Let me start this off saying this is all purely opinion based, please do not take anything as medical advice as I am not a doctor. I do not advocate for tobacco or nicotine consumption, I am simply telling you my personal experience with the two methods of nicotine consumption.
I smoked for just shy of a decade. I smoked a pack a day or more for most of that time and I can tell you that decade has really damaged my body. I had the “smoker cough” for the last couple years of my time with cigarettes, I would sometimes cough up blood and I always had mucus stuck in my throat. All in all, the side effects were incredibly gross.
The social side of smoking was often really fun though, I met a lot of people and had a lot of great conversations in smoke pits. The downside of smoking became more apparent as I hung out with non-smokers. I realized how much of an inconvenience my habit could be, especially when going on dates with Ryan when we started dating. We would be driving in my car and he couldn’t put his drink into the holder because my drink and ash tray took the two cup holders. When we were walking downtown I would want a cigarette and I would often not be done my cigarette as we were coming up to our destination, so he would wait in the Alberta cold winter for me to finish my smoke. I smoked in my home and more than once I burned holes into my pants. As we had more people in my home, I realized how much all of our non-smoker friends disliked the smell, but being in my home, they couldn’t really say anything about it. I started smoking on my balcony when people were over to make them more comfortable, which isolated me from my guests.
Now I realize I just threw a lot of negative points about cigarette smoking, and that’s because there isn’t a lot of benefits to it, and that’s coming from a smoker. Aside from the social aspect to smoking, there isn’t much good about it.
Onto vaping. When I switched to vaping, I started with Salt Nic, which I used with very low voltage and didn’t have the big cloud of vapour. I moved from 60ml to 3ml in a couple months and within a month or so my smoker cough and blood coughing stopped. I stopped having to make Ryan wait for me to go anywhere, I stopped burning holes in my pants but new issues came up. I have to wash my windows in my office at least once a week because the residue from the vapour is sticky and clouds up my windows quickly. From my smoking lungs to my vaping lungs, I get winded more quickly now and my lungs burn faster when I’m doing stairs or working out. It certainly isn’t a “cheaper” option. Replacing modules, batteries, coils and broken glass costs a fair amount. The cloud of vapour that comes from my mouth certainly fills a room quickly and if I’m absentmindedly using it, I’ll look up and realize I can’t clearly see the door across the room. The residue sticks to everything in my home, no surface is safe and my curtains feel disgusting within a couple weeks. Health-wise I haven’t felt a lot of side effects aside from a shortness of breath, but I have only been vaping for about a year and half. I originally thought I would be able to ween myself off of nicotine using a vape, but I have failed every time I have tried. I don’t personally believe vaping is a method of quitting smoking, I believe its a way of not taking smoke into your lungs to get nicotine.
I should say I used chewing tobacco for many years and chewed nicotine gum this summer, so I am pretty well versed in the immediate side effects of nicotine intake methods. Chewing tobacco obviously meant spitting often, which as you can imagine is not a socially acceptable thing to do. The gum hurt my teeth like you wouldn’t believe and gave me terrible heartburn.
So is vaping better than smoking? In my opinion, yes. I don’t smell like cigarettes, I don’t make Ryan wait for me, my car smells nice again. I don’t burn holes into my pants and I don’t wake up coughing to the point I throw up. Vaping has health risks, so I won’t ever say it’s a “safe way to smoke”, but in my experience, it has been an improvement in my quality of life.