The vaping industry is on track to be worth getting on for $50 billion by 2025. As cigarette smoking becomes more and more anti-social and unacceptable, smoking behaviour is being replaced by the e-cigarette.
It is no surprise that alongside this runs a steady decline in traditional cigarette smoking. A recent study funded by Cancer Research UK stated that between 2011 and 2018, the average monthly cigarette consumption fell by nearly a quarter, equating to around 118 million few cigarettes being smoked every month. Lead author of the report, Dr Emma Beard, stated that “The very recent trends in quitting rates, since 2013, support the idea that e-cigarettes may be contributing to a decline in the overall number of people smoking by helping smokers quit and there is no evidence at all that they are undermining progress in getting smoking rates down in young people.”
The history of the e-cigarette goes back to 1927, when the first prototype was filed by Joseph Robinson for a device used for the inhalation of ‘medicinal compounds’. Although this initial prototype was never taken any further, it was the precursor to future prototypes. The first one specifically aimed at using tobacco and nicotine was filed by Herbert Gilbert in 1963.
In 2003, Hon Lik, a Chinese man who wanted to continue pursuing his love of cigarettes without the dangerous elements created the first commercial e-cigarette. It consisted of an atomizer, battery, and a nicotine cartridge built into a plastic container.
And so a $50 billion industry was launched.
A key reason for this is the relative ‘safety’ of smoking an e-cigarette compared to the tradition cigarette. In 2015 the NHS produced a study that revealed that two out of three people who used e-cigarettes successfully quitted smoking. This was followed up by a report by Public Health England that stated the e-cigarettes are 95% safer than cigarettes and are an effective quitting aid.
Although it is generally accepted that vaping is not completely harmless, it is acknowledged that it does significantly less damage to your health than smoking.
A traditional cigarette contains about 6000 different toxic and cancerous chemicals which are released into the body every time you light up. Vaping is less toxic, and contains drastically fewer chemicals. The device itself is made up of three main components – the tank, which holds the e-liquid, the battery, and the vape coils. It is the coil that heats up the liquid and turns it into the vapour that you inhale. Because you are not inhaling smoke, there is a marked decrease in risk of long term issues such as throat cancer.
It is also reported that those who have swapped their traditional cigarettes for a vape have lower blood pressure, and a better sense of taste and smell within a month of changing.
The intrusion of vaping to others around you have also been reduced. Who can remember those days when smoking was permitted inside – walking into your local pub or bar you could smell the lingering aroma of tobacco from literally generations of smokers.
And while these days banished smokers are forced to huddle in groups in designated smoking zones, even outside the smell hangs around for hours. The vapour generated by an e-cigarette breaks down within seconds, has no lingering odour, and doesn’t cling to your clothes or hair.
Vaping may still have some degree of harmful elements to it, but there is little doubt that it has made a significant contribution to saving thousands of people from a much more harmful addiction to cigarettes and tobacco. For that we can be thankful.