The news media loves to talk about the dangers of vaping, even the fictional dangers that don’t scientifically exist. This isn’t a surprise, or at least it shouldn’t be. We all know that the media has a much better time with their ratings if they are scaring people. Just imagine you see a teaser for the news. It has ominous music and the narrator says “ecigs are very trendy, but the dangers of vaping are real and we’ll tell you about them tonight on the 10 o’clock news.” Think people are going to tune in to find out?
Of course they are. That’s just how the media game works and it is something you pick up on quite quickly if you just pay a little attention. That’s how the “if it bleeds, it leads” phrase became so well known. When that average American does turn on his or her nightly news broadcast feature about electronic cigarettes, they will undoubtedly be flooded with a bunch of scary threats. Lots of rumor and assumptions will come up and very soon they will end up thinking that the dangers of vaping are terrible. At the least, they’ll think that the benefits are far outweighed by those dangers.
There will obviously be comparisons made the analogue cigarettes, but they’ll stress the similarities. They’ll tell you how you are still ingesting nicotine and they’ll paint it in a way that leads you to believe nicotine is bad for you. In fact, that isn’t really the truth at all. They may tell you that there are dangers of second hand vaping, just like second hand smoke. Once again, that isn’t the truth either and nobody has scientifically proven that it is. All of these claims about the dangers of vaping are made by connecting dots that don’t really connect. But there is one danger that we know exists, and that is the one you should really be focusing on.
Real Dangers Of Vaping Products Exploding
Batteries are at the heart of the dangers of vaping, but it isn’t as if you should stop vaping (or not start at all). While the dangers of second hand vaping is pretty much a myth, there is real solid proof of this phenomenon of ecig batteries exploding.
We won’t paint a pretty picture here, because the reality is that it is beginning to get out of hand. Just in last week we have seen numerous news reports of people being injured by exploding ecig batteries.
But the news of an explosion that injured a mother of two in England and the one that injured a teenager in Canada are related. Just like they are related to the man in New Hampshire who suffered burns due to an ecig exploding. All of these incidents have to do with the real dangers of vaping; buying bad products.
We don’t mean bad products because they are overpriced. Nor do we mean to say they just don’t taste good or don’t produce the amount of vapor you want. No, we mean bad products because they don’t go through proper quality control. While most electronic cigarettes are made at least partly in China, there is a mammoth difference between purchasing from a reputable brand and something on a non-branded site or simply from ebay. It may be cheaper, but it heightens the dangers of vaping exponentially.
It’s true that sometimes there are faulty products and that can happen in any industry. But there is also a reason we don’t see anything negative like this in the news about any of the top brands we recommend. These are companies that have a reputation to uphold and so they take all the necessary precautions, and even the precautions that aren’t necessary. Whether driven out of a concern for their consumers or a concern for their public image, you’ll be hard-pressed to see anyone working harder to make sure that the product you buy doesn’t fail in such a dramatic way as to explode or otherwise put you in danger.
The other thing that is going on is the serious concern regarding counterfeit ecigs. Fakes are everywhere. The dangers of vaping have been exacerbated by the sheer volume of clone ecigs on the market. You will find cloned ecigs and vaping products all over the internet and sometimes even in vape shops. How bad is the problem? Here are some numbers that will shock most of you.
There are a handful or world-class ecig manufacturers in China. Eight Aspire, Kangertech, Smok, Innokin, Joyetech and a few others are exceptional. They make some of the best vaping products in the world. They have strict quality control and use only the best materials. These companies are located in an industrial area of Shenzhen, China. Within that same are are 600 ecig factories. 600!
Most of those factories are producing terrible knockoffs at rock bottom prices. The fakes look just like the real thing. They are being sold online through a number of retail and wholesale websites. Even vape shop owners are being fooled by some of these products. This is a serious problem and results in a lot of bad press for the industry when one of these clone ecigs is the root cause of some well publicized ecig accident.
If you are interested in a Kanger, Aspire, Joyetch product, you need to buy from a reputable source that knows what they are doing. The vaping business is booming and pretenders and fakes are trying to cash in as are the brands that are just blatantly selling junk! With no regulation in place it is buyer beware.
