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ALL Vaping Myths Debunked!
Frequently, you will find the media blow things out of proportion with their scaremongering news and negative press around vaping.
Cigarettes are attributed to 16% of all deaths in the UK, and whilst millions of people have already made the switch to vaping, some are deterred due to scaremongering news and negative press which focuses on a small number of people with a loose link to e-cigarettes, which in many cases is just false information.
To combat this we have put together this comprehensive list of vaping myths and debunked them using factual information and real studies around vaping.
Click one of the myths to jump to find out more
- Vaping can kill you
- Vaping creates smoke
- Second-hand vapour is dangerous
- Vaping is healthy!
- Vaping causes ‘wet lung’
- Vaping causes ‘popcorn lung’
- If e-cigs are banned, they will go away
- Nicotine causes cancer
- Nicotine can kill you
- All e-liquid contains nicotine
- Vaping doesn’t help you quit smoking
- When you vape, you’re vaping antifreeze
- Vaping contains formaldehyde
- Vaping is more expensive than smoking
- All vaping companies are Big Tobacco in disguise
- Vaping is targeting kids and teens
- Vaping is a gateway to smoking for teens
- People are using vaping to disguise illegal drugs
- E-Cigs can spontaneously explode and cause fires
- E-Cigarettes are not regulated
There is scary news from across the water, as over 20 deaths in the USA have been linked to vaping. We’ve seen the headlines all over the world, warning people not to vape for fear it could kill you, however, what these media outlets fail to inform you is that the vast majority of these cases are linked to black market e-liquids.
In the US, there is a much more prevalent black market for vape juice hence why the deaths have been concentrated in this country. These black market e-liquids can range from fake branded pods to e-liquid containing street drugs such as cannabis/THC oil. The FDA has now warned the public to use only legal vapes bought from reputable suppliers.
Here in the UK, we have an abundance of e-cigarette regulations designed to make vaping as safe as possible. All e-liquid, including our own, is tested for any impurities/oils and submitted to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Agency (MHRA). There are ways to ensure your vape juice is safe, such as checking for your supplier on the MHRA website.
No! What you see being blown out of a vaper’s mouth is not smoke, but a vapour.
There is no combustion or fire in the process of vaping that can produce smoke, instead, the coil within the tank gets saturated with e-liquid and this is heated until it evaporates and produces vapour. Hence, why those who use e-cigs are vapers and not smokers.
As mentioned in point 2, the vapour from an e-cigarette is not smoke as no burning is involved in the process.
Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and over 70 of these can cause cancer. Vapour from an e-cigarette, on the other hand, has shown no significant risk to human health and present no air quality issues to bystanders. Public Health England has also found no negative health risks associated with passive vaping.
Nobody claims vaping is healthy, but it is healthier than smoking. Obviously, the healthiest thing you can do is not inhale anything other than fresh air, but for many people looking to make the switch from smoking, this is an extremely difficult thing to do.
Vaping provides a chance for these people to switch to something that is 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Vaping is solely designed for people who have smoked in the past, and under no circumstances should somebody start vaping who has never smoked.
Fears that vaping, especially in the winter season, causes ‘wet lung’ stemmed from one article about a mildly asthmatic 18-year-old woman who vaped for a short period of time before going to the doctor due to stabbing pains in the chest, trouble breathing and coughing.
She showed diagnostic criteria for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis, an allergy to organic dust that causes inflammation in the lung.
Immediately, the news media jumped onboard screaming that vaping caused this reaction and coined the term “wet lung” for ARDS. They did not make it clear that this is an extremely rare allergic reaction that could have been caused by a number of different things.
Indeed, there are a small number of people who have an allergy to Propylene Glycol (PG), an ingredient in most e-liquids. However, PG is an FDA approved food additive and is used in many things from toothpaste to stage smoke. Most people who have this allergy will already be aware, and those who vape stick to 100% Vegetable Glycerin (VG) juice to avoid any reaction.
