Smoking vs. Vaping: This Is How They Affect Your Body

When it comes to the argument of smoking vs. vaping, the one that wins is often just the lesser of two evils.

Vaping, unlike smoking, involves the inhalation of vapourized e-cigarette liquid consisting of water, nicotine, a base of propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin and occasionally, flavouring. The lack of smoke inhalation is what leads many e-cigarette users to believe vaping is a safer alternative to smoking.

For years, doctors and scientists have noted a strong correlation between cigarette smoke and cancer, stating that smoking changes cells in the lungs, leading to lung cancer. Smoking is also associated with respiratory and cardiovascular disease. The reason, experts explain, is that cigarette smoke contains toxic chemicals like cyanide, benzene, formaldehyde, methanol, acetylene and ammonia, not to mention tar, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide.

But while vaping doesn't include that toxic smoke, its e-liquid has experts on the fence too. Since e-cigarettes were only developed in 2003, it's hard to say what longterm effects might occur after prolonged use. Still, we know the liquid from e-cigarettes often includes propylene glycol. That chemical, which is also used to create theatrical smoke, has been known to irritate eyes and cause respiratory infections.