Research Shows Vaping Dramatically Safer Than Smoking In This Important Way


In the face of rampant misinformation, second-hand vaping has actually been shown to be about 99% less dangerous than second-hand cigarette smoke.

It’s been a little over ten years since modern vaporizers first started to gain traction as a harm reduction and smoking cessation tool. In that time, governments around the world have worked to agree on the correct regulatory path forward. Despite encouraging statistics, many are worried about the full impact acceptance of vaping will have on our society, particularly the youth. As you can imagine, vaping laws have been continuously subject to change as the industry grows and politicians cycle. One common fear among legislators and parents is that second-hand vapor is just as dangerous as the now known toxic second-hand smoke. The only problem is, the research indicates this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Regardless, yet another new report has taken aim at second-hand vaping while failing even to give proper context about the danger of tobacco. The result is a misleading situation where smokers are led to believe the risk of vaping is virtually the same as smoking or any other “alternative tobacco product.” As such, a reduced number of smokers even understand what they stand to gain by attempting to make the switch. Ultimately we’re wasting the dramatic harm reduction and smoking cessation value of vaping in favor of anecdotally based fear.

No Comparison

Despite these calls for increased vaping regulation, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic as a vaper, especially in this particular fight. In fact, we already have clear and robust research which indicates second-hand vapor only has about 1% of the risk of second-hand smoke. This report, published in the BMJ Tobacco Control Journal, compared not only cigarette smoke with e-liquid vapor but also included the new heat-not-burn devices offered by companies like Philip Morris International. The researchers took 30 liters of the given aerosol, based on a calculated daily exposure amount, and pumped it into a controlled chamber. From here they were able to track and chart the levels of different toxicants and other substances found in the tested aerosol, keeping an eye out for anything exceeding the threshold of safety.

Once all the data was collected and analyzed, the researchers started to make some interesting conclusions. The vast majority of their analysis determined e-liquid vapor only presents about 1% of the risk that cigarette smoke does. When looking at the second-hand vapor from heat-not-burn devices, the results weren’t as dramatic, but they were still quite favorable. The team found the second-hand heat-not-burn vapor only to be around 10% the risk of e-liquid vapor. This news has emboldened longtime backers of the harm reduction value of vaping. That said, the fight is far from over even with our growing pile of peer-reviewed evidence.

Why Support Vaping?

Although it hasn’t proven to be much of a trump card yet, many still believe the key to winning the fight for vaping rights is more peer-reviewed evidence. We can already make a very compelling case for e-cigarettes. Starting with the general harm reduction value, we’ve known going back to 2015 that vaping is at least 95% safer than continued smoking thanks to a report by Public Health England. While this report is nearing five years old, we have much more recent reports which have reached the same sorts of conclusions. Just a few months back a team of researchers concluded the toxicants in smoke are about 93% higher than in e-liquid vapor. But if you’re really looking for the true extent of the harm reduction value, you’ll have to read the report from the Journal of Aerosol Sciences which found the excess lifetime cancer risk of a smoker is about 57,000 times higher than vapers from a similar background.

If we take a look deeper, we have a few other strong points to be made for vaping. Smoking continues to kill more people every year than any other preventable cause, but research indicates vaping could be a primary key to winning this fight. A team of researchers from the University of Louisville tested all the most common smoking cessation tools and methods to determine the best and ultimately concluded it was vaping with the best chances of working. Last, but certainly not least, is a report by Action on Smoking and Health of over 60,000 students which found only between 0.1% and 0.5% of non-smoking teens are ever vaping more than once or twice. Meaning even fewer can possibly be ending up smokers because of vaping.


It’s a real shame the mainstream media seems so preoccupied with the vaping industry. Without even realizing it, they’re giving a substantial helping hand to Big Tobacco by equating vaping and smoking. After all, if a smoker doesn’t understand all the benefits of vaping over smoking, why bother attempting to make the switch? If we ever want to end the tobacco epidemic for good, the best thing we can do is work to utilize vaping properly without putting teens at unnecessary risk. The more people who understand what vaping can offer, the easier this will be. So spreading positive information about e-cigarettes to the smokers in our lives is the biggest thing we can do to support the industry.

Are you shocked by how much safer second hand vaping is compared with smoke? Why did you choose vaping over smoking? What’s the best way to get others on board with the value of vaping? Let us know what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to check back here or join our Facebook and Twitter communities for more news and articles.

Dustin has been vaping for almost a decade. He found e-cigarettes in 2008 and quickly became drawn to them as an early adopter. He's been writing reviews ever since and has established himself as a well-versed authority on the subject.

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