January 20th, 2015

Last updated on May 10th, 2018 at 01:38 pm

Much debate has taken place over the healthiness of smoking in general. Up until recently, dry herb smokers have indulged in traditional methods of smoking such as through a glass pipe or a rolled up paper. The effects of smoke are hard to deny. Most proponents against marijuana legalization point to the high levels of carcinogens in smoke to claim that it negates any benefits that might come from its medicinal use. However, there is a way to deflect the carcinogens found within the smoke without completely avoiding the herb altogether. That method is vaporizing.

A vaporizer functions far different than traditional smoking devices. Instead of burning the herbs from the outside in, vaporizers heat up cannabinoids to their boiling temperature causing the buds to release vapor without burning.  In other words, vaporizers eliminate many of the chemicals without affecting the active ingredients that are released.

Herbal vaporizers offer a lot of the benefits that eating or otherwise consuming the plant do, but retain the powerful and instant effects. When it comes to health, function and delivery, vaporizers have all other methods beaten. Ever since vaping boomed in popularity, it’s been a major topic among health experts debating the pros and cons of vaping against smoking.

 

Difference Between Vaping and Smoking

Basically, the main difference between vaping and smoking comes down to inhalation and heat. Vapes consistently beats out smoking by offering users a healthier alternative to more damaging habits. The risk associated with smoking really makes no sense when you compare the benefits of vaping. The cost associated with one over the other is also significant, considering how expensive cigarettes can be along with product loss during combustion.

As the masses become more aware of the benefits of a vaporizer as opposed to smoking through traditional means, the tables are turning on the entire industry. Instead of focusing solely on selling herbal based products or tobacco, big tobacco companies now need to change their marketing strategy to target the method consumers prefer. From table top vaporizers to vape pens, the variety of products is virtually endless.

In conclusion, vaping is far safer, healthier, and more affordable method. As the effects of smoke become painfully obvious, consumers will have no choice but to trade in their cigarettes for a vaporizer that not only eliminates toxins but also improves respiratory functions.

 

Advantages

Vaping

One of the biggest and most immediately felt advantages of vaping is that it produces no foul odor, unlike traditional tobacco smoking. Unlike tobacco, vaping doesn’t leave a persistent and lingering smell. You can vape freely with the knowledge that you won’t be smelling like stale cigarettes.

This is especially advantageous for those who smoke at home and for those who live in colder climates. While many smokers prefer to smoke indoors due to the convenience or comfort of their own homes, this eventually ends up with a house that smells like an ashtray. Vaping totally negates this due to its pleasant or minimal smell. Any odors produced by vapor don’t tend to stick to furniture, clothing, or any household interiors since vapor is very thin.

Real Examples of some advantages when switching over to vaping:

  • 20% reduced resting heart rate.
  • Improved sense of taste.
  • Increased energy levels.
  • Less coughing.
  • Stand up without feeling like passing out.

 

Smoking

Where smoking wins in this regard is its sheer availability. Regardless of where you are in the world, no matter what town or city, a pack of cigarettes is never too far away. Despite its huge negative impact on your personal health, it’s still legal to smoke in practically every country on Earth (with the exception of Bhutan).

Smoking also has a lower cost of entry. On top of that, no technical knowledge or expertise is required to pick up, making it the easiest and fastest method of getting your nicotine fix. Societal norms also come into play depending on where you live or travel. Smoking might be generally more acceptable to the public eye when compared to vaping. This is partially due to the fact that most people have grown up with adults puffing around them, rather than teens vaping around them.

 

Disadvantages

Vaping

Usually the biggest hurdle when it comes to anyone considering the switch to vaping is the relatively bigger cost with some maintenance. While a pack of cigarettes might cost anywhere from $3-$15 depending on where you live, even the cheapest electronic cigarette will set you back at least $20-$30, and that’s without the cost of e-liquid.

