The effects of tobacco have been praised by human beings for millennia. Used for bartering and ceremonies by Indigenous cultures for millenia, it became popular globally once Europeans got a hold of it.

After the industrial revolution, cigarettes began to be mass-produced and mass-marketed, allowing smoking to become a popular habit. But it wasn’t until the 1940s that people scientifically proved the link between smoking cigarettes and lung, throat, and mouth cancers. While cigarette use declined sharply after the studies were made public, they are still popular today.

People have been trying to invent a way around the harmful effects of tobacco while still accessing nicotine's pleasurable effects. Vaping is not a new concept. The very first vaporizer patent was filed in 1923, though they didn’t become commercially successful until 2003.

It seemed like the air was clear for smokers, who could now buy vape pens online in Canada. But, are vaporizers all they’re cracked up to be? Are they really safer than smoking cigarettes?

What Are Vaporizers and How Do They Work?

The whole concept of using a vaporizer is heating the product (whether it be tobacco or cannabis) to the point that the desired compounds are vaporized without actually burning the plant matter. This spares the lungs the carcinogenic effects of inhaling burnt material that often lead to health conditions like chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and cancer.

Some vaporizers resemble smoking devices (like cigarettes, cigars, or even pipes), while others look like pieces of modern technology (which they are!). Also known as e-cigarettes, vapes, or vape pens, they consist of four main parts: a cartridge or reservoir for loading with the material of choice, a heating element, a power source (typically a battery), and a mouthpiece through which the vapour is inhaled.

Some need to be turned on and pre-heated prior to smoking; others can just be drawn upon and inhaled instantly. There are disposable pens or more environmentally-friendly rechargeable devices that you can load yourself.

Once the material is packed into the reservoir (or the cartridges are loaded), the battery powers the heating element. It reaches a temperature that heats the material to a point without burning it; the vapours can then be inhaled. It sounds benign, but is it any better than smoking a cigarette when it comes to nicotine?

Health Risks from Smoking Tobacco

Once you start smoking tobacco, it can be challenging to stop. Commercially produced cigarettes and tobacco are drenched in all kinds of ominous, addicting chemicals to keep users using. The effects of nicotine help some people deal with anxiety, depression, boredom, or loneliness — but only in the short term. It is physiologically and psychologically addicting, and very hard to quit for most people.

Smoking tobacco, be it cigarettes or pouch tobacco, is proven to be hard on the entire body. Smoking is the leading cause of premature death in Canada and is directly linked to life expectancy. The risk of heart disease and strokes double for smokers, and almost all lung cancer patients are smokers. The list of cancer types from smoking is long and inclusive.

Health Effects from Smoking Cannabis

Most people who are keen on smoking weed tend to deny that marijuana has any adverse effects. While it is definitely less hard on the body than tobacco, it’s not entirely without its dangers.

In the short term, smoking excessive marijuana can affect short-term memory, attention, and mood. Paranoia and anxiety are common side-effects of consuming marijuana, but they generally wear off with the high. Increased heart rate can also cause issues among individuals who have pre-existing heart conditions and is something to be aware of.

There is no evidence of marijuana having any of the life-altering negative effects that tobacco does in the long run. Limited studies note that heavy marijuana use can lead to a lowered IQ over time. Scarring to the lung tissues can occur with prolonged smoking (of anything), increasing the user's risk of inflammation, mucus build-up, and chronic coughs or bronchitis. The risk of marijuana users developing lung cancer is very low.

One thing to note, and possibly the most important, about the negative effects of marijuana users is age. The human brain doesn’t reach full maturity until the age of 25.

Chronic marijuana use before the brain is fully developed has been linked to changes in the structure and function of the brain. The endocannabinoid system (responsible for maintaining homeostasis in the body) is also undeveloped in adolescents. Tampering with this system has potential adverse effects in the long term, though studies of marijuana on the human brain are limited.
Is It Better to Vape Than To Smoke?

When you think about buying vape pens online in Canada, you probably do so with marijuana in mind. Vaping weed has skyrocketed in popularity for users around the world. Whether they’re packing it with nifty outdoor homegrown grass or professionally grown organic Rock Star bud, marijuana users appreciate vaporizers for many reasons.

Not only is vaporizing cannabis easier on the throat and lungs, but it’s also smoother, less odorous, and more discreet. Another big perk most tokers can appreciate is being able to vape in the wind - no more watching your weed blow out the bowl of your pipe or duelling with flames in a breeze to get your doobie burning.

All of the health effects of cannabis still apply to vaporizing, with the exception of lung damage - the effects don’t disappear completely but are greatly reduced. Ultimately, though, the benefits of smoking cannabis outweigh the risks.

On the other hand, vaping tobacco is proving to be just as, if not more, dangerous than smoking cigarettes. Because the cartridges are nicotine concentrates, a lot of the damage that is typically cumulative from smoking cigarettes is accelerated.

Elevated levels of formaldehyde in the concentrates put users at an even higher risk of developing cancer. In short, the fact that many of these toxic compounds exist in concentrated form in the nicotine cartridges, there is no reason to assume that they are safer or more healthy than smoking a traditional cigarette.

Should You Do The Switcheroo from Nicotine to Weed?

If switching to a vaporizer for marijuana interests you, the biggest takeaway for safety is to use official products. Many of the deaths and dangers associated with vaporizers were traced back to black market products.

You can buy vape pensonline in Canada here, knowing you’re purchasing safe and reliable cannabis products.

If you’re looking to find a safer alternative to cigarettes, the best thing you can do is quit. There’s no two ways about it: consuming tobacco products is very hard on your body and will reduce your life expectancy. Check out your local medical clinic for pamphlets and advice to quit smoking to make your life a longer and healthier one.

Author's Bio: 

Jacob is an experienced cannabis content writer who writes on various cannabis health-related topics. Visit Top BC Cannabis to learn more about marijuana's effects and benefits.