4 MIN READ | Health Psychology

Millennials and Vaping: Health Risks and Unexpected Benefits

Christina Matthews

Cite This
Christina Matthews, (2018, March 11). Millennials and Vaping: Health Risks and Unexpected Benefits. Psychreg on Health Psychology. https://www.psychreg.org/vaping-risks-benefits/
Reading Time: 4 minutes

With all the talk about millennials going on these days, it’s hard to distinguish and categorise all the quirks and values attributed to this generation. Being born into the digital world, this age group has different priorities and views than the older generation: Some things they improve, others they disregard.

The origin of this desire to understand what millennials are up to is fairly clear, since they are both a product of the modern world and the force, pushing it forward.

While predicting what the world is moving towards might be a rather complex and challenging task, some trends come through clearly enough to expect them to stick around for a while. The two main tendencies these days seem to be leading a healthy lifestyle and mass digitalisation.

People learn better self-care, watch their eating habits and receive pacing recommendations from their AI- powered coach during their morning run. It’s only natural that with the course of time, conventional cigarettes will give way to vaporisers.

A brief history of vaping

Discussions on what the modern best vape mod (resource) is or what e-liquid to choose may still sound new to some ears, but vaping isn’t an entirely modern phenomenon. People in ancient Egypt were heating oils and herbal solutions to inhale the vapour. Hundreds of years ago, the first shisha, which we know today as a hookah, was invented in India to vape tobacco and cannabis.

In 1927, Joseph Robinson came up with an electronic cigarette that later served as a blueprint for contemporary vapes. He called his invention a ‘mechanical butane ignition vaporiser, and it was supposed to work as a device to heat various medicinal compounds and produce vapour for inhalation. Robinson went as far as to patent it, but he didn’t bring the technology to market, and it went unnoticed.

Vaping reappeared in the early 60s when Herbert Gilbert set a goal of creating a cigarette that wouldn’t need combustion. He used a heating device, powered by a battery, to vaporise various flavoured liquids. It worked like a charm, and Gilbert patented his invention, although he didn’t manage to make it popular at the time.

Vaping reappeared in the early 60s.

The real breakthrough happened in the early 2000s when a pharmacist from China named Hon Lik lost his father to lung cancer. Lik, who was a heavy smoker at that time as well, decided to quit but chose an alternative approach and instead of giving up smoking completely, he eventually invented an electronic cigarette. With the help of his employer, Hon Lik introduced his invention to Europe in 2006. It was successfully commercialised, and its popularity is still growing.

Does vaping have any health benefits?

These days, vaping is frequently adopted as a substitute for smoking to reduce the majority of health risks associated with combustible cigarettes. Some people make the transition as a part of their journey to become completely smoke-free. So is vaping actually safer for you?

The short answer is yes. Vaporisers produce inhalable vapour by heating e-liquids at temperatures lower than the point of combustion and effectively eliminate the necessity to interact with harmful substances, contained in cigarettes and cigarette smoke. Such vapour consists of the same elements that were present in the liquid prior to the heating, namely propylene glycol, food-grade flavouring, vegetable glycerin and sometimes nicotine. In addition, e-liquids can be nicotine-free.

At the same time, cigarette smoke contains tar, carbon monoxide, ammonia, cyanide, acetylene, and many other nasty chemicals that damage the respiratory system, cause cancer and contribute to the majority of smoking-related diseases. Besides, smokers expose others to extremely harmful second hand tobacco smoke, which doesn’t happen with vaporisers.

While the benefits of vapes are still debatable, it’s been determined that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking. Studies are conducted to find out why vapes are so appealing to the public, what risks they pose and whether they can bring medical benefits to those striving to quit smoking.

Still, vaping has its downsides. Nicotine contained in the vapour is addictive, and non-smokers may start experiencing withdrawal symptoms when they stop vaping after being exposed to it. Moreover, vaporisers look modern and stylish, which makes them more attractive to the youth and binds them to an image of a contemporary young adult. Vaping is popular, and many teens may be peer-pressured into trying it, which can later lead to nicotine addiction.

Is it cheaper to vape than to smoke?

While vaporizers may seem expensive, and they are definitely more costly than an ordinary pack of cigarettes, it is, in fact, cheaper to vape than smoke. People reported spending from $200 to $500 on cigarettes per month, depending on how often they smoked. A vape mod, on the other hand, is a long-lasting device that requires an initial investment and only about $40 per month for e-liquids.

Throw in cotton for rewicking and replacement batteries, and the cost can rise to $57. While vaping is definitely more financially efficient than smoking, some rather shocking numbers can be seen in the world of vaporisers as well. The lowest prices for vape mods begin at $40 and keep rising all the way up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The most expensive vape mod is Shisha Sticks Sofia, made exclusively for the girlfriend of a Russian billionaire. It’s decorated with gold, 246 two-karat crystal diamonds and 46 yellow Swarovski crystals, and has a stunning price of $887,000.

Another vape mod that costs what most people consider a small fortune is SX350J Dual Mod 18650 by Magic Valley Vapors, made with a 3D printer. It sits in second place in the list of the most expensive vaping devices, costing $109,000.

What will happen to the vaping trend over the years?

Despite the controversy around vaping, the global vape market is currently worth approximately $22.6 billion, and this number is predicted to reach $43 billion by 2023. Therefore, it is likely that more and more people will be striving to turn vaping into a business through opening vape shops, creating new e-liquids, advertising or reviewing vaping products on YouTube and blogging. It is also possible that the majority of current smokers will shift from conventional cigarettes to vaporisers to reduce health risks.


Christina Matthews, the journalist who studies the latest news in the health industry. Now she studies the effects of smoking and vaping on health and reasons of such its popularity.


 


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