‘Vaping is just as bad as smoking’ and other Big Little Lies about e-cigs

The American vaping industry is facing extinction by FDA overregulation thanks largely to viral conspiracy theories and outright lies being spread across social media and the mainstream press.  The problem has become so commonplace that a combination of recent polls conducted in the UK and the United States indicate that over one-third of Americans believe vaping is just as bad as smoking compared to only 5 percent of Brits.  Another 50 percent of Americans also falsely believe that vaping poses as significant a threat to public health as smoking, while another 57 percent mistakenly assume that vaping is a gateway to tobacco addiction. 

Isn’t it funny how the negative stuff is always easier to believe than the truth?  The more salacious the headline or topic, the faster is spreads like wildfire across Facebook and Twitter.  Here are three of the most ridiculous, outlandish, intentionally misleading lies ever told about vaping, and the scientific research that debunks them.

'No one really knows what’s in e-cigs!'

This is complete and utter nonsense.  Anyone repeating this absurd lie has apparently never Googled anything in their lives.  Another popular version of this Big Vaping Lie includes the one claiming that the vapor from e-cigs is laced with either formaldehyde, antifreeze, or both.  Again, totally bogus!  The e-liquids used in vaping devices and electronic cigarettes are manufactured with a short list of ingredients that are well-documented. 

  • Propylene glycol (PG)
  • Vegetable glycerin (VG)
  • Natural or artificial flavoring
  • Liquids nicotine extract

Now regarding tobacco cigarettes, we dare you to take one of those little suckers to a laboratory for verification of THIER ingredients.  Big Tobacco manufacturers have notoriously been including thousands of extra chemical additives in their combustible tobacco products for decades, including arsenic, carbon monoxide, vinyl chloride, and many others.

Related Article: Study shows e-cigs propylene glycol kills pneumococci, streptococci, staphylococci

The primary reason to add many of these chemicals is because they are highly addictive.  That is, they keep smokers hooked while Big Tobacco laughs all the way to the bank…for decades!   One scientific study which documents these findings includes a report entitled A study of pyrazines in cigarettes and how additives might be used to enhance tobacco addiction published on the BMJ Tobacco Control website.

'The second-hand smoke from cigarettes is just as toxic as the second-hand vapor of e-cigs.'

People can be so gullible sometimes.  Yes, the vapor from an electronic cigarette is a white, gassy plume of, well, vapor.  The smoke from a combustible tobacco product is also white, gaseous, and plume-like, but their similarities essentially stop there.  The problem lies in the fact that both products contain nicotine, although some e-liquids contain no nicotine whatsoever. 

Related Article:  Dr. Michael Siegel: CA vaping study shows second-hand vapor is harmless to public health

While an overexposure to nicotine may be somewhat detrimental to one’s health, it certainly won’t kill you.  The real killer is the noxious tar found in conventional cigarette smoke.  To produce tar-filled cigarette smoke, one must first begin by lighting a small amount of tobacco leaves on fire before inhaling the resulting smoke aggressively and repeatedly into the lungs on a daily basis.

Cigarettes use tobacco leaves.  The e-liquids of vaping devices are 100% tobacco-free. According to Dr. Michael Siegel of the Boston University School of Public Health,  “‘secondhand vaping’ does not appear to pose any significant health risks.”

'Vaping doesn’t really help you quit smoking.'

This Big Little Lie doesn’t really make much sense either.  If vaping is just some silly fad, why are the U.S. smoking rates plummeting to all-time lows?  According to a USA Today report based on data collected by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and published on the website Stastista, adult smoking rates have dropped from 16 percent to 14 percent in less than a single year.  Compare these numbers to the roughly 21 percent of Americans in 2008 (right before the vaping craze went mainstream) and the approximate 42 percent of Americans who were daily smokers in the 1960s. 

While vaping may not be solely responsible for the massive decline in adult smoking rate in the past 10 years, it is very likely a significant contributing factor.  According to recent research conducted by scientists at Columbia University, vaping offers an approximate success rate of 50 percent in helping smokers to quit.


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