Another disadvantage with vaping is that it requires a certain level of technical know-how in order to set-up and properly maintain any device. While there are many kits out there that have successfully made it easy for even the least tech-savvy person to start vaping, at the end of the day these are all electronic devices. This means there’s always the potential for something to break, malfunction, or require some sort of maintenance.

Smoking

It’s pretty obvious at this point that one of the biggest drawbacks for cigarettes is the very high chance for smokers to develop major health issues. While lung cancer is one of the most common ailments resulting from it, there are plenty others that should serve as a firm warning that smoking is definitely not good for your physical health.

Because of combustion, smoke is directly introduced to the delicate linings of the throat, mouth, and esophagus. This causes tiny tears on the inside of the body and allows carcinogens inside of the smoke to seep into these lesions. This process can, and often does result in throat cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease, asthma, and diabetes are just among some of the possible diseases that can likely afflict a smoker. The ammonia, ash, tar and carbon monoxide released by cigarette smoke also has negative consequences on the body. By causing and creating free radicals to be released, which are well known for causing cancer, these harmful toxins cause a host of health problems.

Even if you’re prepared for the decline of your own personal health, it’s not that simple since 2nd hand tobacco smoke affects those exposed to it. People of all ages, especially children are just as easily susceptible to the negative health effects of smoking when exposed to second-hand smoke.

cigarette warning labels on cigarette packs

 

Chemicals

Vaping

The e-liquid used for vaping is mostly comprised of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, both of which are very low in toxicity and are commonly used in medications, food, and cosmetic items. Nicotine is also a very popular and commonly used component in e-liquid due to its ability to wean smokers away from cigarettes. While the effects of inhaling nicotine are still being debated, the general consensus is nicotine isn’t a major cause of concern when it comes to contracting cancer.

While some e-liquid manufacturers use a very small amount of diacetyl as part of their flavorings, a large majority of companies make diacetyl-free e-liquids in order to ensure a much safer vaping experience in the long term. Formaldehyde has also been known to be detected in a few studies, but the procedures for generating these results were unrealistic. They require the e-liquid to be vaporized at much higher temperatures than any electronic cigarette can actually generate.

 

Smoking

If we had to list down all the chemicals contained in a single cigarette then this article would be over ten times its original length. But to give you an idea, some of the more familiar chemicals used as additives in cigarettes are acetone, ammonia, arsenic, carbon monoxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. That’s not even counting any of the numerous cancer-causing chemicals found in a cigarette. Cadmium, Nickel, Urethane, Nitrosamines, and Chrysene are just among the few components that can cause any smoker to develop cancer.

To help put it in better perspective, a single tobacco cigarette has over 4000 chemicals with 70 carcinogenic chemicals. So just try to imagine what toll that takes on your body after years and years of smoking.

 

Benefits

Vaping

The benefits of vaping herbs or eliquid can be far more beneficial than smoking. Despite the higher cost of entry for a beginner switching to vaping, in the long run it is a lot cheaper. A complete starter kit usually costs anywhere from $30-$100 depending on your preference. While e-liquid can either be cheap or costly depending on your preferred brand or flavor, there are still lots of high-quality flavors out there that won’t break the bank. The usage of your juice will also depend on you but if you use a lot of e-juice than you must have been chain smoking too. In the end, you’ll definitely be saving a lot more money by switching over to a e-cigarette.

On the surface, vaping might seem like an expensive hobby particularly if you are used to using pipes to enjoy your herbs. However, you’ll be surprised to know that vaporizers are actually a cost saving alternative to traditional cigarettes. Due to their efficiency, vaporizers are a preferred choice amongst more forward-thinking smokers. One obvious benefit is the fact that your herbs don’t go up in smoke every time you inhale. In contrast, they stay exactly where they are until you can consume them. You never have to worry about burning up your medication when you don’t want to. Just inhale and enjoy. Let’s say the average smoker consumes one pack a day at $5 per pack (almost half the current national average in the USA) . That would easily translate to $150 in one month or $1,800 in one year. Expect to double that cost if you live in a heavily taxed state such as New York, California or Washington.

