Vaping Vs. Smoking: The Long-Term Side Effects

Written By: Lighthouse Editorial Team

Our editorial team includes content experts that contribute to Lighthouse Recovery Institute’s blog. Editors and medical experts review our blogs for accuracy and relevance. We consistently monitor the latest research from SAMHSA and NIDA to provide you with the most comprehensive addiction-related content.

Published on Nov 20, 2014 | Health and Wellness

Is Vaping Safe?

It seems like we may finally have an answer to the age-old question – is vaping safe?

There seem to be as many myths surrounding vaping and e-cig liquid as there are facts. These range from the myth that there’s antifreeze in e-cig liquid to the commonly held belief that vaping will cause your lungs to fill with water. Of course, like many myths, they don’t hold up under scrutiny.

So, is vaping safe? Is vaping bad for you? Let’s find out the truth!

Myth – There’s Antifreeze in E-Cig Liquid

This is 100% false. There is not antifreeze in e-cig liquid.

Vaping liquid uses propylene glycol as a base. This sounds suspiciously like diethylene glycol, which is an ingredient in antifreeze.

It’s possible that someone mixed up the two names and inadvertently started a myth that just won’t seem to go away.

Myth – Nicotine Causes Cancer

Nicotine doesn’t cause cancer. I can’t overstate this point enough.

What does cause cancer are carcinogens. These are harmful chemicals which are produced when cigarettes are burned and inhaled (aka smoked).

Many carcinogens come from the tar present in combusting tobacco. In fact, tar contains over seventy known carcinogens.

Does vaporizing and inhaling (aka vaping) nicotine cause cancer? Well, the jury’s still out on this one. There simply haven’t been enough studies conducted. What we do know, though, is that nicotine itself doesn’t cause cancer.

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Myth – Vaping E-Cig Liquid is as Dangerous as Smoking

This myth is an extension of the one above. Is vaping safe? Again, it’s too soon to tell. It’s abundantly clear that vaping e-cig liquid is nowhere near as dangerous as smoking traditional cigarettes.e-cig liquid

Consider that cigarettes contain over 4,000 harmful chemicals, including arsenic and carbon monoxide. Then consider that e-cig liquid contains trace amounts of some of these chemicals.

You decide which is more dangerous.

Myth – Second Hand Vapor is Harmful

All I have to say about the dangerous of second hand vapor can be summed up in one simple quote.

Inhalation Toxicology, a medical journal, states that “The study indicates no apparent risk to human health from e-cigarette emissions based on the compounds analyzed.”

End of story.

Myth – No One Knows the Ingredients in E-Cig Liquid

This is not even a little bit true! There have been numerous studies conducted by numerous organizations in numerous countries. All these studies show a relatively small number of ingredients in e-cig liquid (small being twenty or fewer ingredients).

There are some companies that use potentially harmful chemicals in their vape liquid (but no antifreeze!). However, the majority all use non-toxic ingredients that are safe for human consumption.

Find out how we’re powerless over all drugs – even cigarettes

Is Vaping Bad for You?

Okay, we’ve answer the questions “is vaping safe?” and “is vaping bad for you?” It seems that while vaping isn’t 100% safe, it’s a large improvement over smoking.

In fact, when asking “is vaping safe,” we need to keep in mind that safe is a subjective term. What one person considers safe may be dangerous to another.

There’s one thing we can all agree on, though. Vaping is an improvement over smoking. For addicts and alcoholics used to making harmful decisions, switching from smoking to vaping may just be a smart bet.

Cite This Article
Lighthouse Editorial Team. "Vaping Vs. Smoking: The Long-Term Side Effects." Lighthouse Recovery Institute., Published on Nov 20, 2014,


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