Last updated on May 3rd, 2018 at 12:26 pm
Electronic cigarettes have been the target of a great deal of debates over the past several years, yet many claims brought against these devices are far from factual. Here are 8 of the most common myths about electronic cigarettes. Vaping Popularity has been on the rise for the past couple of years. Here’s a shortlist of vaping myths we’ve compiled and consequently busted, hoping to shine more light on the situation.
Myth 1: Electronic Cigarettes are a gateway product.
Drawing the conclusion that vaping might eventually lead teenagers to actual tobacco smoking might not be so far-fetched. There are a variety of delicious flavors currently available right now. However, studies have shown that environmental factors (friends, family, school, and work) play a much bigger part in determining the likelihood of someone picking up smoking.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also released information that concludes that there is an inverse correlation between the number of people smoking versus the number of people vaping within any given demographic. This means that there are fewer smokers in an area where vaping is popular and more people are vaping.
Myth 2: Electronic Cigarettes are more addictive than traditional cigarettes.
It can be assumed that since eCigarettes produce a much cleaner taste that is more palatable due to the wide variety of flavors available, vaping is a much more addictive than regular old analog cigarettes. This couldn’t be further from the truth. First, there are much lesser amounts of nicotine delivered to your body when vaping in comparison to smoking. It helps that you can dose your nicotine levels. Nicotine is often considered the main addictive ingredient found in both e-liquids and analog cigarettes. The fact of the matter is that cigarettes contain a lot more chemicals that add to the addiction, making it even hard to quit smoking.
Two independent tests revealed that e-cigs actually deliver lower amounts of nicotine. Nicotine is addictive ingredient in cigarettes than traditional cigarettes. This helps make them less addictive. The evidence simply does not support the myth that e-cigs cause addiction.
Myth 3: There is no difference between e-cigs and tobacco cigarettes in toxins and carcinogens.
When the FDA found trace amounts of carcinogens in e-cig cartridges, the media ran with the story without looking at the facts. The definition of “trace amounts” actually refers to amounts too small to measure scientifically. However, an independent study showed that electronic cigarettes actually contain about 1,200 times fewer carcinogens then tobacco cigarettes.
Myth 4: E-Cigs Have Anti-Freeze ingredients.
Nothing could be further from the truth than this statement. The ingredient in anti-freeze that was found within e-cigs by the FDA is called diethylene glycol. This ingredient is intended to make anti-freeze less harmful when swallowed. Additional, the FDA’s study tested only 18 cartridges from 2 companies and only one of those contained the ingredient. This points to a single contamination, rather than evidence that all e-cigs contain anti-freeze.
Myth 5: Certain flavors are meant to attract teenagers.
There are several reasons why this is false. E-cigs are intended to be a way for smokers to smoke without inhaling toxins. Advertisers use certain flavors to make the process more enjoyable for their target customers who are adults aged 30-50. Interestingly, consumers claim that the sweeter the flavors are, the less agreeable they taste and therefore encourage them to not vape as often.
Myth 6: E-cigs are dangerous for teens.
Amongst the reasons this statement is untrue is the fact that these products are extremely expensive compared to traditional tobacco cigarettes. Additionally, it is harder to purchase e-cigs and their cartridges than it is to buy or have someone else buy, tobacco cigarettes. Current regulations prevent e-cigs being sold to underage teens. This is why we should not make them illegal because kids will then be able to get it easier.
Myth 7: Second-hand vape is deadly.
Unlike tobacco cigarettes, e-cigs contain far less carcinogens and very little nicotine which are known to present health risks for others. Therefore, second-hand-vape is certainly not deadly for passersby or bystanders.
Myth 8: Smokers would quit sooner if e-cigs didn’t exist.
This is completely false. Polls show that smokers would be more likely to continue smoking and/or switch to chewing tobacco if it weren’t for e-cigs. The idea that people would quit smoking altogether if they didn’t have e-cigs is simply false.
Myth 9: Vapes contain Formaldehyde
While a few scientific studies have concluded that formaldehyde particulates do show up on tests when combusting e-liquid, what the tests often fail to mention is that in order to get these same results, the e-liquid has to be exposed to extremely high temperatures. These high temperatures are almost impossible to achieve when vaping with a properly set up electronic cigarette. Not only that, combusting e-liquid at high voltage, it yields in an unpleasant burnt taste. That’s something that any vaper out there tries their best to avoid.
