So I find myself seeing all over the news over the last week, MP’s calling for relaxed rules surrounding vaping… this is, well just great! But still people refuse to see the key point, they see every little bad bit of press that some half-cocked scientist decides to jump in with and say nope that it’s worse than smoking.
The health benefits and lifestyle changes this has brought to me but also many many other people young or old is just immense, but still to this day with all the studies done by the Royal College of Physicians stating that Nicotine without smoke leads to tobacco harm reduction: they state that e-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking, that it does not result in the normalisation of smoking, and the long-term side effects of vaping are highly unlikely to exceed that of 5% of what is associated with smoking tobacco, which puts vaping in and around 95% SAFER than smoking! Now I say safer bold because it’s just that safer… not immune to harm but is anything in life safe? the car fumes you inhale every day walking down the road, even the paracetamol you take to relieve you of that pounding headache, can cause harm or even death if you take too many…. so if the NHS can prescribe some of these tablets and other drugs that could kill you faster than smoking and trust you not to swallow the box, why can’t they prescribe life-saving vapour equipment that yes may not be 100% safe over 20-30 years of vaping but that are 95% safer than smoking for that same period of time!
As stated by the Royal College of Physicians ‘Nicotine without SMOKE, tobacco harm reduction’ and that’s what this is all about, vaping yes, is now used by some as a hobby, but a lot less of a dangerous hobby as clubbing and binge drinking. But it’s key element, that niche market of people using vaping to cut back or quit conventional tobacco products, for them it is something that could save their life, something that could give them one more year, month, week or even day with someone that they would never have had.
There are around 600 ingredients in a cigarette that when burned creates over 7,000 chemicals, At least 70 of which are known to cause cancer and many more that are poisonous!
In E-liquid there are 4 maybe 5 chemicals: you have Nicotine, Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerin, and food-based flavours and sweeteners.
Let’s start with Propylene Glycol… anyone with asthma will be very accustomed to this ingredient as it has been the base for inhalers since the 1950’s … so what does that mean? Medically safe to be atomised into the lungs, which for the people quitting smoking could make up to around 70% of their e-liquid…
Vegetable Glycerin is created as a by-product from different plant oils and is used in anything from shampoo to medication, again something that has been certified as safe.
Food flavourings are again branded as safe and are suspended in either of the previous two chemicals.
Now onto nicotine… nicotine is a drug it’s not cancer-causing but is highly addictive. Studies have been carried out that prove, in small doses, nicotine can help with concentration and memory, but at the end of the day this is a harmful chemical.
But what does that mean? If I had to choose.. and I did! I would choose to get the nicotine (the harmful drug) that I am already addicted to, in the safest way I could and for me looking at those figures and not to mention the health benefits I have already had since vaping I know I would choose it time and time again.
But it’s a ‘Gateway to Smoking’ I hear you saying…. Before vaping what was the gateway to smoking? What did we have then to blame for the growing popularity of smoking conventional tobacco products? Nothing…. so why now does a product created to help those give up smoking get blasted for essentially being a gateway drug? the gateway to smoking is…. Us… kids see us smoking so they copy… they see us drinking so they want to, they see us do drugs or drive fast and they want to do it. When will everyone stop blaming a device created to help battle the cancerous stick and start taking accountability for the fact that the only reason our younger generations grow up wanting to do these things is because they observe older generations doing it? Whether we didn’t mean to or not it’s our examples they are following.
So what do I feel should be or could be done, well the rules relaxed on the advertisement of vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking, prescriptions for mouth to lung kits to help people quit and a reduction on limitations set to the size of bottles of nicotine, containing e-liquids, I say this on the last part more for other reasons than just health benefits but because of the sheer quantity of waste packaging it creates limiting it to only 10ml bottles with no more than 20 mg of nicotine.
I feel that the limitations set to what can be in our e-liquid are fair and should be monitored, but the nicotine warnings on mods and tanks that do not and may never contain nicotine just demonises the industry.
All in all, I like the way the vaping industry is heading in the UK, but I just wish that the masses didn’t listen to every little bit of bad press as if they did with everything else in life you would never leave the house.
Vaping is a lifestyle improvement! not a trend ... :)