Like a lot of things in this world, there are generally two distinct camps when it comes to the issue of vaping: Those who love it and praise it for saving their life, and those who are on a mission to keep vapes like the Baton out of the hands of everyone. The media doesn't help matters and only adds to the confusion, when one article claims vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, and the next goes full clickbait warning that people are dying from it.
If you've been on the fence about starting or switching to vaping, here are some positives and negatives to consider:
1. It really is safer than smoking. Given the choice between smoking or vaping, you should choose vaping every time. Vaping is the better, healthier alternative to cigarettes because there is no tobacco burned and therefore no combustion involved when you vape. Thousands of deadly chemicals are inhaled when you smoke, but with vaping, you can get your nicotine fix without these risks. Your teeth, skin and lungs will thank you!
2. It puts YOU in control of your nicotine intake. Unlike cigarettes -- which tend to only come in "regular" and "light" -- e-liquids are available in a much wider range of nicotine strengths, from a little to a lot to none at all. Vaping is a great way to gradually reduce one's dependence on nicotine because the absorption is faster and cleaner.
3. Your dating pool will get a whole lot wider. Many people refuse to be in a relationship with smokers, because smoking makes your car, clothes and breath stink. And then there's the whole "consciously killing yourself" thing. Vaping, on the other hand, produces downright pleasant aromas, depending on the flavor being enjoyed. Its vapor also doesn't repel the average bystander quite like cigarette smoke does when it gets blown in their face.
4. Variety is the spice of life, and e-juice flavors offer a lot of it. There are literally thousands of different kinds of vape liquids to try, from the weird (crab legs, butter and tuna) to the wonderful (blueberry cheesecake, popsicle and strawberry donut). The most popular vape juice recipes are modeled after fruits, sweets, drinks, and traditional flavors like menthol and tobacco.
5. The average vape can see you through your whole day. Whereas with cigarettes you have to pull out a fresh one every time, a typical high quality vape can last your entire workday, assuming it's charged and loaded with your preferred nic-salt.
6. Vaping is very user-friendly. It's offered at a range of price points, so even those on a budget can relax and enjoy. From disposable e-cigs to those that could be considered practically designer, there's a vape device to please everyone -- beginners and advanced users alike. And stocking up on pods, juices and other vape necessities is more convenient than ever, as these items can be purchased everywhere from gas stations to smoke shops to online.
1. It can sometimes get the stigma of only being for young people. With headlines shooting off what seems like every day about the "youth vaping crisis", some current, older smokers may only hear the word "youth". If it's a fad among teens, then of course it could never be for them, right?
Vaping is for anyone who wants to, assuming they're of legal age. It's important to smash the misconception of it only being for younger people, as it could be keeping long-time smokers from making the switch.
2. Vaping looks like smoking, so it often gets treated like smoking. While they appear similar, they're actually very different in practice. Cigarette smoking is all about burning dead tobacco and inhaling the damaging, chemical-laden smoke, whereas device vaping produces aerosol that presents nowhere near the danger to others like smoking does. Clouds are clouds in the eyes of many establishments, however, so vaping is frequently banned all the places where smoking is, too.
3. Many e-liquids contain nicotine, and nicotine gets a bad rap. Nicotine is actually fairly lightweight as far as drugs go. But because it's been associated with cigarettes since forever, many people assume it is dangerous in any form, when in fact the delivery mechanism of smoking is the real problem. You may face criticism from uninformed people if you decide to pick up vaping.
4. Vaping will get you away from the well-documented ill effects of smoking, but it's still a fairly new phenomenon. Vape with caution knowing that the longest study on the health consequences of vaping are only a few years old. What IS currently known is that you should avoid vaping anything that contains Vitamin E acetate.
5. The government could take away your right to vape at any time. The FDA has been in charge of regulating anything in the tobacco family since 2009. Since many vape juices contain nicotine, they fall under this umbrella as well. And even when they don't, they're still required to come with a warning label stamped to the box.
Misinformation combined with safety uncertainty and pressure from states to "think of the children" is putting the adult right to vape in jeopardy, or at least the right to vape FREELY. Flavor bans and higher taxes have been proposed in attempt to quell what is being falsely dubbed an "epidemic".
Now that you're aware of some of the pluses and minuses of vaping, the choice is ultimately yours!