Myth 10: E-Cigarettes Will Give You Popcorn Lung
This myth stems from the idea that diacetyl which is used as an ingredient in e-liquids can eventually lead to a condition called “popcorn lung”. The truth is that while there are very few e-liquid companies out there that use diacetyl in their e-liquid flavorings, the vast majority of brands existing today produce e-liquids which are diacetyl-free.
One more thing to consider is that tobacco smoke from cigarettes has a much higher concentration of diacetyl when compared to the trace amounts found in e-liquid. So regardless of your decision to vape an e-liquid which contains or doesn’t contain diacetyl, smoking is still the worst option altogether.
Myth 11: All vapes contain nicotine
While many smokers switch to vaping as an alternative in order to avoid the more harmful side effects of inhaling tobacco smoke, there are those who use vaping as a very effective quitting tool. E-liquids are available in a huge variety of nicotine strength. This allows those who would like to quit to eventually taper down their nicotine intake. As a result of this, many brands provide nicotine-free options which offer all the other enjoyable effects of vaping such as blowing out “vapor” and palatable e-liquids.
Myth 12: Nicotine causes cancer
Nicotine gets a lot of bad rap due to its heavy association and use with analog cigarettes. The fact of the matter is that the true cancer-causing agents are found in the carcinogens which are produced from the tar. This happens when combusting the tobacco leaf in these cigarettes and then inhaled into the lungs.
While nicotine does have its own variety of side effects, at the end of the day it’s still just a stimulant similar to caffeine. While there is still some debate that links nicotine to increased tumor growth, at the end of the day there is a lack of evidence that nicotine does cause cancer.
Myth 13: Banning e-Cigarettes will be better
At this point in time, there is no evidence existing to help us conclude that banning vaping outright will produce any positive effect. electronic cigarettes are still heavily regulated.
An outright ban on vaping would just mean fewer alternatives for smokers who intend to quit. As it stands, nicotine patches and nicotine gum are some of the only alternative nicotine delivery systems. However even these can be quite costly. Not only are the costs of patches and gum prohibitively high, but these alternatives are not as effective as e-Cigarettes when it comes to helping smokers quit altogether.
Myth 14: eCigs will randomly explode
Contrary to popular belief, e-Cigarettes do not randomly explode. What news articles fail to highlight is that there is always an element of user error involved when e-Cigarettes malfunction. This can be traced back to either improper handling or care of the batteries used in e-Cigarettes.
This is why proper research should be done before switching to vaping. For starters, never use batteries with torn outer wrapper. This is a sort of insulation to help the heat. Proper battery care is an essential aspect of vaping safely. Many modern e-Cigarettes already have multiple fail-safes included to prevent such accidents. You also want to make sure that the battery cools down.
Myth 15: Vaping raises risks of pneumonia
This particular myth originates from a single case documented in 2014. The report stated that a man in Spain developed pneumonia due to vaping. Since then, there have been countless interviews with Professor Riccardo Polosa of the Institute for Internal Medicine & Clinical Immunology of the University of Catania. He has gone on record stating that it is impossible to contract lipoid pneumonia from vaping.
In this report, the supposed factor that caused lipoid pneumonia was the inhalation of vegetable glycerin. Prof. Riccardo Polosa discounts this and goes on to state that glycerin is not a lipid but an alcohol. Alcohols cannot cause lipoid pneumonia, concluding that vaping is not a likely cause of pneumonia.
Myth 16: The FDA doesn’t know much about eCigs
There is a common belief that vaping is relatively new technology. This bring people to the conclusion that the FDA hasn’t conducted sufficient testing in order to conclude it as safe. While long-term studies have yet to be concluded, vaping has already been acknowledged to possess reduced toxicity levels when compared to tobacco cigarettes.
Most of their concern with vaping lies with its potential to attract minors to nicotine addiction. This is more of a problem with proper enforcement and distribution to minors. In fact, the FDA even encourages manufacturers to further innovate and evolve the current vaping technology, recognizing its potential as a smoking cessation tool. When you think about the sheer size of the USA with its population, it’s hard to think the FDA will just turn a blind eye to an activity that so many people partake.