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A List of All the Things Good About Smoking — Oh, Wait, There Isn’t One

Written by Dr. Joseph Mercola

We live in an era when it seems like everywhere you look, there’s another message telling you just how bad smoking is for your health. “Don’t do it,” is the message — and Health24 has compiled an updated list of health reasons to not start smoking, or to give it up if you are.

If you need reminding, tobacco use has no known health benefits. Besides being a risk factor for six of the eight leading causes of death, it’s also a danger to those who don’t smoke: From infants to other adults, secondhand smoking is linked to numerous serious health conditions.

Unfortunately, the long list of negatives that Health24 offers does not mention e-cigarettes at all — the vaping way to inhale nicotine, supposedly without the dangers of the smoke that conventional cigarettes (e-cigs) generate. It’s true that combustible cigarettes contain thousands of toxic chemicals, but did you know that e-cigs come with their own set of noxious ingredients?

Recent data demonstrate vaporized e-cig liquid increases inflammation and damages lung cells responsible for protecting lung tissue, potentially increasing your risk for infection. Plus, both processes increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Not only that, new evidence shows that vaping may actually lead to switching to traditional cigarettes — exactly the opposite of what the e-cigs were originally supposed to fix.

But that said, one reason the surging popularity of vaping among teens seems out of control is probably due to the massive marketing campaigns and creative designs the new e-cigs come in — for example, Juul.

What you don’t see in an e-cig ad is a warning that adolescents who vape have a higher potential of experiencing neurological changes that increase their risk of addictive behavior when it comes to smoking. In fact, vapers who've tried Juuls agree they have a much stronger nicotine "hit" than other e-cigs. One ex-smoker found that once he started on Juuls, the vaping habit became "remarkably difficult to kick."

And, despite lower levels of nicotine air pollution from vaping, data demonstrates bystanders exposed to the vapor have similar levels of cotinine, a measure of the amount of nicotine taken into the body, as those exposed to traditional secondhand cigarette smoke.

The bottom line is tobacco in any form, be it conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, dipping tobacco or hookah, they all come replete with their own toxins. And for that reason the American Lung Association is calling for stronger efforts to eliminate tobacco use completely, in any form.

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