It's hard to believe, but e-cigarettes came into existence just 13 years ago. Today, the use of vaping devices and e-cigarettes is growing rapidly. Vape stores contain a wide selection of cartridges, pods, and bottles filled with e-juices like tobacco vape juice.
Unfortunately, topics on misconceptions and misinformation are rising right along with the growing number of vaping products. Let's see if we can set the record straight and uncover the myths about vaping.
What Is Vaping?
Vaping is the inhaling of a vapor created by a vaping device such as an electronic cigarette, also known as an e-cigarette. These devices use cartridges filled with liquid that may contain nicotine, flavorings, and propylene glycol, or vegetable glycerine. Numerous flavors exist on the market, including mint menthol vape juice.
In 2019, a lot of lung injuries were linked to vaping. These injuries, however, involved products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana.
Daniel Giovenco, an assistant professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, authored an update on vaping in The Washington Post. Here are a few of the vaping myths he uncovered about e-cigarette products and public health issues.
Myth #1 E-cigarette is Not Regulated
Several regulatory agencies and associations have suggested that e-cigarettes are unregulated. Unregulated products in the U.S. do not have standards and are not controlled by fixed rules or laws.
E-cigarettes and vaping are, in fact, regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2016, the "deeming rule" gave FDA regulatory authority over tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
This U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agency then took regulatory action by prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes to individuals under the age of 18 and requiring these types of products to display a warning label that they contain nicotine. Manufacturers also must submit an ingredients list to the FDA.
It's important to note that the goods containing THC, the ones thought to be responsible for lung damage, are not regulated by the FDA. Because marijuana is a Schedule 1 drug, products containing THC are controlled by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
It's also important to mention that suppliers and manufacturers need to adhere to age requirements during sales and that products entering the market should be authorized. Individuals purchasing e juice and other products such as mint flavored vape juice should take note that they are buying these products from suppliers that follow the FDA regulations.
Myth #2 Vaping Is as Harmful as Smoking Cigarettes
Several major retailers have stopped the sale of e-cigarettes while continuing to sell traditional cigarettes. These corporations include Walmart, Kroger, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. This creates the suggestion that cigarettes are healthier than vaping. They are not.
Facts are saying that it has been concluded that e-cigarettes are less toxic than tobacco smoke. While these types of cigarettes do lead to exposure to toxic and carcinogenic substances, they also eliminate exposure to the carbon monoxide and tar that is produced from burning tobacco and the other 7,000 chemicals found in cigarettes.
Several studies found that switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes decreased the exposure to toxins and carcinogens. Simply stated, e-cigarettes have health risks, but they are less harmful than smoking.
The CDC reports that more than 480,000 Americans are killed every year by cigarette smoke. Also, according to the CDC, a little over 2,800 hospitalizations and deaths occurred during the e-cigarette outbreak, and have continued to decline.
Myth #3 Vaping Causes Popcorn Lung
Popcorn lung is a rare disease that damages the lung's smallest airways and is sometimes caused by inhaling a chemical found in some microwave popcorns.
The myth that vaping causes popcorn lung stems from a Harvard study that claimed researchers found the same chemical in vaping products. Though popcorn lung was not directly linked to the use of e-cigarettes, the possible connections were highlighted by the American Lung Association (ALA) and other sources.
In actuality, this chemical, known as diacetyl, is found in cigarette smoke at much higher levels than those found in e-cigarettes. Cigarettes, to date, have not been linked to popcorn lung.
While inhaling chemical flavorants may increase respiratory risks, vaping has not been specifically linked to popcorn lung.
Myth #4 E-cigarettes Do Not Help People Quit Smoking
In the U.S., health organizations have been discouraging cigarette smokers to use e-cigarettes to help them quit smoking.
A study in Britain, however, proves otherwise. Nine hundred cigarette smokers participated in a test to determine the effectiveness of quitting smoking traditional cigarettes through the use of patches, gum, or e-cigarettes.
The study found that, one year later, 18% of e-cigarette users were not smoking compared to 10% of the other groups.
While e-cigarette use as a means to quit smoking requires further study, the United Kingdom is not as quick to dismiss its effectiveness.
A clinical trial published in 2019 found that when in-person support was combined with the use of e-cigarettes, people were twice as likely to succeed at quitting smoke as those just using nicotine replacement products.
Myth #5 E-cigarettes Are a Gateway to Youth Smoking
Despite the several publications and articles connecting vaping as a bridge to cigarette smoking, the statistics are limited, at best. Studies or research do not account for common liability, meaning that some people are more likely to engage in risky behavior than others.
High school students that try vaping may very well have tried smoking cigarettes first, had vaping not been available. To prove that vaping is a gateway to cigarette use would mean that these teens would not smoke were it not for e-cigarettes.
If vaping leads to cigarette smoking then there should be an increase in smoking at the national level. Several studies and research actually show a historic low in youth smoking rates that coincided with an increase in vaping rates.
Keep in mind, smoking among our youth, whether cigarettes or vaping, is a problem requiring our attention. Regulations, and the adherence by retailers to age restrictions, are important elements in reducing exposure to individuals under the age of 21.
We offer the highest quality e-juice flavors that include mint vape juice, menthol vape juice, and tobacco vape juice. We also verify the age of all purchasers.
If you wish to learn more about vaping myths, contact us at Verdict Vapors today.