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If you’re tired of standing outside in the cold and are a bit worried about all that tar in your lungs, a vape pen (or e-cigarette) – the hype of the moment – seems the ideal outcome.

If you are considering making the switch, read carefully first. Then you at least know what the benefits are, but also the risks. It is always better not to (e-)smoke.


Let’s start with the most important thing: your health. Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes is very unhealthy. If you think stopping immediately is too big a step, smoking flavored vapor already feels a lot healthier than inhaling tobacco.

However, that is unfortunately not entirely true. Although you do not inhale harmful substances such as tar by smoking an e-cigarette, there are still plenty of other toxic substances released. This is evident from research by the RIVM. The harmful substances in e-cigarettes include nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerol, aldehydes, nitrosamines and metals. Inhaling this can cause irritation and damage to the airways, palpitations and an increased risk of cancer.

RIVM’s research is based on the substances contained in the vapor that users inhale, but later this year research will be conducted into the effects of the substances released when exhaling and what this does for bystanders. For example, some of the above-mentioned harmful substances are only created when evaporating.



Still, ‘vaping’ is less unhealthy than smoking cigarettes, but the NVWA says in response to the research that e-cigarettes – both with and without nicotine – are so unsafe that you should not use them for a long time and on a structural for the best e cigarettes online. If you do not use it very often and, for example, as an aid to quit smoking, the risks are limited, according to the NVWA. Although this would perpetuate your smoking addiction, which is also not healthy in the long run. If you do want to vape, the least ‘unhealthy’ option is an e-cigarette without nicotine.



When we talk about the benefits of vaping over cigarette smoking, you can think of several things. This way it smells a lot less and sometimes even smells nice when you smoke a flavored e-cigarette. Yellow fingers and yellowed teeth are also a thing of the past and it reduces the cigarette mess on the street.

You can smoke in several places (inside) if you don’t bother others, although there are a number of public areas where vaping is prohibited. Unfortunately, being able to smoke indoors means that you may take a hit more often, which is a lot worse. But you often smoke fewer normal cigarettes (if you smoked before), which reduces the intake of many other harmful substances. Oh, and you don’t need an ashtray.



In addition, a short study from the University of Dundee found that in people who smoked at least 15 cigarettes a day for two years, one month after they started smoking e-cigarettes, the arterial walls of blood vessels in the arm were relaxed. This is beneficial for heart function and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This probably has nothing to do with the effect of the e-cigarette, but only with stopping smoking normal cigarettes.

What is also useful is that you can decide for yourself how much nicotine you want to ingest. This is great when you want to get rid of your addiction. The RIVM does warn that the composition of the many types of e-liquid in the Netherlands and the vapor that is released often differ greatly. “Sometimes the amounts of nicotine found in the liquid do not match the levels stated on the packaging.” So keep that in mind.



How much you spend on vaping compared to smoking regular cigarettes is very different. It primarily depends on how much you smoke and what type of e-cigarette you use.

For example, there are ‘disposable’ vapes (it contains a battery, so you can’t throw it in the trash) on the market that can take an average of five hundred hits. These cost about six to seven euros. There are also kits that you can purchase for a few bucks, after which you only have to pay for refills and batteries. Please note: these e-cigarettes do not last forever, so you will eventually have to buy a new one.

If you smoke an average of one pack a day – a pack of twenty cigarettes costs around eight euros – you smoke about as much with a two-milliliter vape as a one to two packs of cigarettes. But it can, depending on the amount of nicotine you’ve chosen, that you want to hit more often than usual to feel satisfied, making a vape last shorter than that. So it depends very much on many different factors, such as the price of your refillable e-cigarette and the refills, how much you save.



That said, we still don’t recommend smoking or long-term vaping. In addition to the health risks it poses, you’ll save a lot more money if you quit than if you just vaped. For example, the AD wrote that if you smoke a pack a day, you will lose about three thousand euros annually.

In addition, the premium of a term life insurance policy is lower if you do not smoke, which can save you about 320 euros per year. Comparison site Independer reports that the average term of such an insurance policy is fifteen years, which means that you can save a total of 4800 euros.