A recent article in Cosmopolitan has attracted attention. It spreads a lot of misinformation about vaping. For example, the report focuses on the recent surge in single-use items such as the Elf Bar and the Geek Bar. The article begins with a TikTok video of a doctor warning of the ‘dangers’ of using these new devices.
This doctor reported: “Smoking (apparently meaning vaping) an entire CAK is equivalent to about 48 to 50 cigarettes”. No offense, but this circumstance would only be approximate – if at all – if so-called ‘ultra light’ cigarettes were smoked, which have the lowest nicotine content. However, a CAK is equivalent to about 20 regular cigarettes.
Disposable e-cigarettes are designed to last much longer than a cigarette. The usual nicotine strength of 20mg divided over the 600 puffs is not nearly as strong as the Cosmopolitan article makes it out to be.
The report also cites a study that looked at vaping in the UK to back up its argument. The study on the use of e-cigarettes shows an increase in e-cigarette users – and this is exactly what was presented negatively, although this should be viewed positively in the context of the ‘smoking debate’. An increase in e-cigarette users means fewer people smoke. This is even supported by the cited study. It turned out that the main reason people vaped was to help them quit or prevent them from starting again. This derivation was on the first page of the study and should actually have been difficult to overlook by the creators.
Finally, the Cosmopolitan article rounds out your claims by linking to the NHS and British Lung Foundation support pages. However, had the editors of this article done their research properly, they would know that the NHS advocates vaping as a way of quitting smoking. Leading health authorities or experts with sound knowledge in Germany agree that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking. Although, as this article shows, too many people are totally unaware of it.
The CAK or other disposables help smokers quit
Instead of looking at any TikTok videos about it and its comments section, let’s take a look at what we actually know about vaping. The amount of money people can save by switching to vaping is a huge benefit. A household income study by ASH found that low-income households are more likely to smoke. All the more these costs burden the addiction factor. So savings when switching to vaping is arguably one of the main reasons. And not, as expected, the health aspects.
NHS statistics on smoking cessation services in England surveyed those using such support. They found that up to 74% of respondents use vaping products to help them quit. 38% thought it was just as harmful as smoking and 15% even thought it was more harmful. This shows once again the lack of information flow about vaping.
On the bright side, we at least want to believe that the intent of the Cosmopolitan article was to discourage teens from vaping. We support this message without ifs or buts. However, the approach of the article does not provide a balanced picture of the cited study. As a result, adult smokers may regrettably be put off vaping after reading this article and continue to smoke.
For example, the first page of the study states: “Almost a third of smokers mistakenly believe that vaping is more or as harmful as smoking”. Articles like Cosmo’s actually don’t help spread half-truths and misinformation. It would have been more responsible to also show the benefits of vaping for those who want to quit smoking, rather than making opinions.