We make choices every day. We choose what clothes to wear, we choose what we eat, we choose where to go and we choose what leisures we enjoy. But the irony in the freedom of choice is that we are bound to their consequences. One can choose freely, but he does not have a control of what comes after.
One of the choices many people make every day in the area of vices is whether they use the classic tobacco or cigarettes, or would they go for the new, hip and less deadly e – cigarettes (vapes). There are a lot of talks, studies and opinions about which is better, healthier, and more socially acceptable. And despite of all the bad news we hear about people dying, vapes exploding and a lot more, many of us still try to choose between the lesser of these two evils.
In this article, we will first discuss what smoking and vaping is, how it affects the body and why people seek it.
Defining the terms
What is the difference between smoking and vaping?
To better understand the difference, here is a visual representation of the difference between vaping and smoking:
Is cigarette smoke and e-cigarette smoke just the same?
No, when you light a tobacco / cigarette the outcome will be what we a call a smoke. It is produced by combustion which produces new chemicals through oxidation. Whereas in vaping, the substance is only heated to a certain point where it vaporizes – no new chemicals are released.
Smoke is when you burn your clothes, and vapor is when you heat your water.
Now that we know the difference between the two, let’s discuss another important question – why are they so addictive?
What makes vaping and smoking addictive?
The main culprit in getting you addicted to both vaping and smoking lies in the stimulant called nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive and according to the American Heart Association – it is one of the hardest things to quit, even rivaling heroine.
How can this chemical become addictive? Once it arrives the brain, nicotine causes the brain to release feelings of pleasure by releasing dopamine. Dopamine is normally released by the body to make us feel good. There is nothing wrong with feeling good, however since it is manipulated by a chemical release, our body starts building tolerance against it, and there is where the craving starts. We try to get the same high as the first time, but the body cannot do it in one puff, so the addiction cycle continues.
But, aside from getting addicted to the puff, there are also other effects that both vaping and smoking does to the body…
Serious Health Risks for those who smoke and vape
- Higher risk of Cancer – Due to tar, which is the collective particles that is produced through smoking, people who smoke expose themselves to harmful carcinogens that heightens the risk of you acquiring cancer, especially in the lungs.
- Higher risk of Diabetes – Nicotine makes our body produce less insulin. Less insulin means that our body may experience high glucose levels which may ultimately lead to diabetes.
Here is also a graphic from Medical News that outlines what nicotine does to the body
Is Vaping safer than Smoking?
Yes and No. Vaping, while it may not look as harmful as a cigarette, is still very dangerous to the body. The greatest concern whether smoking and vaping is dependence. We become addicted and we seek it more than we seek the better things that could make our bodies healthier.
Which side are you on?
The bigger question does not lie on whether smoking or vaping is better. But what we need to evaluate is the reason why we do it. Addiction is not just because of chemicals entering someone’s body but it is when as people we try to fill the void. Is it social acceptance? Is it stress? We try to find an escape in these things knowing the harmful consequences it may cause.
The choice is still yours – it’s not always a choice between the lesser of two evils.
You can choose good. Live life free!
About The Author
Manuel is a guy who loves books. He enjoys reading and does it whenever he can. If he’s not reading, he spends time with his family and also ministers to teenagers in a local church. He does public speaking and talks about issues concerning the youth and young professionals. An Oleia topical oil user and content contributor.