What are people's experiences with vaping

E-cigarette fact check: is vaping healthier than smoking?

Would you rather steam than smoke? It's not that easy. A lot of nonsense is said about e-cigarettes. What is really true - and what is not.

Justfog Q16, Endura T18, Ego-T, Box Mod, Pod Kit, Uwell Crown, All-in-One, Cig-a-Likes and Co .: More and more people can relate to these terms and manufacturers, because the E- Cigarette consumption is increasing. People rave about the flavors and the value for money. So do you prefer liquid instead of smoking? Online shop instead of a cigarette machine? It's not that easy.

What is actually contained in electronic cigarettes?

There are significantly smaller amounts of carcinogenic and generally harmful substances in the vapor than in cigarettes. But liquids are not soda, and nicotine-free liquids are not either. Their composition is often unclear. In the case of nicotine-containing liquids, all ingredients must be declared according to the Tobacco Product Ordinance. This does not apply to liquids that do not contain nicotine. All sorts of things can be mixed into them. In the worst case, even life-threatening substances. In the United States, at least 68 people had died by March 2020 from the "e-cigarette or vaping-associated lung injury" (EVALI), which is mainly attributed to adulterated liquids. In Germany, adding caffeine and vitamins is prohibited. Shops do not have to list aromas and flavors in nicotine-free liquids. Liquids are also offered in shops that are not subject to European legislation.

The good e-cigarette - less harmful to health?

So nice and sweet, so nice and fruity. And no scratching in the throat. In an e-cigarette, a liquid called a liquid evaporates into whitish smoke. Compared to the smoke from a cigarette, liquids probably actually contain fewer pollutants. However, they also contain substances that trigger inflammation in the airways and can irritate them. In addition, liquids & Co. can damage the cardiovascular system and possibly cause cancer. We don't know exactly yet because the technology is new and, unlike smoking, scientists still have a lot to learn about electronic cigarettes. It really is better than smoking. But that doesn't mean that vaporizers, liquids, etc. are harmless. The same goes for e-hookahs. So no all-clear for experienced vapers and fans of manufacturers like Justfog Q16.

E-cigarette vapor and the effect on our health: that's what studies say

Compared to tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes are very likely to be significantly less harmful to health, according to the German Cancer Research Center. Studies have shown that respiratory diseases such as COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and asthma are less common with vapers than with smokers. But, and this will come as no surprise, more often than with non-vapers. Long-term studies on the consequences of consumption are still pending. Because of the unknown long-term health effects, non-smokers should not use e-cigarettes, also because there is a risk of addiction. For long-time smokers, e-cigarettes can be a step towards tobacco abstinence. It is of course best for your health to live without any nicotine smoke or steam.

The newer the better. And less harmful ?!

YES and NO. Especially the batteries of newer models are safer than those of older models. And they got thicker too. You can often set the voltage with which the ignition wire is heated. Warning: higher voltage = higher temperature = more vapor = more nicotine and more pollutants. And that is not good.

Are Tobacco Heaters a Good Midwife?

The problem here, too, is that scientists cannot yet say for sure how harmful they really are. Tobacco heaters look like a pen. They are not filled with liquids, but with a short piece of tobacco. The tobacco is not burned in high heat, but heated to around 350 degrees by the battery. This should produce fewer pollutants than when tobacco is burned in cigarettes. That's probably true too. But even with tobacco heaters, pollutants get into the lungs. And they shouldn't.

No nicotine = no problem.

NOT QUITE. Yes, there are liquids for e-cigarettes that do not contain nicotine. That’s a good thing. However, they also contain substances that are misting, flavoring and aromatic that can be bad for your health, for example your heart. Another problem: on liquids with nicotine, the packaging must state exactly what is inside. This is not the case with liquids without nicotine. So you never know for sure what you are actually breathing. And how healthy or unhealthy it is.

Is the steam safe for the environment?

UNCERTAIN. As it is with new things sometimes. The vapor of an e-cigarette can be clearly seen in the air, the substances contained are distributed in the room. It is definitely possible that the e-smoker exposes the people around him to a health risk. Therefore: only vape in the smoking area! And never in front of children or pregnant women.

E-cigarettes help you quit smoking. Or?

YES AND NO. As I said, the vapor is probably less bad than smoking it. If a chain smoker switches completely, that can be a lesser evil compared to smoking. It is still bad. E-liquids can help you quit smoking. But then you just hang on to the e-cigarette first. Anyone who observes e-steamers recognizes the same behavioral patterns as those of cigarette addicts. Smoking is addictive. And those who are dependent need regular supplies. There is also the opposite way: starting with liquid, ending up with the normal tobacco cigarette. If you want to be fit and free, you don't smoke at all!

Vaporizers as an aid to get rid of tobacco: that's what studies say about the health risks

According to a representative survey by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, 90 percent of local e-cigarette smokers are former or still active smokers of conventional glow sticks. Two out of three steam ends use both. Many former smokers, however, will switch to e-cigarettes in the long term and thus get rid of tobacco. In a published study from England with 886 participants, 18 percent of those smokers who switched to e-cigarettes were always abstinent from conventional tobacco cigarettes after one year. In the comparison group who wanted to get rid of their nicotine addiction with nicotine patches, the abstinence rate was only 10 percent. Prof. Dr. Heino Stöver, Managing Director of the Institute for Addiction Research at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, has been calling for a closer look at the potential of the e-cigarette in smoking cessation for years. By switching to e-cigarettes, smokers could "reduce their intake of pollutants by up to 95 percent," says Stöver. "We have to intensify the educational work for smokers but also for doctors and pharmacists."

Current studies: Opinions differ

Several studies warn of the health consequences of the vaporizer. A clinical study by the University of California in San Francisco postulates a higher cardiopulmonary risk for patients who have switched from conventional cigarettes to e-cigarette users. Critics accuse the study of neglecting the subjects' long smoking history. Scientists at the Mainz University Medical Center suspect on the basis of a study that e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, can cause damage to the lungs, heart and brain. According to the head of the study and cardiologist Professor Thomas Münzel, consuming a single e-cigarette is enough to increase the heart rate and stiffen arteries. However, the study took place on a very small basis with only 20 smokers.

A US study also found that e-cigarette users are exposed to elevated levels of potentially harmful metal levels. The metals, especially zinc, were detected in urine using biomarkers. Excess zinc can cause cellular oxidative stress, which can lead to diseases such as atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, pulmonary fibrosis, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and lung cancer. According to the latest findings, vaping devices with a heating element made from a nickel-chromium alloy (NC) are particularly dangerous. Older devices tend to use stainless steel heating elements, while the newer generation often consists of nickel-chromium alloys. In an experiment at the University of California, Irvine, the subjects showed signs of breathing difficulties after just one hour. The analysis of the lung tissue showed that this was partially severely impaired. Consequences that had not been shown when using heating elements made of stainless steel.

The wide range of electric vaping makes it difficult to make generally valid statements

The German Federal Institute for Risk Research (BfR) has been researching nicotine vaporizers for several years. “Assessing the health risk of e-cigarettes and their effects in general is difficult in view of the diversity. There are many models, flavors, manufacturers, flavors and liquids in the range, ”says Dr. Harald Tschiche, scientist in the Chemical and Product Safety department at the BfR. The user of a sub-ohm model inhales more vapor than with other devices. Substances could also decompose more at higher temperatures and possibly form more harmful substances. “Many of the fluids used have not been adequately investigated,” says Tschiche.