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Posted in Vaping | 25 comments

Making Sense of Negative Vape Reports and The Negative E-Cig People

Are e-cigs healthy?-meme

Which E-Cig Studies Are True?

If you are anything like me you might be a little confused about whether electronic cigarettes are safe or not. It seems like every week the media reports on a new claim about it, one week they say the use of electronic cigarettes is completely safe and the government needs to wake up and legalize the sale of nicotine e-liquid in NZ and the next week the same liquid is found to be harmful and will actually harm you, and the next week it’s back to being safe again? Have you noticed these ridiculous constant turnarounds? I certainly have and I think the reason for this can be put down to the following…

The thing is, e-cigarettes and nicotine e-liquid simply hasn’t been around long enough to get conclusive results analyzed from any long term studies or trials that are going on, and they are going on, they just haven’t been finished yet, it will probably take about ten more years before that happens. So, every time a new claim is reported on the news, it has only been based on a short term study, and depending on the type of analyses carried out in the study, a different result is measured, bringing new claims to light every time.

I have tried to keep up with all these studies and have even created a whole page devoted to them. See studies and research on the safety of electronic cigarettes and nicotine e-liquid here. On that page I have listed dozens of studies and included links to all the articles which document them. It was quite a lot of effort, but after a week of solid reading I managed to make sense of most of them. What I found was a hell of a lot of contradicting claims, many claiming absolute safety and other claiming extreme harm and many in between. Over-all, the only conclusive thing that can be said with 100% certainty is that more time is needed before anyone can unreservedly determine the risks associated with electronic cigarette devices and the liquid they deliver, but the general consensus is that they are not completely safe, but are likely to be “a lesser evil” when compared to conventional tobacco smoking.

 

What Can Your Own Body Tell You?

From all the research I have done and the studies and reports I have read on this matter, it is my personal opinion that vaping with an electronic cigarette is certainly much safer than smoking a tobacco cigarette. And although the evidence points this way, it is not entirely what sways my opinion.

The main factor for me coming to this conclusion is my own body. There is a lot to be said for listening to your body when it comes to matters of health. I have always been an advocate of this practice and learning to recognize what your body is lacking and what it is overloaded with, and then adjusting the situation can really be the best medicine. I am getting a bit off track here but essentially it means being in tune with yourself, eating when you hungry, resting when you’re tired, recognizing when you consume something your body disagrees with and replacing it with something your body does agree with and so on.

Listen to your body-ecig meme

Of course this is easier said than done but once you become proficient at this skill you can substantially improve your health in many different ways. This really came into its own after I made the switch from regular tobacco smoking to using an electronic cigarette. My body loved it.

 

My Personal Story – Why I Made The Switch to E-Cigs

I first started smoking when I was just 14 years old. Of course back then I wasn’t thinking about such things as what was good for my health or not, that was the farthest thing on my mind. I smoked to be cool and because my friends did it, and also back then it wasn’t such a sin as it is nowadays either. Anyway 33 years later I was still at it. Rolling my own Port Royal tobacco, I went through more than one 50 gram packet every week. That’s a lot of smoking and needless to say I was about as addicted to nicotine as anybody could get.

Rolling your own tobacco

It wasn’t until I was in my forties, around the same time I started learning to listen to my body, that I started recognizing signs that smoking was negatively affecting me. I still enjoyed the flavor but it was starting to effect me differently, I developed an annoying and irritating smokers cough and I woke up each morning with phlegm in my throat feeling like I had a hangover even when I hadn’t been drinking the night before. I began to hate my smoking habit, the dirty yellow and brown nicotine stains on my fingers and teeth, the pungent sickly smell on my skin, breath and clothes, the ugly sight of cigarette butts spilling over ashtrays all around the house, and all that money, oh boy, all that money! How much money had I spent on something that was killing me? I hate to think.

It was time to give up and I knew it and I wanted it, so I did. I quit, just like that. The trouble was, I kept starting again, I just couldn’t keep staying off the damned things. Maybe I am particularly weak willed, I really don’t think that’s the case, but the longest I could ever stay quit was 2 weeks before the cravings got the better of me.

Over the next few years I tried several more times, I tried chewing the nicotine gums, using the nicotine patches, I tried the prescription medicine ‘Champix’ and I even went to a giving up smoking help group, but no matter how hard I tried I always found myself eventually lighting up again.

