E-cigarette: a first step towards a tobacco-free life

It has in common with the classic cigarette only the name, sometimes the gesture, but it has found its audience among smokers and ex-smokers. In about fifteen years since its launch, the electronic cigarette has brought together around 3 million users in France. Scientific studies devoted to the practice of vaping are still few in number and therefore incomplete and sometimes contradictory. However, in the eyes of the French health authorities, it can be taken into account as a less harmful alternative to tobacco. Update on current knowledge through 5 good reasons to abandon tobacco for the vape.

Minimize the risks

The fact is indisputable: there is no combustion in an electronic cigarette. However, combustion generates toxic substances for humans: tobacco smoke contains no less than 4000 of which 80 are carcinogenic, like tar. The vapor produced by an e-cigarette does not contain these combustion residues.

This aerosol certainly disperses substances that can promote oxidative stress (an imbalance between free radicals that alter the molecules of the body and the antioxidants that protect the cells), but in much less quantity than tobacco smoke.

Carbon monoxide is identified as a cause of heart attack: smoking thus causes 18,000 deaths each year in France linked to cardiovascular pathologies.

In view of these data, the British public health agency Public Health England claimed in a 2015 study that vaping would be 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.

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Thus, the complete substitution of tobacco by electronic cigarettes reduces consumer exposure to many toxic substances. However, the long-term impact of the concomitant practice of vaping and cigarettes has not yet been studied.

Multiply the chances of decreasing

“The vaporette, less dangerous than cigarettes, helps to stop and reduce tobacco consumption. 700,000 smokers have quit thanks to it. « : this is what the French Academy of Medicine affirms in a report published in December 2019.

In 2014, the organization Que Choisir? questioned 1,500 former smokers who had vaped daily for at least 1 month: 76% of them said that the electronic cigarette had helped them to stop their tobacco consumption.

In 2017, a survey was carried out over 6 months on 2,000 French exclusive smokers or “vapo-smokers” (combining tobacco and vaping). 26% of vapo-smokers halved their daily cigarette consumption, compared to 11% of exclusive smokers. In addition, 23% of vapo-smokers managed to quit for a week or more, compared to 11% of traditional smokers.

In its report « Benefits-risks of the electronic cigarette on the general population » (2016), the High Council of Public Health (HCSP), recommends informing health professionals and smokers that « the electronic cigarette is an aid to smoking cessation, and an exclusive use tobacco harm reduction mode. »

Admittedly, the nicotine associated with tobacco addiction can be present, in variable dosage, in vaporette e-liquids. It is nevertheless inhaled alone and separated from products that enhance its effects.

Take care of those around you

1 million people in France are exposed to passive smoking and this leads to 3,000 to 5,000 deaths per year. For a non-smoker exposed to the smoke of a close smoker, the risk of cardiovascular disease is increased by 27%, and that of developing lung cancer by 25%.

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Based on the data available to date, passive vaping appears to expose fewer particles than smoking. Also, opting for vaping not only allows you to take care of your own health but also that of those around you.

In addition, exit the nauseating odors of cold tobacco which are embedded in the hair, the fibers of the clothes and permeate the indoor air, thus upsetting non-smokers.

Forget the taste of tobacco

Vaping consists of inhaling flavored vapor: the e-liquid is heated by the device thanks to a resistance until vaporization. This liquid is composed of a base of propylene glycol and vegetable glycerin, to which one or more aromas are added.

With the development of the electronic cigarette, the range of flavors available has widened considerably: there are hundreds of them, for practically all tastes. There are several families: the classics (reproducing the aroma of tobacco), but also and above all flavors far removed from the sensations of a traditional cigarette. Fruity flavors (red fruits, yellow fruits, exotic fruits, mixed fruits, etc.), gourmet flavors (reproducing aromas of sweets, cakes, delicacies), drink flavors (imitating a cappuccino, an iced tea or even a cocktail), so many alternative choices that can be pleasant and comforting, while definitely moving away from the taste of tobacco.

Take care of your wallet

It is also undeniable: the electronic cigarette is much less expensive than tobacco consumption.

The price of a pack of 20 cigarettes is currently around €10.50. Regarding e-liquids, prices vary according to the manufacturers and the complexity of the product. However, the average budget of an exclusive vaper is estimated at around thirty euros per month, for consumption equivalent to 9 packs of cigarettes. No need to get bogged down in detailed calculations to guess the financial benefit.

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Read also: Quit smoking with e-cigarettes

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