Although the research on vaping is still new, experts don’t think it’s a great way to quit smoking. Vaping still carries its own risks.

Some people may use vape products, or e-cigarettes, for smoking cessation. It’s common for some companies to advertise these products as healthier than traditional cigarettes and as a good way to step down as you quit smoking.

However, health risks linked to vaping include lung and immune system damage. Researchers don’t know the full extent of these risks yet, but health organizations such as the American Lung Association recommend avoiding vaping and sticking with traditional smoking cessation products.

Researchers have studied the health effects of smoking for decades. They’ve shared the connections between smoking and harm to the body.

But the facts on vaping are still relatively new. Vaping reduces the exposure to harmful chemicals but not to nicotine. This means people typically get less tobacco when they vape. It’s why some vape products claim to be safer and why some countries suggest vape products as nicotine replacements or step-down products.

Quitting smoking can always be a good idea for your health. It leads to a wide range of positive health effects. If vaping could help people achieve this goal, the benefits might outweigh the potential risks. However, current information on vaping as a smoking cessation aid is inconclusive.

Vaping products still contain habit-forming nicotine and other harmful chemicals.

Additionally, although experts don’t know for certain the long-term effects of vaping on health, research shows that vaping might cause:

Some people also experience immediate side effects from vaping, such as:

Tobacco vaping vs. cannabis vaping

Tobacco vaping typically leads to inhaling less tobacco than with traditional cigarettes. The opposite is generally true for cannabis vaping.

Research shows that people who vape cannabis, specifically THC, may experience stronger mind-altering effects than people smoking THC in other ways. The high that occurs while vaping cannabis also tends to occur faster than while using other smoking methods.

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Traditional cigarettes have more carcinogens than many vaping products, but that doesn’t mean vaping is safe. Right now, experts say that smoking causes cancer, at least 15 types.

Researchers haven’t linked vaping to cancer yet. But because vaping is newer, it’s impossible to say what the long-term effects of vaping might be, including cancer. This may change after experts perform further research.

A 2020 research review showed that vaping may be easier on the lungs than traditional smoking. Although vaping links to lung damage, the damage is less than that caused by cigarettes.

Other aids to quit smoking

It’s unclear whether vaping products can help people quit smoking. But smoking cessation options can be safe and beneficial. They include:

  • Nicotine gums: Chewing these gums can help reduce cravings. They allow people to start at a high strength and work their way down to a lower strength when they’re ready.
  • Nicotine patch: Using over-the-counter patches can help manage cravings. Typically, people use the patches for about 3 months, reducing patch strength every few weeks.
  • Nicotine lozenges: Consuming dissolvable tablet lozenges is a way to manage cravings quickly with a product people can take at any time.
  • Prescription medications: Taking prescribed medications like Chantix can be a great option for some people. You can talk with your doctor about these medications and whether they might be right for you.

You can read more about quitting smoking in this guide.

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Some companies often advertise vaping as healthier than traditional cigarettes, and people may use it as a smoking cessation aid. But although vaping contains less tobacco and less carcinogens, experts say it’s not safe.

Vaping is still new, and more research is necessary to understand its health effects fully, but research already links vaping to lung damage, an increased risk of cancer, and a weakened immune system. Traditional smoking cessation products, such as nicotine gums, patches, and lozenges, can be safer alternatives.