Are Vaporizers Safer than Smoking?

Since 2013, U.S. vaporizer sales have climbed from $1.7 to $3.5 billion.

In the nicotine world alone, experts expect annual e-cigarette vaporizer revenue will smoke the combustible cigarette industry by 2025.

It seems we’re witnessing the rise of the vaporizer, with several types of vaporizers rivaling traditional combustion devices like pipes, bongs, and cigarettes. But why?

The vaporizer industry has to thank for at least some of its success the apparent health benefits of vaping, especially when compared against smoking.

The Real Health Effects of Vaping

In 2015, CNBC reported that more smokers are taking to vaporizers to quit smoking. The news came just as the British Crown endorsed an independent study by Public Health England stating that vaping is 95% safer than smoking.

Despite the royal endorsement, vaporizers are still regulated as strictly as cigarettes. As of 2016, it’s illegal to sell a vaporizer to anyone under 18 years of age, and those under 27 must show an ID to make a purchase. A 2014 study funded in part by the U.S. National Institutes made a case against these vaporizer laws, pulling data from 81 earlier studies examining the health risks of vaporization.

“What we found,” said author Dr. Hayden McRobbie, “is that there is no evidence that these products [vaporizers] should be regulated as strictly as tobacco, or even more strictly than tobacco.”

If vaping health risks really are just a fraction of those related to smoking, how can we explain the difference? What does a vaporizer have that a water pipe lacks? Experts say it’s a matter of temperature.

Vaping is Combustion-free

Smoking a joint or pipe places dry herb in direct contact with the high heat of a flame, creating smoke that contains irritants linked to lung cancer and respiratory disorders. Smoke also consists of only 12% of the cannabinoids extracted from marijuana (the rest is made up of the potentially harmful by-products of combustion).

Vaporizers, on the other hand, are able to heat material at a much cooler thermal sweetspot, producing combustion-free vapor that poses fewer health risks.

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Because vaporizers can zero in on temperatures between the points of vaporization and combustion, their vapor production is much purer, and therefore healthier, than smoke.

Research shows that vaporizers also deliver potency equal to if not greater than combustion devices. A 2006 vaporizer study states that, “the final uptake is comparable to the smoking of cannabis, while avoiding the respiratory disadvantages of smoking.” In fact, the vapor produced by vaporizers is made up of 95% cannabinoids with much fewer pollutants.

Is it written in stone that vapes are safer and better than traditional ways of smoking? Research so far suggests this to be likely, but time will tell. While there’s ample evidence that vaping is a healthier alternative to smoking, there hasn’t been enough long-term vaporizer use to state definitively the health risks involved in vaporization.

Sources:

Source: The 420 Times
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