And then along came electronic cigarettes and everything changed. The very first time I tried giving up smoking by using electronic cigarettes it worked. (see the exact same e-cigarette starter kit I used) That was nearly a whole year ago and I haven’t looked back since. I was finally free of the dirty smoking habit, amazing!

 

Dealing With The Electronic Cigarette Haters

For me, using electronic cigarettes and giving up smoking has been a major personal triumph but that’s not how some people see it. Some folks do not think this is a triumph at all, in fact they believe I have simply replaced one bad habit with another. To be honest, this can be quite disheartening especially when the criticism comes from friends or family or others who you respect.

You don't seriously think e-cigs are harmless do you?-e-cig meme

The way I deal with the haters is to focus on the benefits of my achievement, and it is an achievement no matter what anybody says. Now you may be thinking I am disillusioned in my confidence about this being an achievement, however the main thing I base this opinion on is what I started to talk about earlier, “listening to my body”. I can tell you my body is thanking me and here’s why…

  1. I no longer have that annoying and irritating cough.
  2. I no longer wake up feeling like I have a hangover.
  3. My breathing has improved tremendously.
  4. Because of the breathing benefits, my fitness has improved.
  5. The disgusting nicotine stains on my fingers have completely gone away and the stains on my teeth have improved.
  6. My breath and skin no longer smell like an ashtray.

The six health benefits I mentioned above are facts, however I also believe, due to listening to my body, that my lungs are repairing themselves, my blood and circulation is improving and my general health is improving, and… it is my opinion that the e-cigarettes are not hindering in this recovery process.

Some of the other benefits from replacing tobacco smoking with electronic cigarettes are…

  1. The over-all cost of using e-cigarettes is about five times cheaper than that of tobacco use so I am saving a ton of money.
  2. I still get to enjoy the flavors of what e-cigarettes offer (there is a huge variety of e-juice flavors) which is something I always liked about smoking.
  3. I can control the amount of nicotine which is used in an e-cigarette and so can slowly cut down if I ever want to try and give up nicotine completely. E-cigarettes can be used with liquids that have no nicotine in them whatsoever, and yet they are still pleasant.

 

Am I Disillusioned?

disallusioned with e-cigs-man with head in sand

If you still think I am disillusioned or in denial about the safety of electronic cigarette use, let me reassure you that I am not. I fully understand that using e-cigarettes has a risk and that it is not completely harmless.

  • I understand the seriousness of addiction and that I am still addicted to nicotine which is one of the most addictive substances known to man.
  • I also know that nicotine has its own toxicity and in itself can be harmful to the human body. Long term use may even damage the arteries.
  • There is also a possibility that certain ingredients in some e-juice concoctions can produce chemical reactions that are also harmful to the human body.

However, as stated earlier in the article, no studies have had enough time to be fully recognized in their conclusiveness to the health effects of electronic cigarette use one way or the other. The evidence at this stage seems to suggest there is indeed a safety factor but it is much less a risk than that posed by tobacco smoking. To form your own educated opinion on this issue I recommend you read some of the articles written by some of the top health professionals studying this exact thing. See e-cigarettes studies and research.

 

Final Word

Girl satisfied with vaping

After considerable thought, intensive research, and also “listening to my body”, it is my opinion, that making the switch from smoking tobacco to using electronic cigarettes is indeed a personal triumph and also a major health breakthrough for the positive.

By Sam Billings (Website Owner)

What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below.

25 Comments

  1. After smoking heavily for 44 years and trying everything going to quit with no success at all, I switched to vaping. I am coming up to one whole year of being cigarette free!! I think it’s a miracle. I have left a major health threat behind and hope to live to see my grandkids both grown up. I have changed my request that when I die, I want to be cremated with a full pack of cigarettes to get in one last smoke. My house and car smell sooo much better and I feel sooo much better. I can breathe through my nose again – and I hadn’t been able to do that in years! My asthmatic husband feels a lot better, too and he doesn’t need his ventolin more than now and then when it used to be a couple of times a day. No one will ever convince me my personal vaporizer use is anywhere near as unhealthy as smoking, for me or anyone else around me.

    • Congratulations! So good to hear of your personal health benefits from using your vaporizer.

