Do you enjoy daily smokes in the courtyard with your fellow smoky Joes and Janes? Sure, you do; it’s a communal ritual that makes you feel good. One taste of nicotine and you’re wrapped in a cloud. You sometimes try to escape, but keep crawling back to the comforting call of tobacco. Is that what it is…an addiction that’s been around for millennia.
More recently, Native Americans used it for medicinal purposes and soldiers smoked it to cope with the psychological after-effects of the American Civil War. It only started mainstreaming in 1881, though, when James Bonsack invented the first cigarette-making machine. It produced 120 000 cigs a day. Wow, give that man a Marlboro Gold! OR not…
Did you know? (You probably did)
There are over 20 cancer-causing chemicals in a ciggie. Here is a list of its toxic ingredients:
Toxic Cigarette Ingredients:
- Nicotine – Stimulates the nervous system and increases blood pressure.
- Lead – Attacks the brain and central nervous system. This can cause comas, seizures and eventually death.
- Arsenic – Large amounts can lead to cancer, liver disease, coma, and death.
- Ammonia – Can cause coughing, nose and throat irritation, and mouth cancer.
- Benzene – Causes anaemia and leukaemia (blood cancer).
- Carbon Monoxide – Also known as the “silent killer”. The toxin can cause anaemia and respiratory problems.
- Nitrosamines – Can lead to cancer.
Okay, let’s stop right there. Enough dissing cigarettes for now. Let’s get to the vapes (e-cigarettes). Studies found that there are fewer chemicals in a vape than in a normal cigarette. What’s up with that? Does it mean vaping isn’t bad for your body’s built-in airbags?
- Nicotine – The addictive chemical. When people say they’re addicted to smoking, they’re dependant on nicotine.
- Propylene Glycol (vegetable oil) – also known as e-juice, it keeps the vape’s liquid moist and the cartridge well-lubricated. It’s not a serious health risk but can cause damage to the lungs when inhaled.
- Vegetable Glycerol – A non-toxic colourless liquid with a naturally sweet taste. When used in vape juice, it enhances the flavours and greatly improves vapour production!
- Acetaldehyde – a colourless, flammable, non-toxic liquid used in the manufacture of acetic acid, perfumes, and flavours.
- Nitrosamines – carcinogenic agents also found in cigarettes and processed meats.
When you add grape to a vape, you are simply adding flavour to it. Although, the flavouring is designed to be ingested and not inhaled, so it can be harmful to the lungs, just like smoking is. The real question is, which of them causes the dreaded “popcorn lung”?
It sounds silly and strange, but popcorn lung is a serious lung disease caused by diacetyl, a flavouring chemical found in foods like popcorn. This flavouring is also found in some vape juices. When you inhale vape smoke deeply, you’re allowing diacetyl to attack your lungs directly. This results in coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and, potentially, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).
Black lung and the bottom line
Turns out vaping is bad for you, but it’s still the lesser evil when it comes to smoking. Smoking ciggies is worse for you since your body is exposed to more harmful, cancer-causing chemicals. Although vaping can give you popcorn lung, cigs can give you “black lung” (lungs that are black instead of pink), which can ultimately lead to you suffocating to death. Although popcorn lung is irreversible, vaping has comparatively more benefits than smoking does.
Anyways, if you are planning to quit smoking completely, we’re in full support and we’ll reduce your life insurance premiums. Find out more here.