Differences between smoking alternatives like vape and e-cig vs cigarettes – Health Guild News


If you’re a smoker, you’ll probably get tired of being told about it lung cancer statistics and dangers of smoking.

As technology advances, so has the smoking industry. There are now many alternative methods that allow smokers to choose how they want to inhale nicotine or move away from it gradually.

Aside from personal choices, the most important thing is that smokers stay informed about the various tools and methods available and the respective differences. In this article, we will see cigarettes, vapes and e-cigs, non-heating devices, as well as shisha and hookah.

A. Cigarettes

1. Cigarette tar does not have the same chemical origins as road tar.

Some would assume that the tar of a cigarette is the same as the road tar, but this is not true. When a combustible cigarette is lit and tobacco is burned, tar is formed inside toxic smoke, which contains most of the harmful chemicals in a cigarette.

When inhaled, these toxic chemicals coat the cilia (used to keep the airways clear in the lungs) and contribute to lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and lung cancer.

In light of cigarette tar concerns, some companies have opted to sell light or lightweight versions of combustible cigarettes, which contain fewer of them. However, evidence of National Cancer Institute suggest that light cigarettes remain as harmful as normal cigarettes.

2. Cigarette smoke is the most harmful, not nicotine

When you smoke a combustible cigarette, you are exposed to a maximum of 7,000 other chemicals such as acetaldehyde (found in glues), acetone (found in solvents), ammonia (found in cleaners), cadmium (found in batteries) and lead (found in is found in the metal). By lighting a combustible cigarette, harmful chemicals and carcinogens will be released from the smoke.

On the other hand, nicotine, which is found in tobacco plants, is one addictive substance. It can be absorbed into the bloodstream of smokers in 15 seconds. And once absorbed, it stimulates the central nervous system, creating a temporary wave of adrenaline for alertness.

Nicotine alone is not the leading cause of smoking-related diseases, such as lung cancer, emphysema, and so on. But because of its addictive nature, it keeps smokers hooked on cigarettes.

B. Electronic cigarettes and vaporization

Electronic drip liquid refill / Image credit: VapeClubMY and Unsplash

Both e-cigs and vapes are non-combustible devices. Although these two terms are used interchangeably, there are slight differences between them.

In the early days of electronic cigarettes, their shape and form resembled cigarettes and in some cases were also disposable devices. Some manufacturers even made devices that physically burned combustible cigarettes.

However, e-cigarettes have been slowly gaining ground transition in favor of vaporization devices. Vaporization devices come in some forms, but are usually found as cartridges, pods, drippers, or tanks.

A pod device uses heads or cartridges to carry e-liquid, while a tank device uses a tank to carry e-liquid. For drippers, electronic liquids are added directly to the device itself and can be used a few times before refilling.

3rd Left: Pods Are Used More Today for Your Comfort / Image Credit: CDC

1. Electronic liquids have nicotine, but do not contain tobacco

The pods are not usually refillable and have limited flavors, while a tank or dripper allows the vaper to use the electronic liquid of its choice. Electronic liquids do not contain tobacco. However, e-liquids may contain nicotine.

Electronic liquids usually contain a mixture of ingredients such as water, vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), and flavors.

Although nicotine is not present in some e-liquids, other chemicals within e-liquids such as formaldehyde (found in many household products), acrolein (created when glycerol is burned), and benzene (used in lubricants) can still have negative effects on the body.

For example, in 2019 there was an incident in the United States that led to the hospitalization of 2.8 thousand Americans. This outbreak was caused by illicit electronic cartridges sold on the black market containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and vitamin E acetate, which triggered lung inflammation when inhaled.

2. Different types of nicotine in e-liquids.

Although both use liquid to store nicotine, nicotine-free base (used in e-liquids) and nicotine salt (used in pods / cartridges) are different. Nicotine salt can be found naturally in tobacco leaves, while free base nicotine is pure nicotine.

Nicotine Freebase creates a strong blow to the throat, mimicking the inhalation of combustible cigarettes, while nicotine salts feel softer than the throat when inhaled. Therefore, pod users may not feel the hardness of nicotine even when used at higher levels, which causes more nicotine intake compared to tank users.

C. Heat Burn Devices (HNB)

1. HNB devices do not burn tobacco.

Unlike e-cigarettes, HNB devices are devices that look like regular cigarettes, but they do. don’t go through the process of burning tobacco.

Combustible cigarettes are burned 600 degrees Celsius or higher, while HNB devices simply heat the tobacco to a maximum temperature of 350 degrees Celsius.

2. HNB devices are less harmful than combustible cigarettes.

Although the smoking process is similar, HNB devices they claim to be better than combustible cigarettes. Without the combustion process, the tobacco is heated in an HNB device which then delivers nicotine vapor to the user. And when users exhale, only steam is seen, no smoke.

Because most cancer-causing chemicals can only be found when a cigarette is burned, studies show that HNB devices are less harmful than combustible cigarettes.

According to PMI, who supported the writing of this article, Dr. Thomas McGrath, global head of PMI professional channels, said studies have shown that as tobacco temperature rises, so do levels of tobacco. harmful and potentially harmful components.

Thus, by eliminating combustion and reducing the temperature at which tobacco is heated, it will significantly reduce overall levels of harmful and potentially harmful components. In the aerosol of the tobacco heating system, the levels of these harmful and potentially harmful components are reduced on average by 90-95% compared to cigarette smoke.

D. Shisha / Narguila

1. Shisha and hookah can be more harmful than combustible cigarettes.

A coal used in a hookah / Image Credit: Wesley Balten and Unsplash

Some people see hookahs as an alternative to smoking. However, hookah uses charcoal to burn tobacco and this creates a high level of carbon monoxide and produces cancer-causing chemicals through smoke. Hookah can also contain nicotine.

Some studies show that a typical hookah session can have up to Exposure to nicotine 1.7 times greater and up to 9 times more exposure to carbon monoxide compared to a single cigarette.

Smoking is still harmful

Despite the many options now available for smokers on e-cigs, vape and HNB devices, smoking is still harmful to your health as you still inhale chemicals in your body.

All in all, the best option for smokers is to quit. But if you are a smoker who does not want to quit smoking and wants to explore alternatives, it is crucial to know the differences between the alternative tools you have at your disposal.

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