Are e-cigarettes less harmful than conventional cigarettes?

In France, 2 million people regularly consume electronic cigarettes, which are marketed as a new “safe” alternative to conventional cigarettes. But are they safer than regular cigarettes, it is difficult to navigate with the many studies which contradict each other on their danger to health.

What are e-cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are battery-operated devices that originally took the form of cigarettes, but now include new modes. All of these products contain nicotine, an addictive drug that stimulates, relaxes and is naturally found in tobacco. It is the nicotine in cigarettes that makes smoking so addictive, and so are vaping and different tastes. You can easily find an electronic cigarette in a specialty store today.

E-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes in a few figures

The consumption of conventional cigarettes tends to decline, while that of electronic cigarettes is increasing. This decrease is certainly due to the increase in the price of the cigarette pack in stores. In 2018, 32% of French adults called tobacco, which is down slightly by 1.5 points compared to 2017. This fall is accompanied by the decrease in the number of cigarettes smoked, for an average of 15 per day. , which could have been compared to a pack a day before. On the electronic cigarette side, 3.8% of French people vape in 2018, whereas they were only 2.7% in 2017. However, there are still 11.5 million daily smokers in France today.

Is vaping safer than smoking traditional cigarettes?

The main difference between traditional cigarettes and electronic cigarettes and related products is that the latter do not contain tobacco. But it’s not just the tobacco in cigarettes that causes cancer. Traditional cigarettes contain a comprehensive list of chemicals that are proven to work, and e-cigarettes contain some of the same chemicals. Many people think that vaping is less harmful than smoking. While it is true that e-cigarette vapors do not include all of the contaminants found in tobacco smoke, vaping is still not safe. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Most e-cigarettes provide nicotine, which is highly addictive and can have adverse health effects, such as impairing brain development in adolescents, children, and the fetus in women who smoke during pregnancy. Certain types of products expose users to even more nicotine than traditional cigarettes.
  • Vapors from electronic cigarettes include potentially harmful substances such as nicotine, diacetyl (a chemical linked to severe lung disease), carcinogens, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals such as nickel, l ‘tin and lead.
  • The liquid used in e-cigarettes can be dangerous, even outside of the intended use. Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing, breathing, or absorbing the liquid through the skin or eyes.

Can switching to e-cigarettes help reduce the number of regular cigarettes or quit smoking?

A one-year study published in 2018 by the FDA compared smokers who used e-cigarettes with traditional smokers and concluded that e-cigarette users were more likely to say they were trying to quit, but not more likely to. change their smoking habit. Moreover, this study to show that 90% of the users of electronic cigarettes still continue to smoke regular cigarettes at the end of the study. The long-term health effects of electronic cigarettes are not yet fully understood. But science suggests vaping is not a healthy and safe alternative to conventional cigarettes.

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