“Hey, are you vaping? You know that’s harmful right?” 

“It’s okay bro, I just quit smoking, vape is less harmful”

Smoking regular tobacco cigarettes harms practically every organ system in the body, including vital organs like the lungs and heart. ]However, in recent years, many people have started using vaping (electronic cigarettes) as a smoking cessation tool. The question is does that eliminate the harm caused by smoking?

According to new research from the University of Washington, which monitored changes in health and social functioning among smokers at two stages in adulthood, age 30 and again at 39. Approximately one-third of smokers shifted to vaping some or all the time by age 39. Adult smokers who shift to using e-cigarettes may have more chances to improve health and well-being, This group reported better physical health, exercised more, and had more active social engagement, the study found.

Study co-author Marina Epstein, a research scientist with the Social Development Research Group in the UW School of Social Work, said “Despite the obvious risks to nonsmokers, e-cigarettes have the potential to play a health-promoting role in the lives of smokers,”

The CDC still views vaping as less dangerous than traditional, or combustible, cigarettes, despite the fact that it does carry certain dangers (the aerosol contains nicotine, trace levels of heavy metals, and other ultrafine and cancer-causing particles that can enter the lungs).

Given the widespread belief that e-cigarettes are a “healthier” alternative, researchers wanted to investigate how smokers who transition to e-cigarettes partially or completely as they approach middle age behave.

At age 39, 64% of the 156 research participants solely smoked cigarettes, 28% smoked and vaped, and 8% only vaped. The surveys’ findings revealed that, when compared to smoking, vaping more frequently was linked to better physical health, more exercise, more active social involvement, and higher socioeconomic position.

“E-cigarettes may improve opportunities for smokers to promote their health because they have less stigma, less odour, less of other chemicals and toxins, and are less physically hazardous, even though the study was unable to establish a causal link. According to Kosterman, e-cigarette users may be more likely to be in environments that encourage physical activity and engage with nonsmokers.

There is no link between switching to vaping and improved mental health, less frequent use of other drugs like alcohol, or whether or not you use e-cigarettes at all.

Although vaping is slightly better for your lungs than traditional cigarettes, the problem is that a vape does not end as a cigarette does. As a result, you can get carried away and continue vaping for longer than you would smoke a tobacco cigarette. Many e-cigarettes and vaping products contain high nicotine levels, are highly addictive, and can cause withdrawal symptoms just like conventional cigarettes. Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that electronic cigarette use can lead to lung disease and other health problems, so it is not entirely safe.

Overall, the study demonstrates that smokers who switch to vaping, whether occasionally or in place of cigarettes, may have more options for healthy lifestyle choices. However, the researchers do highlight that e-cigarettes still have significant negative effects on public health. They argue that while this does not imply vaping is beneficial, for smokers who are unable to stop, it can be linked to other healthful routines.