7 myths vs. facts – misinformation about vaping
Here’s everything you need to know.
Vaping is a more recent discovery, even though we have seen multiple types of equipment popping up in the market catering to the demands of the vapers. But as we see more people moving towards the vaping spectrum, there is a plethora of misinformation spread by some paranoid adults and media, leading to several myths on this topic.
It is a controversial subject as people have a very strict opinion about smoking and vaping, even though the latter is very different from the general cigarettes and rollies. Naturally, there are plenty of articles that support the concept of vapes, whereas others simply think of it as another troublesome habit. For anyone who is looking for more information about vapes, and wants to differentiate between the myths and the facts, this article is curated for those.
Let’s get started!
Vaping – Myths Vs. Facts
- Vaping is Lethal
Myth: The idea that vaping can kill came from the widespread USA news where almost 20 deaths were linked to vaping. People instantly hailed vape as the culprit and we saw a huge rise in the dissent against the accessory.
Fact: Those people indeed lost their life because of vaping, but the media did not report the true cause. The majority of the cases mentioned made use of black market e-liquids which are heavily unregulated and littered with harmful ingredients. Citing this issue, you are advised to only buy FDA approved vapes and liquids. There are a number of e-cigarettes regulations and tests in the UK which make safe vaping much more possible. You can also check for your e-liquid safety by looking up the supplier on the MHRA website.
- Vaping = Smoking
Myth: It is true that if you look at them from afar, they do look like something very similar. Many people are unable to differentiate between vaping and smoking, and ignorance leads to shoving them into the same category.
Fact: What you exhale during vaping is not smoke, but a vapour. Since there is no combustion or ‘burning’ involved in the process, there is no smoke produced. Instead, the material is heated up with the help of a coil and battery, which leads to the production of vapour and not smoke. And if we talk about the health risks of vaping, it is healthier than smoking. A 2015 report published by Public Health England concluded that vaping is 95% safer than smoking. Another Cancer Research claimed that vapour is free from 4000 toxic chemicals found in normal cigarettes. When you compare the tobacco industry to the vape one, there are many benefits of e-cigarettes that come forward, one of them being it is safer than smoking.
- Second-hand Vapour is Dangerous
Myth: As with passive smoking, people believe that since vaping is closely related to cigarettes, passive vaping also has the same/similar concerns as inhaling second-hand smoke. This is one of the most used arguments used when discussing vape benefits and the anti-vaping agenda.
Fact: As researched and concluded by Cancer Research UK and California Department of Public Health (CDPH), second-hand vapour has been deemed harmless. The test carried out by CDPH checked for toxic chemicals in the air while vaping in a confined, non-ventilated area. The test for the toxic chemicals came back as negative. Even though vaping possesses no risk or air quality issue to bystanders, it is advised to refrain from vaping in front of children or people who are uncomfortable with vapour in their face.
- Wet Lungs – Does it happen for real?
Myth: Vaping, especially in the winter season, leads to a wet lung, a serious condition where the body is unable to receive enough oxygen. The lack of oxygen then leads to infections, pneumonia, kidney failure, and other life-threatening issues.
Fact: This myth was widespread after an asthmatic 18-year old female complained of stabbing chest pains, short-breath, and coughing after vaping for a short period. She was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and hypersensitivity pneumonitis which is an allergy to organic dust particles. The media hyped up the case and attributed her condition to vaping. However, the reaction was a rare allergic one which could have due to a number of reasons. Even a doctor, Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos, cleared up the air and claimed the story as total nonsense. It was an allergic reaction that caused pneumonia and not vaping. This also opened up discussions on teenage addiction of e-cigarettes. Learn More about Wet Lungs here.
- Popcorn Lungs – Is that a thing?
Myth: There was a far-flung rumour which associated the condition ‘popcorn lungs’ with the vaping industry. People believed by e-cigarettes were one of the causes leading to Popcorn Lungs.
Fact: Popcorn Lungs is a term that originated in the early 2000s following the incident at a popcorn factory where a small number of workers developed bronchiolitis obliterans as they inhaled a lot of diacetyl. Diacetyl is a chemical that is used in the food industry as a butter flavour. It is completely harmless when ingested, however, inhaling it can lead to problems, which is what happened to the factory workers.
Diacetyl was used in e-liquids before the industry realized that it was harmful to be inhaled. The strict TDP laws in the UK now require all e-liquids in vape shops to be tested and screened by third-party laboratories to ensure that there are no harmful chemicals in them.
- E-cigarettes batteries blowing up – What’s that about?
Myth: E-cigarettes and Vapes have a tendency to blow up in people’s pockets or catch fire unexpectedly. This leads to the device being a hazard and unsafe for everyone.
Fact: Any electronic device including your smartphones, laptops, and e-cigarettes make use of lithium-ion batteries which should not explode if handled carefully and as per the user manual. There are many types of vapes, including mechanical mods which have removable batteries. If you put it in your pocket with keys and coins, there will be a circuit and consequent explosion. Most of the vapes that reported such malfunctions were attributed to poor maintenance and storage of the device. The explosion or any other issues arise from the lack of understanding and not from any ingrained problem in the device itself.
- Antifreeze and Formaldehyde – It makes vaping dangerous
Myth: There is a widespread myth on e-liquids containing Anti-freeze which is often attributed as a harmful chemical. Similar, people claim that vaping produces formaldehyde, which is a toxic chemical.
Fact: The increase in vaping trends have introduced the variety of e-liquids brands and flavour. The myth surrounding antifreeze erupted from the knowledge that a few of the anti-freeze products contain Propylene Glycol(PG) which is found in most of the vape juices in the market today. However, if you look closely, e-liquids use only the ‘non-toxic antifreeze’ in their products and nothing else. In fact, PG is used in several everyday items like soft drinks, food colours, toothpaste, and many more. However, if you encounter an allergic reaction to the e-liquids, it might be because you’re allergic to PG, which is a very common thing. Look for VG dominant e-liquids in such cases.
Coming to the second myth, a 2015 study claimed that e-cigarettes produce formaldehyde, a toxic chemical. The conclusion was that when the vape juice is heated at a high temperature, it breaks down and produces formaldehyde. However, the methodology used in the study was hugely flawed. The study used such a high temperature that no user would be able to use it this way as the vapour would be too acrid.
This brings us to the end of the article on Vape Myths. Hope this was helpful. For more information and articles, keep watching this space.