Smoking: DON’T do it

How is smoking bad for your health?

Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Smoking also causes a wealth of respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and emphysema. Additionally, some chemicals cigarettes contain cause them to be highly addictive, which can translate into an even greater danger for anyone who uses them.

But what exactly to cigarettes contain? Here are some of their major components.

Image By: Valeria Robayo

 Smoking vs. Vaping: Is one worse than the other?

  Is vaping truly a safer alternative to smoking? Is this kind of cigarette intended to be just a temporary relief in the process of quitting? Is it less addicting? Here are the facts:

  Vaping is a term used to describe the act of smoking from electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs. These are handheld smoking devices which vaporize a flavored liquid. The smoker inhales the vapor through an opening in the e-cig, which often contains chemicals such as  nicotine, propylene glycol, formaldehyde, glycerine, and different flavorings- many of the components already present in regular cigarettes.

What effects do flavorings have on smokers?

Some of the flavorings found in these e-cigs can be just as dangerous as the other more well known chemicals. A buttery flavored chemical called diacetyl present in some e-cigs can cause a condition called “popcorn lungs”.

This is a disease that results in the obstruction of the smallest airways in the lungs, the bronchioles, and can cause coughing and irreversible scarring of the lungs. The symptoms can start gradually, or appear suddenly. These flavorings are often advertised as being classified by the FDA as safe to consume, but one factor is not taken into account. These compounds may be safe to eat, but not to inhale.

Is vaping safer than regular smoking?


According to WebMD and Kenneth Warner, a tobacco policy researcher at the University of Michigan, e-cigs are about 80%- 85% less dangerous than regular cigarettes. Despite this however, the level of risk each person has for diseases like lung cancer, mental damage, and addiction is still significant.

Does vaping help smokers quit?


The American Heart Association says e-cigs should be used to quit smoking only as a last resort. Additionally, the Food and Drug Association (FDA) has not approved any e-cig company’s method or plan for making e-cigs a possible option for people looking to quit smoking. Lastly, the American Lung Association has expressed extreme disapproval towards using e-cigs for this purpose. All in all, vaping is not a good way to go if you are wanting to stop smoking.  

  It is an undisputed fact that smoking is one of the worst things a person can do to their health. In the past decades, it has become increasingly socially unacceptable to be seen smoking, and the amount of people still keeping up the habit has decreased significantly. However, for those few who are still debating whether to smoke, or who have already started, I urge you to reconsider. The cons considerably outweigh the pros in the world of smoking, and the consequences that will result will last an entire lifetime.  

This GIF above shows the difference in performance between a healthy lung, and a smoker’s lung. Be aware, however, that smoking does not actually make lungs become black. This lung has been dyed black so it can be observed and differentiated with more ease.