The real culprit here is greed. The dangers of second hand vaping aren’t real, nor are all these other accusations that just stoke people’s fears. No, the dangers of vaping lie in cheap ecigs. That’s why the FDA should be worried about cheap ecigs instead of fruity ecig flavors. As a consumer, make sure that these harrowing stories in the news don’t put you off from making the switch to vapor. All you have to do is make sure you buy from the right sources and you’ll be well on your way to leaving traditional tobacco cigarettes behind you, as well as ridiculous claims about the dangers of vaping.
People trying to give up smoking often use e-cigarettes to help wean themselves off tobacco. Most experts think they are safer than cigarettes but a surprising paper was published recently – it suggests that people who use e-cigarettes are less successful at giving up smoking than those who don’t.
The study causing the fuss was written by researchers at the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, and published in one of the Lancet’s sister journals, Lancet Respiratory Medicine.
It is a meta-analysis, which means the authors reviewed the academic literature already available on the topic. They sifted out the weaker papers – ones that didn’t have control groups, for example – and were left with 20.
The conclusion? Smokers who use e-cigarettes have a 28% lower chance of quitting than smokers who don’t use them, according to Prof Stanton Glantz, one of the authors.
But while the conclusion is surprising, so is the number of academics who have criticised the paper.
One was Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction at Kings College London, whose own research is included in Glantz’s analysis.
“The information… about two studies that I co-authored is either inaccurate or misleading… I believe the findings should therefore be dismissed.
“I am concerned at the huge damage this publication may have – many more smokers may continue smoking and die if they take from this piece of work that all evidence suggests e-cigarettes do not help you quit smoking; that is not the case.”
Prof Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at the Wolfson Institute also called the findings “grossly misleading”.
The critics are making three main points. First, the definition of e-cigarettes is a bit loose. There are many different types – some look like cigarettes, others have tanks for the vaping liquid, some are disposable and other are multi-use. They all deliver different doses of nicotine. Many of the papers included in the analysis don’t specify which type people are using, according to Linda Bauld, professor of health policy at the University of Stirling.
Another point is that the studies vary in the way they measure how often people use e-cigarettes. “Some only assessed whether a person had ever tried an e-cigarette or if they had tried one recently, not whether they were using it regularly or frequently,” Bauld says.
Even the paper’s author admits it’s possible that in some of the studies e-cigarettes may only have been used once, which he says would not be a good predictor of whether they had affected people’s ability to stop smoking.
And there is another problem. You might expect, if you were going to draw conclusions about how useful e-cigarettes are in helping people quit, to focus on studies looking at people who are trying to give up.
Prof Robert West, who heads a team at University College London researching ways to help people stop smoking, says this analysis mashed together some very different studies – only some of which include people using e-cigarettes to help them quit.
“To mix them in with studies where you’ve got people using an e-cigarette and are not particularly trying to stop smoking is mixing apples and oranges,” he says.
Some of the studies track smokers who use e-cigarettes for other reasons – perhaps because smoking a cigarette in a bar or an office is illegal and they want a nicotine hit.
“With the studies where people are using electronic cigarettes specifically in a quit attempt the evidence is consistent,” says West, referring to two randomised control trials.
Both are quite small and one was funded by the e-cigarette industry. They took two groups of smokers, and gave one real e-cigarettes, and the other a placebo. The studies reach a broadly similar conclusion to a large, real-world study called the Smoking Toolkit run by West.
West’s investigation follows people in their daily lives and assesses how successful various methods of giving up smoking are – this includes nicotine patches, medicines and going cold turkey.
These studies suggest that people using e-cigarettes to help them quit are 50% to 100% more successful than those who use no aids at all.
In his paper, Glantz acknowledges there are limitations to the research that he analysed. He agrees there are problems with the way the use of e-cigarettes is measured and accepts it’s not clear which devices people are using. But he is sticking by his analysis because he believes he has taken these factors into account.
The editor of Lancet Respiratory Medicine, Emma Grainger, defends the article too. She says she does not see a problem with the paper and that it has been through the normal peer-review process.