Vaping is 95% Safer Than Smoking: The SCIENCE Behind THOSE Claims

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The FDA has now announced its Deeming Regulations, a bill that, if passed, will lump vaping products in with tobacco ones. I know, I know — it’s insane. Sort of like arguing fully electric cars are no different to petrol ones, and then taxing them the same. No one would stand for that, but then that’s where the environmentalists come into play.

So where are the health experts and public bodies on this? Why don’t they have vaping’s back? You’d think they would when the UK has now backed vaping as a viable and healthy means of getting people off cigarettes. But no; the US is still concerned about the damage vaping will reek on its still-smoking-and-obese-population.

And this is just stupid; it’s like banning jogging because it’s bad for your knees.

So, as we often do, here at VapeBeat, rather than getting all angry and shouting at people, we’re just going to point you in the direction of some solid research which shows just how beneficial vaping is for smoking cessation. This is what’s required, not carpet bans based on Prohibition-era puritanism, which is all the FDA seems capable off with its weak arguments and general fear-mongering.

As a side note, I agree that juice should be accredited and approved. There should be more transparency by juice makers over what they’re using in their concoctions. They should use the highest calibre ingredients. This is just common sense. But surely there’s a way of doing this that doesn’t bankrupt all who venture into this sort of business?

Is Vaping Safe?

Probably. Is it as bad as smoking cigarettes? No FREAKING way. This is something that is backed by the NHS and Public Health England. According to both public institutions, vaping is around 95% healthier than smoking.

Great. But what about that 5% disparity? What the hell does that mean?

This is obviously risk involved when vaping compared to doing nothing at all and everybody’s end game with vaping SHOULD be to get off nicotine (and vaping) entirely. At the end of the day, vaping, for the most part, is a stop-gap between kicking cigarettes and halting your addiction to nicotine altogether. It is not a replacement and should not be viewed as such — you want to be completely clean eventually.


Nicotine addiction is no different from addiction to any other substance. Granted it might not be as harmful as crack or smack but nobody, surely, wants to be dependent on a drug? I know I don’t — I’ve spent enough of my life constantly worrying about where my next hit of nicotine will come from.

RIGHT: back to the science. What does 95% safer than smoking ACTUALLY mean? Coach Mag has pulled together a bunch of quotes from health experts that qualify EXACTLY what that figure means as well as some of the potential health risks associated with vaping based on current research. You can read the full article here. But for the sake of brevity I’ve included the meat-and-potato quotes below:

Professor Peter Hajek is from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

The constituents of cigarette smoke that harm health are either absent in e-cigarette vapour or, if present, they are mostly at levels much below 5% of smoking doses. Hence the 95% figure.

Chemicals exclusive to e-cigarettes have not been associated with any serious risk, though it remains possible that some flavourings and constituents in e-cigarettes vapour may pose risks over the long term. The 5% residual risk is a cautious estimate allowing for this uncertainty.

E-cigarettes are a developing technology and they’ll need to be continually monitored to ensure that if any new concerns emerge, recommendations to smokers and regulatory requirements are revised accordingly. Is vaping relatively safe compared with smoking? Absolutely.

Tom Pruen is chief scientific officer for the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association

The Public Health England report uses the estimate of 95% to account for both the known risks and the potential for unknown dangers in the long term. In terms of what we know, there are some traces of harmful chemicals likely to have some ill effects associated with them, but at considerably less than 5%. This also includes the nicotine, which when separated from smoke is relatively harmless.

Then there is the unknown risk associated with things like flavourings. They’re considered safe as currently used, but they still might show some long-term effects.

As the science improves and potential problems are removed from the products, this 95% estimate is likely to increase. Could it reach 100%? That’s impossible to predict right now.

Rob Lyons is campaigns manger for Action On Consumer Choice

We won’t know for certain about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes for some time – they’re just too new. However, there are good reasons to believe that Public Health England is being conservative and that e-cigs are even safer than that.

First, they were specifically designed not to produce harmful chemicals – and that includes nicotine, which in itself is no more dangerous than caffeine. Second, because thousands of people who have switched report better health very quickly.

E-cigarettes don’t suit everyone – many will continue to smoke regular cigarettes. But the best option is to leave consumers with as much choice as possible, so they can decide for themselves and even more innovation can take place.