- 04 Jan
- SMOKO E-Cigarettes
Public Health England Releases a new video which illustrates the effects of cigarettes vs. E-Cigarettes.
A new year means New Year's resolutions, and one of the most common resolutions is to quit smoking. E-cigarettes seem like the obvious choice for these smokers looking to quit, but many of the 6 million smokers left in the UK are sceptical.
Even though Public Health England (PHE) has stated that “E-Cigarettes are 95% less harmful than cigarettes” for over 3 years now, many people who smoke still don't believe it.
To try and fix this and get more smokers to consider e-cigarettes as an alternative PHE released a video to show the effects of smoking vs. E-Cigarettes, and how terrible cigarettes are for your body.
For those who didn't watch the video, the experiment was designed to illustrate how much tar and chemicals build up in your lungs after only 1 month of smoking vs. 1 month of vaping.
For the average smoker in the UK that equates to 11 cigarettes a day or 320 cigarettes (16 packs) a month. For the e-cigarette they ran it for the same amount of time to show the difference.
The actual experiment was done by filling two bell jars full of cotton wool and connecting them up to a pump which would draw air consistently.
On one bell jar they attached cigarettes, and the other the e-cigarette. The pump drew air through both and simulated smoking and vaping. The smoke and vapour was drawn into the bell jars and the cotton absorbed it. This was meant to represent what your lungs absorb every month from cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
Even when you know what is going to happen the results are truly shocking! The bell jar with cigarette smoke is just filled with tar, even clogging up the tubes which brought the smoke into the jar.
The sheer amount of tar and chemicals that are soaked into the cotton is astounding, especially when you realise that this was only a month!
Credit: Sky News
In the image above you can see the stark contrast between what smoke and vapour does to your lungs. The e-cigarette vapour left virtually no visual residue on the cotton balls and only water vapour behind. Meanwhile the smoke soaked the cotton in tar and chemicals, enough of which that residue was dripping from some cotton balls!
What Does This Mean?
This may be disgusting, but what does it tell us? We all know tar stains, you only have to look at a long time smoker's teeth or fingers to find that out.
What the experiment shows is how much tar and residue can build up in our lungs after only 1 month and what it is doing to our body. But even though the cotton balls covered in tar is the most obvious effect of this experiment what is really telling is all the residue left over on the cotton balls.
This is because this residue is a realistic visualisation of how tar destroys your lungs. Tar initially coats and then soaks into your lung cells (cilia) which can paralyse or completely destroys the cells. Once the tar has done this to the cells at the top of your lungs, the tar covers them completely and then the excess moves further into your lungs to do even more damage.
The tar did the same thing here, it soaked into the cotton ball until it was saturated and once the cotton couldn't absorb any more the tar flowed down to find deeper cotton balls.
If in this experiment replicates a lung, the cotton balls would be the cillia, and it only took a month for them to become covered in tar.
For cotton balls this just means that they got dirty, but when this happens to lungs this spells disaster. The top level lung cells (cillia) are designed to catch and clean, but as you get deeper into the lungs you get to the parts of the lung which take in the air and circulate it around the body.
When these deeper lung cells get clogged with tar is when you start getting into lung cancer and other respiratory diseases. It also is the reason why smokers have short breath and tight chests, as the tar is literally stopped your lungs working.
But tar isn't just dangerous because of what it does to your lungs, it is also the carrier for all the chemicals. Tar is what carries the majority of the carcinogens in cigarette smoke, and as the tar seeps into your lungs it spread those chemicals into your lungs and around your body.
How E-Cigarettes are Better than Cigarettes
The picture of the two bell jars starkly shows how little e-cigarette vapour actually effect you.
There was barely any change in the cotton balls in the e-cigarette bell jar, with every ball but one being completely unaffected. And even the ball which was affected was barely changed.
The video doesn't explain what it is, but as e-cigarettes only contain four ingredients (propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavouring and nicotine) it would have to be one of the those four ingredients.
Hopefully smokers who want to quit but have heard bad things about e-cigarettes will see this video and not only see how terrible smoking is for them, but how much better e-cigarettes are as well.
Dr Lion Shahab, from University College London, who appears in the video, backed this up saying: “The false belief that vaping is as harmful as smoking could be preventing thousands of smokers from switching to e-cigarettes to help them quit...
Research we and others have conducted shows that vaping is much less harmful than smoking and that using e-cigarettes on a long-term basis is relatively safe, similar to using licensed nicotine products, like nicotine patches or gum. Using e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement such as patches or gum will boost your chances of quitting successfully.”
So if you smoke and believed that e-cigarettes were as bad as smoking – hopefully this has shed some light on what your favourite habit is doing to your lungs.
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