Many of us have grown up in an era where smoking was just… there. It’s a constant companion for various reasons. Maybe we used it as a way to rebel when we were younger or a habit picked up from peers. Some of us even pick that habit from our dads. But we’re also well aware of the risks and potential addiction that come with it. Not to mention (but I will say it anyway) the rising costs.
Then, along came vaping. Some hailed it as the cooler and safer option than smoking. And in some ways, they can be right. But, like smoking, vaping has its ups and downs.
So if you’re thinking about switching to vaping or just curious about taking a good puff, consider this humble post a starter guide.
The Good and the Bad: Smoking
Familiar Territory: Smoking has been around for ages. It has a deep history and cultural importance in different societies. It’s been around for a long time, and people know the risks and side effects.
Quick Hit: Cigarettes can deliver nicotine to your system faster.
Health Risks: We all know that cigarettes are bad news. They cause many diseases like heart problems, strokes, and various types of cancer. We’ve got tons of evidence to prove it.
Second-hand Smoke: It harms non-smokers, especially the little ones. So even if you smoke outside, there still pose a risk.
Odor: Many brands, especially the affordable ones, smell awful. And the smell clings― to your clothes, car seats, and your breath too.
Costly: These days, our country is no stranger to prices going up. It’s a fact that smoking has become really pricey because of higher taxes and health concerns.
The Good and the Bad: Vaping
Fewer Nasties: Unlike traditional cigarettes, most e-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide.
Not Smelly: They usually don’t smell as much. Good if you want to keep it low-key around the kids or at work.
Nicotine Control: Vaping e-liquids have different nicotine levels or no nicotine at all. Heck, you can also choose flavorings like you’re ordering ice cream.
Less Costly: Over time, vaping can save you a few bucks compared to buying traditional cigarettes. Thus, it’s much nicer for your wallet.
Health Concerns: While likely safer than smoking, it’s not risk-free. Some e-liquids that contain aerosol have harmful chemicals that can affect your lungs, including the familiar nicotine, flavor chemicals, and acrolein (a chemical used in weed-killers). The entire build of the e-cigarettes themselves can contain toxic metals. Research is still ongoing for other risks.
Potential Injuries: You’ve probably heard a few stories about the danger of using e-cigarettes. Indeed, several reports say e-cigarette batteries may overheat, catch fire, or explode. In fact, e-cigarettes cannot be used on the flight as they can cause a fire. The cause of this is not yet clear-cut, but evidence suggests it’s related to the batteries.
Youth Appeal: There are concerns that it could lead young people into smoking because of its trendy image. Besides the aforementioned health risks, vaping can be dangerous for teens because their brains are still growing, making them more likely to get addicted.
Inconsistent Quality Control: Different countries have different standards and regulations for e-cigarettes. In the Philippines, getting your e-cigarettes from authorized stores is a good idea. Make sure the e-liquids and products are approved by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). But even then, it’s still important to be careful when buying them.
Smoking and vaping both have pros and cons. But being open to learning about these risks shows that you’re responsible.
So if there’s one piece of fatherly advice to share, it’s this: Stay informed.
Whether you’re considering making a switch, trying to kick the habit altogether, or looking for insights to share with a curious teenager, it’s important to consider the advantages and disadvantages. And if you’re in doubt, talking to a trusted doctor can give clarity.
US FDA: https://www.fda.gov/tobacco-products/products-ingredients-components/smokeless-tobacco-products-including-dip-snuff-snus-and-chewing-tobacco
PH FDA: https://www.fda.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Administrative-NO.-2019-0007.pdf