They’ve only been around for a decade, but the effects of the e-cig phenomenon can be seen on any high street. An estimated three million people in the UK are currently using e-cig technology, and the vast majority of them are former smokers.
Obviously, everyone knows of the link between smoking and cancer, but the general opinion amongst the public is that it’s more of a cause of lung cancer than breast cancer (as if that was a good thing). However, it’s been proven that smoking is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women. Not only that, but research has drawn a link between heavy passive smoking and an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
Furthermore, if you’re recovering from breast cancer and still choose to smoke, you’re increasing the complications from your treatment, make it more difficult to heal effectively from surgery and breast reconstruction, and run a higher risk of contracting blood clots when taking hormonal therapy medicine.
So, can vaping help avoid breast cancer? And does reaching for an e-cig carry risks of its own?
No established link between vaping and cancer – so far
The first thing that needs to be said that – while vaping and research on vaping is still in its relative infancy – there is a general consensus amongst health experts in the UK that vaping and e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking tobacco. There’s a very good reason for that: e-cigs reproduce a smoking experience which eliminates everything from that experience, bar the nicotine – which is the one thing that smokers actually want.
Nicotine may be the ‘addictive’ element in cigarettes, but – in the small doses found in tobacco and e-cig liquid – it’s not the element in a cigarette which causes damage. There are roughly 5,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, of which at least 70 have the potential to cause cancer: meanwhile, the average batch of e-cig liquid will contain Vegetable Glycerin (which is widely used in food products and toothpaste, Propylene Glycol (which produces the ‘smoke’), flavourings, and nicotine. And that’s it.
As all e-liquid components are currently regulated by the EU Tobacco Product Directive, which was revised last year to accommodate the rise of e-cigs, you can be assured that any liquid you buy over the counter is safe to use.
It’s far safer than smoking
While news stories pop up with regularity making claims about the dangers of vaping, there is still an overwhelming amount of evidence to prove otherwise – as can be seen in this recent rebuttal to the claim that nicotine in vaping can cause cancer.
Bottom line: if you can’t do without a nicotine fix, stepping away from tobacco and moving towards an artificial replacement is a highly recommended.