In addition to completely eliminating the bad-for-you chemicals and carcinogens typically found in cigarettes,, vaporizers extend a whole list of benefits outside of your health. For example, you no longer have to worry about carrying an ashtray with you wherever you go throughout your home. Your teeth also don’t longer suffer from nasty tar stains caused by resin.

The scent of vaporizing is far more pleasant to most people than from a pipe. If you prefer enjoying your herbs without gaining the attention of everyone around you, then vaping is far more beneficial. You can easily inhale your herbs without distracting or offending those around you, no matter where you go. You also never have to worry about indirectly causing a fire or singeing your furniture. Just pure, clean, and safe vapor is all that is left. Although you will still be exposed to a slight aroma when vaping, you won’t have to worry about a lingering smell that permeates your entire home and body.

Also electronic cigarettes have eliquids which duplicate the effect of cigarettes or nicotine. This has been said to be a better way to quit smoking cigarettes while still enjoying the vapor. Additionally, vaporizers preserve the THC content in cannabis and allow you to enjoy more of it when you vape. This obviously saves you money on your product. You can, in fact, save hundreds of dollars a year by using a vaporizer instead of a pipe or cigarette form.

 

Smoking

While smoking is potentially more costly and more harmful to your health, it has the distinct advantage of being easily accessible to anyone of legal age. Not only that, but it doesn’t require any requisite knowledge. Simply light up a cigarette and you’re good to go.

While smoking gives you a slight mental boost from the nicotine it delivers to your bloodstream, that’s not something exclusive to smoking as vaping commonly uses e-liquids with varying strengths of nicotine depending on your preference.

 

How They Work

Vaping

Vaping generally operates via a battery delivering power to a metal coil where a cotton wick is inserted. The wick soaks up the e-liquid and as the coils heat up from the power transferred to the battery, the e-liquid is then vaporized hence then term.

There is no combustion involved as the temperatures produced by the device typically don’t reach high enough levels. The metal used to build the coils are usually composed of kanthal or stainless steel since these metals can tolerate high temperatures while still remaining chemically inert. This means that you won’t be inhaling any toxic fumes from the coils.

 

Smoking

A typical cigarette is made from loose leaf tobacco rolled up in paper with a filter attached to one end that also acts as the mouthpiece also. The leaf is then slowly combusted or burned and the resulting smoke is inhaled through the filter. While the filter does a small part of reducing the amount of tar that enters your lungs, a large portion of it makes it way through and this is what causes many of the known health problems where smoking is concerned.

What makes it more harmful than vaping is the inhalation of tar which is a result of combustion of the tobacco leaf. The vaping process doesn’t produce tar since there is no combustion involved, making it a much safer alternative.

 

Regulations

Vaping

Since vaping is a relatively new technology when compared to smoking, governments around the world are still busy in the process of creating well thought out policies concerning it. Regulation varies across countries and states, ranging from barely regulated to outright banned. This might make it more challenging for vapers as future policies might lead to higher taxes and higher costs for both the vendors and the buyers.

Another issue is travelling with your vape. While there are certain restrictions for vaping in some countries such as Canada, Denmark, Japan, and Hong Kong, these are mostly affecting the way electronic cigarettes are advertised and sold. On the other side are countries where vaping is outright banned and purchasing, distributing, or even owning an electronic cigarette could potentially get you into trouble with the local authorities.

 

Smoking

Cigarettes are generally more tolerated by local and international governments mostly due to the fact that smoking has been around for a much longer time. Despite its risks, the effects of it on the human body have already been thoroughly documented throughout the years. Vaping also carries a certain stigma thanks to the overlapping of terminology and similarity between vaping nicotine and cannabis-related products which are still illegal or considered a controlled substance.

Other than Bhutan, there aren’t any countries with strict bans on smoking. Although there are certain restrictions on it, the same restrictions also apply to vaping especially where smoking or vaping in public is a concern.