrown out of court. The Royal College of Physicians (RCP) released research in 2016 that showed that vaping was on average 95% healthier than smoking cigarettes, and recommended their inclusion in healthcare systems around the world.

The RCP also found that their effectiveness compared with other cessation options was much higher, as consumers that smoked could voluntarily buy the devices out of personal choice, without having to deal with a health professional and the additional pressure that comes with it.

Ultimately, most fears regarding the use e-cigarettes have been dispelled through empirical data, leading the RCP to declare that: “Switching completely from tobacco to e-cigarettes achieves much the same in health terms as does quitting smoking and all nicotine use completely.”

A rather startling conclusion, and one that has helped to influence many smokers around the world to forego traditional cigarettes in favour of vaping devices, even if they’ve previously asked ‘is vaping safe’.

 

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