Common Misconceptions About VapingHeather Cavalier
Only becoming common within the last 10 years or so, due to new technological advancements that allow them to be, vape pens (also known as e-cigarettes, vapes, or formally as an electronic nicotine delivery systems) are a relative newcomer to the market. Even so, they seem to inspire a lot of conversations and sometimes even controversy. Some people absolutely adore them and fight passionately for their right to use them and in return, some people fight to eliminate their use altogether. With so much passion on either side, we at the Odyssey Group would like to take a look at the common misconceptions about vaping here, in an attempt to educate consumers.
First of all just a basic overview on vape pens themselves: they consist of a battery, a heating element powered by the battery, a cartridge of vape liquid, and a mouthpiece. The vape liquid has nicotine in varying concentrations from zero to 24 mg per cartridge, with various flavors added for taste. The liquid is heated by the element, producing a vapor which is then inhaled through the mouthpiece. Although it is considered by the FDA to be a tobacco product (more on that later), there is none of the tobacco plant in the cartridges of a vape pen. It is not a cigarette in the traditional sense despite the name ‘electronic cigarette’ as it does not use combustion to burn leaves to produce smoke.
Vaping is an unregulated industry
A very common misconception about vaping is that it is an unregulated industry. That is untrue, vaping is in fact regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Perhaps when first introduced to the market vape pens and liquids were not as closely regulated as they are today but as of 2016, the vaping industry is controlled by the FDA. Despite the fact that there is no tobacco in vape liquid, The FDA does regulate e-cigarettes under its authority to regulate tobacco products. This means that the manufacture and sale of all vape pens and the liquid are controlled. For instance, there is an age limit to ensure youth under 18 years of age (21 in some states) cannot purchase the vape pens or the liquid, even if it doesn’t contain nicotine.
That last sentence brings up another common misconception: that vaping is a gateway to get younger people to begin smoking
The actual use of smoking amongst teens is down across the board. In the 1970’s, the amount of high school seniors who had smoked tobacco in the last 30 days was 28 percent. In 2018, the percentage was only 3 percent. Since vaping is relatively new, there was no data until 2011 but even then, only 13 percent reported using an e-cigarette. Collectively, use of nicotine products is, down amongst teens and has been on a downward trend for decades.
Flavors encourage younger people to take up vaping or try tobacco
This study clearly shows that flavors don’t encourage young people to try vaping but actually ADULT vape pen users prefer a difference in flavors. Also, in November 2018, the FDA rolled out a plan to limit flavored vaping liquids to adults only stores and through online retailers with “heightened practices for age verification”. No one wants to encourage teens to try any product that is meant for adult enjoyment only.
It is just as dangerous as cigarettes
Vaping is not the same as smoking tobacco. Most tobacco products have over 400 chemicals in them whereas vape liquid has far, far fewer. The combustion (burning) of tobacco causes the smoke which is then inhaled. Vape pens produce vapor, which is similar to the humid air in your shower, admittedly with nicotine.
According to this study, toxicants that are found in tobacco products are either not found in vapor from e-cigarettes or are found in substantially lesser concentration.
Also, vaping is often done by ex-tobacco smokers in an attempt to cease smoking tobacco altogether, with up to fifty percent of vapers considering themselves ex-tobacco smokers. Although this study, by the Royal College of Physicians in London actually recommends the use of vape pens to quit smoking tobacco, it is not approved in the US for this purpose. The same study found that the vapor inhaled from vaping is at least 95 percent better than inhaling the smoke from combustible tobacco cigarettes.
Vaping just causes more smokers
Less than two percent of vape pens are used by adults that have never smoked traditional cigarettes according the American College of Physicians so this is another misconception about vaping. As stated above, around half of vapers have transitioned from smoking tobacco to a product that they deem less harmful than traditional cigarettes.
We hope some of your common misconceptions about vaping have been cleared up. Remember that The Odyssey Group supports your right to both be informed and to choose the products that best fit into your life.