  2. Actually, there is about 30 years of positive research sitting in front of everyone that has been ignored: The entertainment biz, which spends millions every year protecting their most valuable assets, it’s oerformers/talent has been filling stadiums and arenas and sound stages with glycol based foggers! On any given show, gallons of fog fluid is dispersed by as many as 10+ foggers into the audience and stage areas to enhance the stage lighting and to provide atmosphere on film sets. I can’t think of one instance of my 30 yrs in the biz where a performer or guest ever complained or experienced discomfort because of the fog/mist. Almost every major theme park uses them as well, with a few using high pressure water only system only to reduce cost of maintenance. A few hours working out how many indoor concerts per year would give some impressive safety and exposure numbers in the millions per year x 30 some years these foggers have been in use!

    • Thanks Doug.. What an interesting perspective and a powerful argument. Thank you for providing this valuable info.

  3. I find that anyone who knows me is incredibly supportive, especially my wife and daughters. at the end of the day i think people are really missing the big picture that this movement has brought forth. and that is who decides what i can and can not put in my body. Not often has anything caught on with such a fervent crowd and support and that sits on the fence of public opinion. people are asking weather or not they should be banned, i ask since when are we making it ok for our government to ban things on a whim. more over to that why are they allowed to ban things at all???? this is not part of the WAR ON DRUGS, this employees hundreds of thousands of people in north america with a general estimate of around 8400 stores in Canada and the USA and that’s just the vendors. how is this in anyway a worry for politicians? it boils down to FEAR and how we have been trained to deal with it. When we as a people are made to feel fear for our children, our health or our general way of life the response is to make it illegal and throw the weight of military might behind its eradication. all the while the fact that its the unfounded fear driving this is over looked.
    in conclusion i hope we all learn a big lesson on how quickly our personal freedoms are lost.

    • Indeed! There is certainly more to it than meets the eye. The politics involved in this argument are complex and at the moment they are unjust as well.

  4. I agree with all you said. I was a 3 pack a day smoker for 42 years and sometimes I would wake up in the middle of the night not being able to breathe. And walking up step, don’t get me started on that. I finally went to ecigs and have been smoke free for a little over a year. My family made it a little discouraging by saying that I was still smoking. I showed them articles as to what was in a cigarette compared to what is in ejuice. I decided to ignore what they were saying and kept right on vaping. After about 6 months I had a chest xray and my lungs were clear. That was a big accomplishment for me. I can now breathe and don’t smell like a stinky ashtray and and my smokers cough is gone. Even my friends say they can tell a difference in my voice. Now I may have put on a little weight since I started vaping but that is because food tastes so much better. I will continue vaping because I know anything has to be better than cigarettes

    • Well done Cathy.. great to hear your health has improved so much. It is crazy how even family don’t want to see what is so clearly right in front of them sometimes, eh?

  5. I smoked for 13 years. It took finding the right personal vaporizer and e-juice to finally quit cigarettes. Coming up on two months cigarette free. I listened to my body too. My breathing has improved. My cough has decreased. I’ve run two 5K races in those 2 months, something I couldn’t do before. I am now disgusted by the smell of tobacco cigarettes. I am a huge advocate of open systems when it comes to vaping and try to have polite, educated conversations with naysayers.

    • Good on you Elizabeth, not just on your personal triumphs with giving up but also with your stance on dealing with the haters. patience is a virtue.

  6. I had no intentions of quitting smoking. I enjoyed it and it relaxed me. Then life happened and I could no longer afford to smoke 1-2 packs a day, so I “supplemented” with a personal vaporizer. 2 months of smoking and vaping, I ran out of cigs and never bought another pack. That was a year and a half, ago. Smoked for 40+ years, heavily. Thank goodness for vaping. Last I knew, the American Heart Association was all for it.

    • Thanks for your comment Cher, I hope you are right and more organizations start to back e-cigarettes too.

  7. After smoking for 44+ years and trying just about everything out there to quit, I am happy to say Ive been vaping for 23 days and havent missed the cigs at all. I dont cough anymore and I dont smell like an ashtray anymore. My lungs are clear and I havent needed my inhaler since my 2nd day vaping. I feel so much better and Ive also cut my nicotine intake in half.

    • Frigging fantastic Lisa! They work don’t they?

  8. interesting article, and I agree with everything you say. I started smoking at 12 years old. And stopped after a MI in 1996 and used very NRT you can think of but never actually kicked the nico addiction. I started vaping in 2010 and it changed and I would say saved my life. Had I continued to use tobacco, I would be dead now….fact.

