Smoking Vs. Vaping: Which One Is Worse For You?

Vaping is a popular alternative to smoking because it is considered to be a healthier option. However, evidence suggests that vaping is not without health risks. That being said, which of the two is worse for you?

Because smoking has been around much longer than vaping, we know more about the dangers involved with it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly one in every five deaths in the U.S. is related to smoking. Because smoking increases the risk for heart disease, stroke, and cancer, CDC experts note that if nobody smoked, one in three cancer deaths would not occur. In addition, smoking harms just about every organ in the body.

For women, smoking makes becoming pregnant more difficult. Pregnant women who smoke increase the risks for stillbirths, premature births, and low birth rates. Smoking also exposes others to dangerous secondhand smoke, which is linked to cardiovascular diseases, lung problems, frequent coughing, shortness of breath, and ear infections (via Cleveland Clinic).

Vaping is not without health risks

While more research is still needed on the long-term damage done by vaping, experts at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital suggest that vaping is no better on the lungs than smoking. While vaping does not involve smoke inhalation, dangerous chemicals and aerosols are still inhaled. Chemicals, such as diacetyl, raise the risk for lung disease, while other substances include volatile organic compounds that can cause eye, nose, and throat irritation (via American Cancer Society). 

Nicotine, the primary substance in e-cigarettes, raises blood pressure and increases the risk for heart attacks. Nicotine is highly addictive, and vape pens have more nicotine in them than traditional cigarettes (via Johns Hopkins Medicine).

While smoking and vaping both involve health risks, smoking is thought to be more harmful than vaping, though not by much. Moreover, vaping is not considered to be a successful method for those looking to quit smoking (via Medical News Today).