* by Mark
I am a vaping person, I have been for a couple of years now and have found it to be an invaluable tool for helping wean myself off of those evil killer fags. Yet, as time goes by, I am constantly bombarded with news that it is dangerous to my health and some have even gone as far as to claim it is as dangerous as smoking cigarettes. So I have decided to make a quick blog of my thoughts on the subject.
As a smoker of some 30 years who can wade through a pack of 20 in a day without any thought I would not maybe accused of heavy smoking but I am a serious participant. Now as a vaping person I can draw my own conclusions with a degree of authority as to how it has impacted me.
The main differences I have personally found involve my 5 senses.
Taste: The most noticeable and quickest change you will encounter. After years of smoking I have grown used to having a tongue that tastes rancid, let’s face it proper smoking will leave your mouth feeling like the bottom of an unattended parrot cage. Vaping leaves your mouth tasting cleaner and because of the lack of bad taste you will notice food tastes different, richer, deeper and more intense like someone has turned up the volume on your taste buds. Though I do confess to a downside to this that is truly bizarre. You will actually miss the “parrot cage” taste, your old “norm” which will lead you to try the odd cigarette which in turn will taste dreadful with your new taste buds all tuned up. A catch 22 that won’t go away.
Smell: Like your taste this also becomes clearer, you will notice flowers as you pass them by in someone’s garden that before you would have barely registered. After 30 years of impaired smell I am loving the sometimes overwhelming sea of smells out there in the world. Though again this has a drawback, the bad smells are also now much more potent. I can recall situations in my past where I have survived in environments where everyone has been complaining about “that awful smell” like the blocked sewer pipe running under our old offices. Some people had to leave as they couldn’t cope and yet I have been able to soldiered on with only a vague awareness of the problem. Now, well I probably would have to leave the office as well.
Touch: Well this sense is not altered perceptibly but there are some benefits such as no more yellow fingers from holding the cigarette at the wrong angle. Some of my 30 years of smoking have involved hand rolled cigarettes due to budget constraints and so I have noticed that vaping comes with zero paper cuts on my tongue from licking the gum and fingers from careless handling.
Sight: No real change to be honest unless you think about what you’re doing from a visual angle. The mod industry has made some truly gorgeous vaping tools with engraved tanks encased in elegantly crafted metal covers and battery packs milled from solid blocks of a variety of metals and even wood. There is a mod pack out there that will make you go “wow that’s cool”, just don’t be guided by the high street shops and do some hunting on the web. So I would conclude what looks better, someone with a “wow” mod exhaling strawberry flavoured smoke or someone with a regular cigarette.
Sound: Ok you got me, I can’t think of anything apart from the fact that you will hear far less complaining about where your smoking and snide comments about how your killing everyone with your evil habit.
The net result of all the above has impacted me in other ways such as the ability now to run 100 meters and not need medical attention at the end. A feeling of being lighter in my body and clearer in my thoughts. Healthier as I catch far fewer colds now a days as I am saved from having to stand in the rain or worse, the snow to have a smoke.
This post is a personal observation and not a scientific claim and just catches the nature of my response when asked the question is vaping safe. These are the direct benefits I have felt or experienced from vaping. I mention that because once you let the scientists in to the discussion then the waters become very muddy. It would seem that the scientific community cant or won’t come to a general consensus. Many agree that it is safer in general to vape over smoking traditional cigarettes yet counter that with the fact that there are chemicals in vaping smoke that are also harmful to the human body. My take away from my research has been for a while and still stands at the front of my thoughts is that a traditional cigarette contains over 4000 chemicals some of which are radioactive and vaping juice contains around a dozen depending on the manufacturer. So even if the dozen present in vaping juice are all harmful (they are not by the way) you are still saving your body from 1000’s of other chemicals that are proven to be very harmful, conclusion it has to be safer.
To close, I would suggest some following points if you are deliberating about entering the world of vaping.
- Stay informed and read up on the subject through the numerous papers released on the subject and read blogs such as “The safety of Vaping” to get your information and draw your own conclusions. Remember though when reading that smoking as a whole is a very divisive subject and more importantly a multibillion pound industry and as such has a much invested interest in getting the conclusion the producers want. Remember back to the huge controversy over the 7 heads of the tobacco giants all proclaiming that cigarettes are not addictive or harmful on record to a senate hearing in the USA. Vested interest that affected their personal pockets so take with a pinch of salt.
- If you do smoke, try it.
- If you don’t smoke but want to look cool with your friends then zero nicotine options are widely available and let you be that social smoker that society used to tolerate. Though don’t let it become a regular thing as at the end of the day there are enough poisons and chemicals in the air we breathe anyway without adding any more. The safest way forwards has to be the one that introduces no extra harmful chemicals into your body.
Have you ever smoked and tried vaping to help quit and if so did it help?
Have you tried vaping and gone back to smoking cigarettes and if so why?
Are you part of the 24% of the population convinced that vaping is bad for you?
* This is a collaborative post.