Vaping has been around since 2006, introduced as another form of smoking. Many people believed that vaping was, essentially, ‘healthier’ than smoking as it does not include tobacco, which creates ‘tar’. This ‘tar’ not only damages the lungs but also rots away the mouth and can desensitize tastebuds, ruining your sense of taste. Smoking tobacco is also the leading cause of lung cancer – by a landslide.
So, when vapes came out, many switched as this tobacco-free form of smoking seemed healthier. The many different flavours of vape liquids and styles of vapes also attracted customers, taking away the taste of cigarettes and replacing it with something usually sweet. Vapers can also add nicotine, or ‘nic-shots’ to their liquid, controlling how much nicotine they are having.
‘Geek-bars’ have been around since 2015 and have recently gained more popularity through social media – such as TikTok. These colourful bars are disposable vapes, coming with an average of 575 puffs before you must throw them away. The wide flavour range and cheap price (some starting at as little as £4) can also be more appealing than a packet of cigarettes or a vape starter kit which are a bit pricier.
What we do know about vaping is that our lungs are only really meant to inhale oxygen and air, they’re not equipped for much else. So, when people are smoking these bars, some people getting through one (575 puffs) a day, the damage to your lungs is worrying. Research from the past 15 years is increasingly proving that vaping is healthier than smoking – so if you’re looking to quit, it may help.
The downside is that it also shows that vaping can still cause long-term lung damage, however a study from The Royal College of Physicians in 2016 shows that long term health risks related to vaping are unlikely to exceed five per cent, and they encourage people who are wanting to quit smoking to try vaping with no nicotine or other additives.
The concern is that we don’t know as much about the effects of vaping on our bodies as we do smoking, since it is still a relatively new thing. What is also a worry is that these bright bars are becoming enticing to non-smokers, therefore a gateway into smoking and vaping.
So, while many studies show that it is less harmful than smoking and it could be a good way for smokers to cut down or quit completely, it can also work the opposite way and attract new, non-smokers into the world of smoking. All it takes is to want to have some nicotine in their liquid and that can spiral into an attraction or need for cigarettes to get the ‘nicotine buzz’ that many crave.