90% of the world's data was generated in the last two years. Many try to deny it, but technology is advancing faster than ever.
Products that used to be relevant in the past are now becoming obsolete. If a product is bad for the environment, dangerous, or even just inconvenient, it will most likely get replaced when technology advances.
So, if we can admit that many things are dying out now — like gasoline vehicles — can't we also admit that the day of combustible tobacco has passed?
This article will walk you through the argument of e-cigarettes vs. tobacco.
What Is Combustible Tobacco?
To understand the argument better, it's first important to understand what combustible tobacco is.
Combustible tobacco refers to any smoking products that you burn to consume, including cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, and hookah. This is important to remember because combustible tobacco products cause many different effects on the body than non-combustible products like dip, chew, dissolvable, snuff, suss, and, most importantly e-cigarettes.
Many people like to equate cigarettes and e-vapes with each other, but the comparison doesn't work. Though vapes are modeled after cigarettes, a cigarette has much more in common with a cigar than it does with a vape.
Essentially, combustible tobacco is used to describe tobacco at its most harmful. When your parents, grandparents, priest, teacher, or news reporter warned you about the dangers of tobacco, they did not mean the plant, as it's found in the wild, they meant combustible tobacco.
Now that you understand the difference between combustible and non-combustible tobacco, let's get into the meat of the argument.
The Heart of the Battle
The heart of the battle is found in the e-cig/vape industry coming in and disrupting the big tobacco companies' previous undisputed control over smoking products. Tobacco has been used by humans for as long as 8,000 years, and many of the tobacco companies that manufacture the most popular cigarettes are hundreds of years old.
The tobacco companies have fought against the media and the government since 1964 when it was announced by the U.S. surgeon general that cigarettes can cause cancer. They've faced a lot of adversity, but they have a lot of money to spare, so they're pretty good at hanging around.
When vape products came in and started doing well, they disrupted the tobacco industry. A disruptor is a term used to describe a company or form of technology that brings a sea change into an industry due to significant innovation. A great example of a disruptor is Uber, which revolutionized the business of taking a taxi so much that many former taxi drivers now drive Ubers.
Why did the e-cig business interrupt the tobacco industry? For years, if somebody wanted to get past the negative side-effects of combustive tobacco, they had to quit smoking. The e-cig business allowed smokers to simply switch over to more healthy vapes.
But that's not all. Many young people vape. Now, people get into vaping without ever having smoked combustible tobacco in the first place.
This is not recommended for young people. However, you can see how it would disturb the big tobacco companies. Their customers are being swiped right out from under them.
Supporters of big tobacco are quick to point out the health risks of e-cigarettes. If they're dangerous as well, what's the point in disturbing a long-standing industry?
So what is the point? Well, let's dive further into the argument.
E-Cigarettes vs Tobacco
So when it comes down to it, what are the big differences between e-cigarettes and tobacco? First of all, is the makeup.
Vapor juice is made up of water, nicotine, flavorings, and propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin — two chemicals approved for use in foods by the FDA. Cigarettes are made up of tobacco, a filter, paper wrapping, and chemical additives.
So which combination is better? Well, for health purposes, e-cigarettes. There are some harmful chemicals found in certain vapes, like diacetyl. But that's nothing in comparison to the 7,000 chemicals found in cigarettes.
And yes, of those chemicals, over 100 are toxic.
That's not all when it comes to harmful effects though.
Vapes have proven to lead to lung damage, the release of free radicals in the body, a weakened immune system, and a delay in the brain function of teens/children. Tobacco has been proven to cause most of these effects as well, with the added negatives of reducing sperm count, increasing the risk of pregnancy loss, and increasing the risk of stroke.
And then there's cancer.
Cancer is a horrible affliction — potentially the biggest enemy of medical science today. No matter how many tries we try to cure it we just can't seem to get it right. If you want to stay away from cancer, you can't risk getting it and waiting around for a cure; you have to avoid carcinogens.
Cigarette smoking is the number one risk factor for lung cancer. What other product you know available to the market is the number one risk factor to something so awful?
The final argument is simple logic. People already know the negative effects of cigarettes. They use e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking tobacco — how many people have you heard of smoking tobacco to cure themselves of a vape addiction?
E-cigarettes are a much safer option than combustible tobacco products. That's a fact, no matter how you slice it. Combustible tobacco has been around for years, but it's time to embrace the future.
Many older people might have problems with this. That's no surprise. Older generations have always clashed with technological changes.
The point is that we cannot let reactionary thinking stop us from bettering our health. For years we've been told that smoking is bad for us. Now we know the truth; it isn't smoking, it's combustible tobacco.
For more information on e-cigarette products, check out our section on devices.