Is Vaping a Safe Alternative to Conventional Smoking??

Derived from the term 'vapour', vaping is the process of inhaling vapour produced with electricity. Instead of burning, vaping is done through a device known as 'E-cigarette'.

E-cigarettes have battery operated mechanisms – that heat up the nicotine liquid solution to form a vapour – which is then inhaled by a smoker to provide a kick resembling conventional cigarette.

But is it better in any way?

The answer to this question is not easy in view of lack of randomised trials, however, the experts think that people who want to use it should be the one to form an opinion about its effects. Even though vaping is done through electronic cigarettes, it still has some amount of nicotine and can be an addiction too. Moreover, it also affects the function of blood vessels and heart.

Does it cause cancer?

As tar and other carcinogens are absent in vaping, the risk of cancer becomes extremely low as compared to conventional smoking.

Studies have found that about 30 % people take up vaping in order to quit smoking. But on the other hand, it has also been found that for teenagers, vaping has become a primary addiction.

Why youngsters prefer vaping?

They feel it's less harmful and appears cool in front of peers. It smells better than regular cigarettes and also reduces the stigma associated with smoking. Even if vaping can help people quit smoking, it has not been certified as safe and effective by the FDA, and there is no evidence that it works in the long term.

According to NIDA, e-cigarettes might be less harmful when regular smokers switch to them as a complete replacement.

(Inputs by Dr Vaibhav Mishra, Additional Director, Department of cardiac surgery, Fortis Hospital, Noida)

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