Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
chloe andrews rDv1oPNt4qw unsplash?width=719&height=464&fit=crop&auto=webp
chloe andrews rDv1oPNt4qw unsplash?width=398&height=256&fit=crop&auto=webp
Wellness > Health

Are Vapes the New Cigarettes?

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mich chapter.

“Cigarettes are worse than vapes. That’s why I quit smoking & switched to vaping”

That’s something that a close friend of mine recently proclaimed when she had a sudden epiphany & decided to quit that bad habit she had picked up over her summer abroad in Greece. While I was proud of her decision to quit & applauded the thought that she had put into quitting her bad habit, I was a little concerned & very confused. 

What made her think that cigarettes were worse than vaping? Didn’t recent articles & studies find the opposite? So, I decided to do some digging & think a little more on my own.

According to the CDC, “e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarettes”. However, this isn’t to say that vaping is harmless. Not only are there a lot of different, very harmful chemicals in vapes, there’s a lot of black market vapes out there that are being sold without much regulation & rules. Vapes in flavors like pina colada, blue raspberry, & many others supposedly have chemicals in them that give the vapes these flavors. In addition, these vapes have a much higher concentration of nicotine in them when compared to cigarettes. So, a puff of a vape may not have the same amount of nicotine as a cigarette. 

In addition, I worry that many younger people are vaping now more than ever before. Around 20% of high school students in 2022 have been reported to vape. Vaping is by far the most prevalent use of tobacco among young people. What’s scarier is that while we have a pretty large database & countless studies that have looked at the long-term effects of smoking cigarettes, because vaping is a relatively new phenomenon, there are practically no studies that look at what the long-term effects of vaping are. 

In general, I get what my friend is saying to an extent. However, I feel like vaping is so much easier. What I mean is that when someone smokes, they need to go outside, find a light, etc. It’s a whole production almost. However, when someone wants to vape, they can vape anywhere & everywhere. Even though it may not technically be allowed, I’ve seen people vape everywhere: the Ugli, their dorms, some lecture halls, & public cafes. However, smoking a cigarette is impossible indoors. From my observations, I feel as though vaping is more prevalent because it’s so accessible & easy to do. So, would it be wrong to say that vaping could be a worse alternative to smoking a cigarette? 

It’s fascinating to me that vapes were initially created by individuals who wanted to quit smoking. But in the end, it seems to me that vaping has overtaken smoking. The innovation that was meant to help people stop smoking, in theory, worked. People aren’t smoking cigarettes anymore, instead, they’re vaping. What concerns me is the amount of young people who are addicted to vaping. 

While I don’t have any concrete opinion on one or the other, I think it can safely be said that any type of smoking isn’t great for overall health. I truly wonder what will happen in the long run & what the longitudinal studies on vaping will reveal to us. 

Temmie is a pre medical undergraduate student who is an avid shoe shopper, casual golfer, and frequent art exhibition visitor.