Biz/Tech 

Vaping can help kick tobacco habit but not yet proven harmless

Matthew Hodder

Biz/Tech Reporter

A study from the University of Victoria concluded in January that using e-cigarettes and vapour devices is better than smoking traditional cigarettes, but there is still concern that it may be too soon to close the book on e-cigarettes.

“Clearing the Air: A systematic review of the harms and benefits of e-cigarettes and vapour devices” concluded vapour devices can be just as effective as other nicotine replacements when someone is trying to kick their habit.

But Jack Moffat, a health coach, has concerns about using an e-cigarette to quit.

“When someone uses nicotine gum or the patch they are not only weaning themselves off of nicotine, but they are also eliminating the habit of holding a cigarette and breathing it in,” says Moffat.

“With e-cigarettes you continue to practice those habits. Some people stop smoking cigarettes but get hooked on e-cigarettes.”

Karina Tehrani, a student of Humber’s Food and Nutrition program, is a smoker and her boyfriend vapes. Tehrani says that her boyfriend “smoked for about two years, but he was able to quit using an e-cig.”

The study also found that second-hand exposure to vapour does not come with any significant exposure to carcinogens, unlike smoke. However, second hand vapour does create a small exposure to nicotine. The study says that “it is unclear whether low level nicotine exposure poses any risk to health.”

Gus Hansson, a student of Humber’s Business Management program, has been smoking for 14 years. Hansson has only thought about quitting, and has even looked into purchasing an e-cigarette. But he says his friends have not had total success quitting using e-cigarettes.

“A few of my friends tried to quit by smoking e-cigarettes, but they will still have a cigarette sometimes,” says Hansson.

Moffat remains worried about the long-term effects of e-cigarettes.

“It took us decades to figure out that tobacco was bad for us and that it was giving us lung cancer, and e-cigarettes have not been around for that long,” says Moffat. “We cannot know the long-term effects of e-cigarettes until we have had a long term with them.”

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