    I have researched e cig juices down to the atomatical level. If you’re careful what and where you buy your juices from , I have never found any chemical that is known to be harmful. My cardiologist stated that the effects on your heart is approximately equal stimulant as a cup of coffee….I have no fear there. It’s what the long term inhalation of vapour is doing to the lungs is my concern.

    Thanks

    • Good to hear Teddy, congrats on still being alive and thanks to e-cigs eh? Amazing… an yes we will have to wait to really know the long term effects, but even if they do cause some kind of harm, my money is on that being just a fraction of what the damage traditional smoking does.

  9. After smoke for over than 30 years, I can say my body is healing from all the chemicals i got free from Philip Morris and can say the best I got from switching from tobacco to electronics besides a new hobby is a safe breath every morning.

    • Exactly, even the fact that these e-cigs simply benefit how your breath smells makes them worth it.

  10. Like you I developed a nasty smokers cough,switched to vaping 2 years ago and the cough was gone in a week.After extensive reading I concur with others who say “Follow the money”.Some multi-million rich companies out there lose money every time someone stops smoking,they have a well-known history of corruption as the sorry story of Swedish snus proves.Are e-cigs safe?,the act of vaping has killed not one person in 10 years compared to smoking which is known to kill 50% of it’s users so I would say compared to cigarettes it is at least 100 to 1000 times safer.If anyone tries to tell you e-cigs are dangerous,and unfortunately there are still people who trust what they read in the papers,just say as I do – Where are the bodies?,Show us the bodies. They can’t because there arn’t any.

    • Damned right, where are the bodies? Even after yet another 10 years from now and we find that statistic to change, I guarantee that when you compare it to tobacco smoking it will be a trivial number.

  11. Hi

    Nice article and totally agree with you about listening to our bodies. You and I are similar in a lot of ways. I started when I was 12 years old and had been a heavy 20-40 a day smoker most of my life, being in my late forties now. i never tried Champix but a tried NRT and unassisted quitting numerous times but always ended up back smoking. That is, until I tried electronic cigarettes. I didn’t even mean to give up at that time, I just bought the thing out of curiosity, but the day my first e-cig arrived was the last day I bought cigarettes.

    I’ve experienced many of the personal benefits you list and would to offer I few more that I can attest to. My personal fitness has rocketed. I participate in a few outdoor pursuits – sea kayaking and hill walking especially. When I used to smoke I was always the moaning, wheezing bloke struggling to catch up with the rest of the group. Now, I am invariable out in front, often having to stop to let others catch up. Another benefit that I have seen little mention of is in the bedroom. In the last 2 or 3 years before I switched, ED was becoming an increasing problem. Now, it’s like I was in my twenties again.

    One thing I differ from you on is your acknowledgement that we are still addicted to nicotine. Maybe we are, but is it the same level of addiction and is it really addiction at all or just habit? When I used to smoke, going for any length of time without a cigarette was torture. I used to get extremely irritable, argumentative and sometimes aggressive. The longer I had to go without the worse I got. I’m not talking long either, maybe 20 mins to start noticing a decline in my emotional state. Nowadays, I can go for hours without an e-cig if circumstances dictate and notice no change to my behaviour or emotions.

    Are they safe long term? I can’t answer that, but I am comfortable that they are infinitely preferable for me compared to the cigarettes I have no doubt I would still be using otherwise.

    • Thanks for sharing your story Will. Of course e-cigs can be used to give up the nicotine addiction as well. That’s another beautiful thing about them, you control what you put into the chamber, so you can wean off the nicotine slowly.

  12. Thank you for sharing this story, it is really encouraging. I have only just bought my new e-cigarrete kit (I got the evod twin pack from here), and it is definitely doing the trick. My girlfriend is suspicious of them but I think e-cigs are amazing things.

  13. I too had been smoking for 30 years and it was starting to take a major toll on my health. My brother had told me he had quit with the help of an e-cig so I thought what the hell. I was so desperate to quit. I like so many others had used patches and gum but still went back to the smokes. Now moving forward a few months I have no cough my lungs don’t hurt and my skin looks way better. I owe it to e-cigs. I have even got my sister n law to switch. I will never ever go back to smoking tobacco.

    • Hi Tracy, thanks for commenting. Awesome story!

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