Is Vaping Safer than Smoking Cigarettes?

Woman Holding Electronic CigaretteElectronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, have become very popular. An e-cigarette is a product made to replace cigarettes. It often has three parts:

  • A base with a battery.
  • A liquid cartridge or tank.
  • A heating unit inside the cartridge or tank.

E-cigarettes are marketed as the “safe” new choice to common cigarettes. The truth is, most e-cigarettes have nicotine, the habit-forming drug in cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.

What is vaping?

Vaping is the act of breathing in a vapor through the mouth from a battery-powered device. The device (e-cigarette, cigar, pipe) has a metal coil that heats up and converts an e-liquid into vapor. The term vaping is used because e-cigarettes do not produce smoke, rather an aerosol that is often confused for water vapor. The vapor is made up of fine particles that have different levels of toxic chemicals. The toxins have been linked to cancer, lung and heart disease.1

Is vaping an option to quit smoking?  

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not found any e-cigarette to be a safe choice in helping smokers quit. And e-cigarettes are not approved by the FDA as a quit smoking aid. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force is a group of health experts that gives advice about preventive health care. They deduced that there was not enough evidence to advise e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.2

What are the risks?

The main component of e-cigarettes is its e-liquid or “vape juice”. To create vape juice, nicotine is taken from tobacco and mixed with a base (mostly propylene glycol). To increase consumer appeal, flavors and colors are added. But these elements have chemicals, such as formaldehyde and acrolein, which can cause long-lasting lung damage.3

In 2016, the Surgeon General found that secondhand e-cigarette vapor contains:

  • Nicotine.
  • Very fine particles that can be inhaled deep into the lungs.
  • Diacetyl, a chemical linked to severe lung disease.
  • Volatile compounds, which are found in car exhaust.
  • Heavy metals, such as nickel, tin, and lead.4

Danger for all ages

E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco products among kids. It’s become an epidemic. Though studies about the long-term effect of e-cigarettes continue, there is growing information about the health risks of e-cigarettes on the lungs. This includes severe lung damage and lung disease.5

People vaping aren’t the only ones being harmed. Bystanders can also breathe in the vapor when a nearby user exhales it into the air. There have also been cases where faulty e-cigarette batteries have caught fire or exploded, causing severe injuries.In some cases, children and adults have been poisoned. They have either swallowed, breathed in, or absorbed e-cigarette liquid through their skin or eyes.7

Quit for life

The Quit For Life Program can help give you the help to quit!

Quit Coaches are trained and ready to help you defeat nicotine addiction for any type of tobacco use. Together, you’ll map out a quit plan that’s right for you. Plus, your coach will give you proven ways to:

  • Manage your cravings.
  • Handle social settings.
  • Avoid being tempted.

Every one-on-one coaching session gives you the skills and support you need to quit for good. You’ll receive coaching over the phone and other tools designed to help you stay tobacco-free, 24/7, including:

  • A step-by-step Quit Guide to help you throughout your quit process.
  • Advice about nicotine substitutes and medications to help you.
  • Text2Quit, a texting service that sends you updates, tips and support.
    (Text2Quit is not covered for Medicare members.)
  • A website with an eLearning page, community chat room and access to a Quit Coach
    via email.

Enjoy the benefits of quitting tobacco for good. Live tobacco free!

Enroll in the Quit For Life® program today!

Call 1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE (1-866-784-8454) or visit to enroll online.

Eligibility for Health Net members
The Quit For Life program is available for Commercial, Medicare, Cal MediConnect, and Affordable Care Act (ACA) members who are ages 18 and above.


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Center on Addiction. (2019). What is vaping. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). About electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). Retrieved from

3,5 American Lung Association. (2019). E-cigarettes. Retrieved from e-cigarettes-and-lung-health.html

4,6,7 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Quick facts on the risks of e-cigarettes for kids, teens, and young adults. Retrieved from




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Gabriel Padilla