A top doctor, Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, slammed the media for this story saying:
“This is the first time that I see a case report being featured in the media. This is a new low for e-cigarette opponents. The “wet lung is… total nonsense. The case was about an allergic reaction causing pneumonia.”
Another sensationalist headline which blew up big time a few years ago was the myth that vaping causes ‘popcorn lung’.
Popcorn lung is caused by diacetyl, a flavour compound found in a number of foods to give it a buttery taste. Consuming diacetyl is completely harmless, but inhaling massive amounts of it can lead to bronchiolitis obliterans AKA “popcorn lung”, which is what happened to a small amount of popcorn factory workers.
Many years ago, a few e-liquids were found to contain diacetyl leading to the myth that e-cigarettes can cause popcorn lung, however, there is no evidence to support this theory and typically traditional cigarettes have a far higher concentration of diacetyl in them.
In the UK, since the adjustment of the Tobacco Product Directive (TPD) in 2016, diacetyl has been banned from all e-liquid. Here at Decadent Vapours, we test each batch of vape juice for diacetyl and other contaminants to ensure they are not present.
There has been talk of a complete blanket ban in the USA due to these misconceptions and falsehoods around vaping, but would a complete ban on the sale of vaping devices and juice really work?
A study by UK-based Center for Substance Use Research (CSUR) interviewed 9,000 current e-cig users in the US and were asked what they would do if the vaping products they used were no longer available.
Almost 70% said they would purchase supplies from a non-licensed, black-market vendor. Which as the stories come out of the US show, is quite dangerous.
Contrary to popular belief, nicotine does not cause cancer. Its bad reputation comes from hooking people onto cigarettes, which contain at least 69 cancer-causing chemicals and over 7,000 other chemicals. There are numerous studies which prove that nicotine is not cancerous, and is simply just addictive.
A study by Public Health England found that there is minimal harm to health from nicotine and
there is a huge misconception around nicotine and its effects on the body:
“long-term use of nicotine by ‘snus’ (a low nitrosamine form of smokeless tobacco) users has not been found to increase the risk of serious health problems in adults, and use of nicotine replacement therapy by pregnant smokers has not been found to increase risk to the foetus.”
This is not true, e-liquid is also available without nicotine. Short Fill bottles, for example, don’t contain nicotine in them at the point of purchase but require the vaper to add an extra ‘nic shot’ if needed.
Typically, when first making the switch from smoking vapers will need a higher level of nicotine to help with the cravings. The majority of vapers will then lower their nicotine intake, and even eliminate it completely and vape 0mg e-liquid.
Due to regulations, we’re not permitted to say that vaping helps you quit smoking. However, a study conducted by the National Institute of Health Research and Cancer Research UK showed an 83% increased chance of stopping smoking with e-cigarettes compared to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).
This story originates from the fact that some antifreeze products contain propylene glycol (PG) which is one of the main ingredients in e-liquid. This doesn’t mean it is harmful to ingest.
As mentioned previously, PG is in a huge range of things that you ingest daily, including soft drinks, food colouring and even stage smoke. It is used as a flavour carrier in e-liquids, alongside vegetable glycerin (VG). You can even choose what PG/VG ratio you prefer to have when purchasing e-liquid such as our Shake & Vape.
There was one study in 2015 that claimed e-cigs produce formaldehyde, a toxic chemical. Naturally, media agencies pounced on it and the report hit worldwide news. The study claimed that vape juice, when heated to a high temperature, breaks down and produces formaldehyde.
However, there was a huge flaw in their methodology. The device was heated up so much that as Clive Bates put it:
“produced thermal breakdown products (so-called dry puff conditions), but no user would ever be able to use it this way – the vapour would be too acrid.
They went on to calculate human cancer risk from these unrealistic machine measurements and presented the data in a way that was bound to mislead, which it duly did and created a worldwide media storm. This was irresponsible science, careless publishing, and credulous journalism adversely changing the perceptions of the relative risks of smoking and vaping in a way that will cause harm. The paper should be retracted in its entirety.”
