There are some pretty nasty vaping myths floating around the Internet about vaping – myths that range from harmful to downright absurd. Let’s see if we can’t shine some light on them and debunk them.
Remember when everyone thought rock music was evil, and a gateway for everything from drug use to sex to devil worship? Or when everyone was convinced video games caused violent behavior? Let’s just say history repeats itself.
This time, clickbait journos and parental groups with nothing better to do have set their sights on vaping. Here are a few of the most frustrating, cringeworthy, and downright absurd vaping myths they’ve perpetuated. It’s high time we laid them to rest.
1. E-Cigarette Vapor Contains Formaldehyde
When you see someone puffing on a vape and exhaling cloud upon cloud of smoke, it’s not unreasonable to think they might be causing harm to the people around them. And a study from the New England Journal of medicine appears to confirm this with the claim that burning vape juice can create harmful levels of formaldehyde. Their claim isn’t inaccurate, mind you – provided you regularly smoke your vapes at 800 degrees Fahrenheit (for context, water boils at 212 degrees.)
So, yeah. This one’s absolutely bogus. It seems quite clear the ‘researchers’ in this case were pushing some kind of agenda.
2. Vaping Causes Popcorn Lung
Way back in August 2016, a bunch of clickbait sites hopped on the vape-hate bandwagon with claims that vaping causes a ‘horrible, incurable disease’ known as popcorn lung. Stay away from vapes, they warned, or you could DIE. A Harvard study said so, and because it’s Harvard it MUST be true, right?
The Harvard study referenced by these so-called ‘journalists’ only noted that the chemical diacetyl, which is commonly associated with popcorn lung, is present in e-cigarettes. It concluded that the risks of vaping should be explored through further research. That’s it.
Sure, vaping probably isn’t going to make you healthier. But I’d argue it’s no less healthy than drinking coffee or smoking shisha. It can harm you if you do it to excess, just like anything else.
3. Vaping Is A Gateway to Smoking
Let me paint a picture for you. You’ve got a really cool little vape that looks like an arcade cabinet. When you smoke it, it tastes (and smells) just like cotton candy. Someone sees you with that vape and offers you a cigarette.
Yes, I know it’s an absurd scenario – just bear with me.
Are you really going to smoke something that tastes like an ashtray in lieu of your vape? Probably not, right?
Honestly, the whole idea of a ‘gateway drug’ or ‘gateway pastime’ is pure hysteria. Most people I know who vape are either already smokers, or were smokers in the past. They use vaping as a means to quit.
While we’re at it, can we take a moment to talk about the idea that vapes are harmful because they contain nicotine? Nicotine is addictive, but it’s not a carcinogen. The same cannot be said of the thousands of other chemicals present in cigarette smoke.
4. Nobody Knows What’s Really In Vape Juice
“E-cigarettes are unregulated tobacco products,” claims Lung.org. “We don’t know for sure what’s in them. Studies have found toxic chemicals, including an ingredient used in antifreeze and formaldehyde.”
Where to start with this one? Maybe with the fact that organizations like the FDA have placed restrictive regulations on e-cigarettes for years? Or the fact that any vape juice worth buying will clearly list its ingredients on its packaging?
Look, I’m all for reducing the use of harmful tobacco products. But if we predicate campaigns dedicated to doing so on misinformation, we’re not going to get anywhere.
5. Vapes Can Cause Heart Disease
Lab tests carried out in 2017 by British American Tobacco found that while cigarette smoke inhibits the proper healing of wounds at 20% concentration, vape juice has no effect – even at 100% concentration and with twice as much nicotine present.
6. Vapes Are Part of Some Conspiracy By Big Tobacco
I’ve saved the weirdest for last – the notion that vapes are really just a tool being used by big tobacco to keep people smoking and buying their products. First off, the very idea of this myth shows a woeful misunderstanding of how the tobacco industry works. Ever since vaping has taken off, shares of major tobacco companies have dropped dramatically.
Some people have even gone so far as to say vaping is killing tobacco companies. And they’re not exactly wrong. If vapes are really a conspiracy perpetuated by big tobacco moguls, I sincerely question their understanding of the term.
Have you noticed how many of the myths about vaping rely on the fear of health problems? That’s no coincidence. Vaping is just the latest target being aimed at by people looking to make a quick buck on clickbait and misinformed individuals trying to fuel their outrage.
The anti-vape hysteria and vaping myths will pass in time, and they’ll move on to some new demon.
Alex Saez is a vaping enthusiast and content creator at MistHub, a top source for vapes, electronic cigarettes, mods, tanks, coils, e-juices, and accessories.