Skip to content
0 items


Is Vaping Just as Harmful as Cigarettes?

by Tariq Limalia 29 Mar 2024 0 Comments


There's a prevailing misconception circulating that vaping is just as harmful as smoking cigarettes. This notion has sparked considerable debate and confusion among the public, particularly among those considering vaping as an alternative to smoking. The aim of this blog is to delve into the evidence, exploring and clarifying the distinctions in harm between vaping and cigarette smoking, and to shed light on the scientific perspective regarding this comparison.

Understanding the Basics

Vaping involves inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapour, produced by an e-cigarette or similar device. Unlike cigarette smoking, which burns tobacco to release a cocktail of chemicals, vaping heats a liquid (e-liquid) to create vapour, which typically contains far fewer and less harmful substances.

E-liquids are primarily composed of propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavourings, and, optionally, nicotine, but without the tar and carbon monoxide that are harmful byproducts of burning tobacco in cigarettes. This fundamental difference in how the substances are delivered—combustion in cigarettes versus heating in vaping—results in significantly different exposure to harmful chemicals for smokers versus vapers.

Public Health England's 2015 Report

A landmark report released by Public Health England (PHE) in 2015 has been a crucial reference point in the debate about vaping versus smoking. The report concluded that vaping is approximately 95% less harmful than cigarette smoking. This assertion was grounded in a comprehensive review of the existing scientific evidence, comparing the health effects of smoking traditional cigarettes with the effects of vaping.

The significance of PHE's statement lies in its foundation on the comparative analysis of the chemical constituents of cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapour. While cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and carcinogenic, e-cigarette vapour contains a fraction of these substances, and at lower concentrations. This stark difference underpins the rationale behind PHE's conclusion, emphasising the reduced risk associated with vaping when compared to smoking.

Chemical Composition Comparison

Understanding the stark differences in chemical composition between cigarette smoke and e-cigarette vapour is crucial in discerning their relative harms. Cigarettes are notorious for containing over 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and can lead to serious health issues.

Harmful Chemicals in Cigarettes

Cigarette smoke includes a plethora of harmful substances such as tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, arsenic, and various other carcinogens. These substances are direct contributors to numerous smoking-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and lung disorders.

E-Liquids and Absence of Harmful Chemicals

In contrast, e-liquids used in vaping contain significantly fewer chemicals. The primary ingredients of e-liquids are propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavourings, and optionally, nicotine. Notably, the hazardous chemicals found in cigarettes, especially those produced during combustion, are absent in e-liquids.

The Role of Combustion

The combustion process in cigarette smoking is a major culprit for the release of toxic chemicals. In contrast, vaping involves heating the e-liquid to create an aerosol or vapour, not burning it. This process does not produce the harmful byproducts found in cigarette smoke, thus significantly reducing the exposure to dangerous substances.

Addressing Misconceptions

In the discourse surrounding vaping, several misconceptions persist, often overshadowing evidence-based facts. It's crucial to address these myths to provide a clearer understanding of vaping's relative harm compared to smoking.

Common Myths and Clarifications

  • Myth: Vaping is as harmful as smoking. Clarification: Numerous studies indicate that vaping is significantly less harmful, lacking the high levels of toxic substances found in cigarette smoke.
  • Myth: E-cigarettes contain toxic chemicals. Clarification: While e-cigarettes contain chemicals, the levels are substantially lower than those in traditional cigarettes. The process of heating e-liquid does not produce the same harmful byproducts as burning tobacco.

Reasons for Misconceptions

  • Lack of Awareness: The general public might not be aware of the detailed research and findings differentiating the health impacts of vaping and smoking.
  • Media Representation: Sometimes, sensational media reporting can skew public perception, emphasising potential risks of vaping without context, especially in comparison to smoking.

The Role of Vaping in Smoking Cessation

Vaping has emerged as a pivotal tool in smoking cessation, offering smokers a less harmful alternative to continue their nicotine intake while avoiding the myriad of harmful chemicals in cigarettes.

Vaping as a Cessation Tool

  • Many smokers have successfully transitioned to vaping and subsequently reduced or eliminated their nicotine usage, illustrating vaping's effectiveness as a cessation aid.
  • Vaping provides the nicotine hit that smokers crave, without the high levels of harmful chemicals associated with tobacco combustion.

Health Organizations' Perspectives

  • Notable health bodies, like Public Health England, acknowledge vaping's lower harm profile and recommend its use as a tool for smoking cessation.
  • While acknowledging that vaping is not without risks, these organisations stress that it is a preferable option for smokers who are unable to quit nicotine entirely.


The narrative that vaping is as harmful as cigarette smoking does not hold up against scientific scrutiny. Vaping presents a significantly less harmful alternative, particularly valuable for smoking cessation efforts. It is essential for the public to be guided by research and facts rather than misconceptions and misinformation. By considering the evidence and understanding the role of vaping in reducing smoking-related harm, individuals can make more informed choices about their health and well-being.

Prev Post
Next Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Downtown Vapoury
Sign Up for exclusive updates, new arrivals & insider only discounts
Edit Option
Have Questions?
Back In Stock Notification
this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items