Vaping Continues to See High Demand During the Pandemic, But is it Safe? 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to plague most of the world’s population. One of the predominant symptoms caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a pneumonia-like respiratory illness where the tiny air sacs inside the suffer’s lungs become inflamed. They might also fill up with fluid, making it incredibly difficult to breathe. There is evidence that smoking negatively affects lung health due to a build-up of tar coating the small air passages in the lungs. It also inhibits the body’s responsiveness to infections and suppresses immunity. Consequently, medical healthcare experts have expressed concerns about what will happen to smokers should they contract COVID-19. The article titled “Covid-19 and Smoking: Frequently Asked Questions,” reports that early studies show that smokers have a heightened susceptibility to COVID-19, where male smokers were contracting COVID-19 at much higher rates than female smokers. As an aside, men have a smoking rate that is twenty times higher than women. Consequently, a call has been made at a national level for smokers to quit. 

As smoking is highly addictive, it is not always easy for smokers to quit. In 2018, Public Health England (PHE) started a drive to encourage smokers to quit by moving from smoking cigarettes to vape nicotine-based e-liquids. The rationale behind this program is that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking. Statistics quoted by Rachel Schraer demonstrate that over 1 million people have given up smoking since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. There are currently no figures available in the public domain that report how many people have moved from smoking to vaping during this time. But based on the continued drive by PHE to convert smokers to vaping and the fact that quitting smoking is so hard that most smokers kick themselves for even starting, vaping must be playing a significant role in helping smokers quit smoking. However, there are concerns that using e-cigarettes can be dangerous. By way of addressing this issue, let’s consider the following points. 

Vaping produces less harmful chemicals than smoking 
Regular tobacco cigarettes have over 7 000 chemicals, many of which are toxic. Not only does burning the tobacco release the nicotine, which is then inhaled in the cigarette smoke, it also releases thousands of chemicals, of which 600 are toxic and carcinogenic. Therefore, it is almost an imperative to vape nicotine-based e-liquids instead of smoking tobacco cigarettes. 

Do not use black market vaping products 
There have been reported incidents where e-cigarette batteries have exploded, and vaping has resulted in lung injuries. While it is true that both of these scenarios have occurred, they have primarily been due to the use of black market or non-legitimate products. Therefore, to prevent accidents caused by exploding batteries, it is essential to use batteries like the 18650 lithium-ion batteries. They are popular, safe, affordable, and rechargeable; thereby, saving you money in that you do not need to keep on buying new batteries. All you need to do is recharge your lithium-ion battery. Additionally, the incidents where vaping has caused lung injuries in the USA, even death, have been ascribed to using a black market THC-based e-liquid that also contains vitamin E acetate. When vaped, this e-liquid can overheat, resulting in burned lungs. Therefore, it is critical to make sure you only vape legitimate products bought from a bona fide dealer. 

Final thoughts 
While it is understandable that smokers might be hesitant to convert to vaping because of these incidents, there is enough evidence to show that vaping is safe and much safer than smoking. Lastly, it is also worth noting that research into the efficacy and safety of vaping is ongoing. Consequently, in all likelihood, the overall safety of vaping will improve.

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