Here in the UK, the cost to an average smoker for their tobacco fix is over £1,500 a year.
With vaping, you have a few things to buy initially such as the device itself and any accessories, but after that, you simply have to buy e-liquid recurrently which can be as little as £8 for a 60ml Short Fill bottle and less than £2 for a nicotine shot.
There will be differences in e-liquid consumption person-to-person, but for an average daily vaper (not including those who use mods) you’re looking at around 30ml’s a week. This calculates out to be just £260 a year. That’s a saving of over £1,200 a year!
To get started with vaping you can spend as little as £25.99 for a starter kit which includes a device and a weeks supply of e-liquid (3x10ml premixed bottles).
Big tobacco companies didn’t take long to jump on the vaping bandwaggon when cigarette sales plummeted. Many of the corner store vape brands are subsidiaries of these big tobacco companies.
Juul is a subsidiary of Altria who own everything from Philip Morris to Marlboro. Vuse is a subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds who own brands such as Camel and Pall Mall. Blu is owned by Imperial Tobacco, who also own brands such as JPS and West.
If you don’t want to fund Big Tobacco, then make sure you buy from reputable independent vape shops like ourselves. We’ve been producing UK e-liquid for over 10 years and always strive to put our customers first.
Even in the early days, vaping companies would self-regulate to ensure they did not sell to under 18’s or advertise to them in any way. Nowadays there are stringent laws here in the UK, thanks to the introduction of the TPD, that severely restricts the advertising of e-cigs and juice.
Here in the UK, there was a spike in teens experimenting with e-cigs when they first became popular, but regular usage remains low at 1.7% of 11-18 year-olds reported to be vaping weekly.
Recently, Trump has been making moves to ban flavoured e-cigs in the US as they fear it is attractive to teens. Unfortunately, they miss the fact that adults like sweet flavours too and are less likely to want to go back to smoking cigarettes which taste disgusting compared to a fruity vape.
In fact, a study of vapers in the USA found that the most popular used e-liquid flavours amongst adults are fruit, dessert/pastry and candy, chocolate or sweets. Tobacco and menthol flavours have slipped down to 5th and 6th position in the most popular juice flavours.
Smoking in young people (11-18 year-olds) is at an all-time low in the UK. This is fantastic news, but still, some negative press is pushing the idea that vaping is acting as a gateway to smoking for teenagers.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) have recently released data countering this myth, and showing that the use of e-cigs by young people in the UK is “rare and largely confined to those that already smoke tobacco cigarettes”.
Whilst this does happen, especially in the US where a black market for this exists, it is rare.
Most of the 2.9 million adults in the UK who use a vaping device, use it for curbing their nicotine cravings and not for illegal use. There are only a few ingredients in e-liquid, including PG, VG, flavourings and optional nicotine.
There have been a few reported cases of e-cigs exploding in people’s pockets and catching fires in peoples homes, with most of these being linked to human error and a lack of understanding around battery safety.
Mechanical mods, aimed to produce huge clouds of vapour, tend to have removable batteries. Putting one of these unprotected batteries in your pocket along with keys and coins is a terrible idea because if they touch then it will create a circuit and explode.
Always be careful with batteries. Most newer mods have safety mechanisms built-in, but it is still good practice to ensure you use the correct charging cables, handle batteries with care and don’t build low coil builds unless you know what you’re doing.
The UK is very regulated. We even regulated ourselves before the TPD kicked in, in fact, Decadent Vapours were one of the founding members of the first electronic cigarette trade association, ECITA, who ensured UK vape companies were legally-compliant and ethical.
Nowadays there are lots more government-enforced regulations around e-cigarettes. Thanks to the TPD there are strict rules in place around the manufacturing and selling of e-liquid and vaping devices. You can always check on the MHRA website to see if your vape shop is compliant.
Can you think of any vaping myths that I’ve left out? If so, let us know and we can add your contribution to the list!