Vaping or smoking — the lesser evil | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 06, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 06, 2018

perspective

Vaping or smoking — the lesser evil

Are e-cigarettes the route to diminish the tobacco epidemic? Or is it just choosing the lesser of two evils? Let us look into the details, and shatter the myths relating to the various smoking and vaping trends circulating around our concrete jungle Dhaka.

BREAKING DOWN THE CHEMICALS

As vaping is relatively new on the scene- around a decade, the health risks surrounding it are less known to the people than those of cigarettes. There is a high level of carcinogens present in cigarettes, tar, which causes lung cancer, and nicotine, resulting in various heart problems and high blood pressure, and the carbon monoxide also plays its part in the formation of lethal diseases.

However, in terms of vaping as well, there are a lot of harmful chemicals involved which hinders the health and immune system significantly.

The nicotine present in the cigarettes is what causes addiction and makes cigarettes so hard to quit. However, contrary to popular belief, nicotine is also present in e-cigarettes in large quantities. Bad news for the ones thinking of quitting the cancer stick and taking up the trend of vaping!

Along with nicotine, vegetable oil and glycerol are also present in e-cigarettes. Any other chemicals found are mostly related to the process of flavouring, many of which are found to be food grade and typically safe to consume. This sends us on a path to ask the biggest question in an area in  which research is not yet available. Overall, these flavourings are designed to be ingested and not vaporised. That leads us to a grey area so far. The long-term effects are just not known yet.

Look out!

Another thing to consider when you so happily get into the world of vaping and posting snaps of your intricately patterned e-cigarettes on Instagram is whether the quality of the e-cigarette you are using is good or not.

Several incidents of exploding batteries have been reported by vapers, and usually, this occurs due to the overcharging of the device or if the quality of the product is not up to the mark. The exploding batteries lead to gruesome accidents with long term impact in the form of injuries.

To conclude, it suffices to say that vaping is definitely not fully harmless, even if it does have a lower amount of carcinogens present, the effects of a lot of chemicals used are not known yet, and it is very possible they will have adverse long term effects.

And in case of cigarettes, obviously there is no toning down the tremendous harm those cause to your body!

To answer which is the better option — the answer should be neither! With 2019 right around the corner, it is about time to give up on cigarettes not with the help of e-cigarettes, but with the help of self-determination and self-control.

Gone are the days of stylishly holding cigarettes clad in chic leather attires and black shades. Similarly making vaping a trend with all the videos uploaded on Facebook of the silvery smoke out of e-cigs is something that should not be encouraged. Verdict? A big NO to both vaping and smoking.

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