Cigarettes vs Vaping
Is vaping better than smoking cigarettes?
Nicotine vaping products are used worldwide as an effective means to stop smoking cigarettes and there is widespread evidence that controlled closed system nicotine vaping products expose people to fewer harmful toxins than smoking tobacco cigarettes.
The Royal College of Physicians in the UK released a positioning statement where they estimate the overall harm of vaping to be no more than 5% of smoking. While the long-term risk of vaping nicotine is still being determined, it is likely to be much less harmful than smoking combustible tobacco and seems to also be much safer in terms of passive exposure compared to cigarettes. There is evidence that lung conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and general lung function can improve with a switch from combustible tobacco to vaping.
Vaping provides nicotine to help with cravings as well as the behaviour and sensation of smoking, but without most of the toxins and harmful constituents from burning tobacco. The cost of vaping nicotine is about 10% of the cost of smoking cigarettes.
Vaping is not without risks and can still have irritant effects of the airways and lungs. The long-term risk is unknown, particularly with open system vaping products. Closed pod systems from a manufacturer providing information on the exact constituents are recommended over open and refillable devices where the constituents are not controlled.
Importantly, the healthiest and safest option is not to vape or smoke. Don’t vape if you don’t smoke. Vaping should only be considered as part of comprehensive quit smoking plan when other therapies are not suitable. Even using a high-quality product, vaping shouldn’t be seen as risk free, this technology is still new and the long-term risks remain unclear, so you should endeavour to reduce your vaping use gradually over time. Nicotine vaping products can be obtained via a prescription from a TGA Authorised Prescriber to be filled at an Australian pharmacy.