Is Vaping Better Than Smoking?
Your Doctor FriendsMarch 26, 2024

Is Vaping Better Than Smoking?

Vaping. E-cigarettes. Heat sticks. They're super popular (especially among young people)- an estimated 22 MILLION e-cigarettes are sold in the US every MONTH. As we have (thankfully) seen traditional combustible tobacco cigarette smoking decline over the past couple decades, the flip side is an astronomical increase in vaping. Many e-cigarette brands market themselves as a safer, healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes, calling their vape products "ENDS" or "electronic nicotine delivery systems".

Is this reality? Is vaping less harmful to you than smoking?

Your Doctor Friends want to clear the air, make the conversation about vaping a little less foggy. Today we will answer questions like:

  • How does vaping affect our health directly? What does the research show about the risks of vaping with respect to cardiovascular problems, cancer, or lung disease?
  • What the heck is "popcorn lung"? What about VAPI (vaping associated pulmonary injury)?
  • What does nicotine alone do to our bodies? How much nicotine is in a vape? A cigarette?
  • What's actually in vape aerosol/mist? How is it different than cigarette smoke? Is it bad for me?
  • Is vaping instead of smoking actually good "harm reduction"?
  • How are e-cigarettes marketed specifically to kids and young adults? Why? What should we do about it?

Let's all inform ourselves about the issues surrounding vaping/e-cigarettes, so we can all breathe easier!

Resources for today's episode include:

A 2022 Tobacco Use Insights journal review of literature on e-cigarette harm vs harm reduction.

A March 11, 2024 study and discussion in Pediatrics journal about disposable e-cigarettes, use patterns in youth, and how to counteract the tobacco industry's "reduced-harm" marketing tropes.

An August 2023 JAMA article about youth flavored e-cigarette use before and after partial flavoring bans.

A Guardian article about the amount of nicotine in vapes vs cigarettes.

A 2023 article in Advances in Respiratory Medicine outlining the data on vaping and cancer risk.

Results from the 2023 FDA Annual National Youth Tobacco Survey.

A 2016 study in Environmental Health Perspectives about acrolein, diacetyl, and other chemicals found in flavored e-cigarettes.

A 2019 Cureus article about vitamin E acetate as plausible cause of acute vaping-related lung illness.

A 1/24/24 CNN article about the lack of progress on the US menthol cigarette ban.

Wikipedia article on "bronchiolitis obliterans".

A December 2023 WHO news release about the urgent need to protect children and prevent uptake of e-cigarettes.

A 2023 Cureus meta-analysis on risks of vaping on cardiovascular disease.

An October 2023 Pediatrics journal article outlining vaping cessation methods used by US adolescent e-cigarette users.

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