In order to get into the meaty flesh of this debate we need to ask ourselves what we mean by ‘safe’ as only then can we start to qualify the potential benefits and risks of e cigarettes. We need to consider safe meaning that it’s extremely unlikely that vaping will directly lead to illness or injury even with regular and prolonged use. This is because the only fair comparison of the health risks of using e cigs is with other nicotine products – of which tobacco is the only real one.
Before doing so lets just quickly consider how safe they are in a practical sense. All electrical devices fail now and again, usually through misuse or poor maintenance – but sometimes just bad luck. There was a rush of reports a few years ago of people having electronic cigarettes burst into flame – but then a few years before then there was a similar story about iPhone chargers.
Fact is that with the plethora of circuitry and temperature controls resident in all reputable vaping devices, that’s not a risk. Chargers shouldn’t be left on overnight – but again the same advice is applicable to your mobile. So inherently e cigs are no more dangerous than any other electrical device, and that’s a fact.
Now that’s out the way, let’s talk about the major debate – are e cigs safe for you in the context of personal health?
Leaving tobacco out of it for now, e cigs are very safe to use. They contain nicotine, which is of course a poison, and a tiny proportion of people are sensitive to this drug and therefore are wise to avoid vaping altogether. On a scientific level there’s no shortage of ambitious scientists wanting to break to the world that they’ve found a trace of cancer causing chemicals during their studies – but fact is that not once have any of these studies so far been successfully replicated. And make no mistake there’s lots of people trying to do so.
Truth be told vaping is still so in its infancy – and also consider than many people who vape have beforehand smoked tobacco for many years – it’s still too early to say for certain that using an e cig is 100% safe or potentially dangerous. Governmental studies (that don’t tend to mess about when it comes to public health) claim that e cigs are 95% safer than tobacco ingested by cigarettes (source: Public Health UK). To put it simply nobody has died or shown any serious illness (besides allergic reactions) that can be directly attributed to their use of electronic cigarettes.
In the UK tobacco was singled out as the direct cause of the premature deaths of over one hundred thousand people during 2012. These people smoked because they were hooked on nicotine – a legal substance that they chose to ingest by smoking, mostly because there was no alternative method of delivery.
Now there is an alternative form of delivery that while nobody is going to say is completely without risk per se, has yet to cause the deaths of a single person. If you choose to take nicotine – vaping is as safe as staying under the duvet all day as compared to climbing Mt Everest.