Is vaping and smoking equally bad?


Smoking and vaping each carry different negative health consequences that significantly affect overall health, particularly the lungs and endothelial cells of the body which are crucial for vascular health. While the direct effects of inhaling smoke or vapor are distinct, both smoking and vaping can lead to decreased cognitive capacity, increased probability of strokes, severe lung function impairment, peripheral neuropathies, and reproductive damage. Additionally, vaping, in particular, can be harder to quit than smoking because of the rapidity of the onset of dopamine release which makes it highly habit-forming and can have distinctly negative health effects that differ from those of smoking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.

Negative Health Effects

Andrew discusses the negative health effects of smoking and vaping, regardless of whether it's tobacco or cannabis. Smoking and vaping have severe negative health consequences on the lungs and endothelial cells, which can lead to decreased cognitive capacity, strokes, and sexual dysfunction.

Huberman Lab

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Here are some key points made by and guest regarding the risks associated with smoking and vaping:

  • Both smoking and vaping impair the function of endothelial cells, but vaping brings about some unique and severe negative health effects beyond those associated with smoking.
  • Vaping can lead to a much faster increase in blood concentrations of nicotine, enhancing its habit-forming potential and leading to an alarming rise in vaping among young people.
  • While smoking introduces a significant number of toxins and carcinogens like tar, ammonia, formaldehyde, and carbon dioxide into the body, the full impact of the specific chemical constituents of vapes on health is also concerning.
  • There might be a somewhat lower dose-related exposure to harmful substances in cannabis smoking compared to cigarette smoking due to different consumption patterns, but neither is free from risk.
  • If nicotine is the desired substance, there are alternative methods of consumption like lozenges and gum that are less harmful than both vaping and smoking cigarettes 1.

It is clear that both practices are harmful to health and, whenever possible, should be avoided or quit with the help of alternative methods or professional support.