The top 7 prominent vaping myths debunked

The top 7 prominent vaping myths debunked
The top 7 prominent vaping myths debunked. Image source: Pixabay

There’s no smoke in vaping

Scientific evidence continues to demonstrate that vaping is less harmful than smoking.  Despite the evidence, vaping continues to be plagued by misinformation and disinformation, with many headlines claiming that vaping is just as bad or worse than smoking – a myth.

“We accept that vaping is not without risk, but it is a potentially less harmful alternative to smoking. What we cannot afford to do is to unduly stymy this technological innovation that can be the single most effective tool to move smokers away from their deadly addiction to cigarettes. We have a collective responsibility to share correct information about vaping and other less harmful alternatives to smoking so that smokers can make an informed decision for their health,” says Asanda Gcoyi, CEO of VPASA.

In efforts to shed light on vaping, let us unpack and ultimately debunk some of the most prominent vaping myths to date:

Myth 1: Vaping is as harmful as smoking.

Although not risk-free, vaping is a potentially less harmful alternative to combustible tobacco. There are significantly lower levels of exposure to harmful chemicals in people who switch from smoking to vaping compared with those who continue to smoke. The science that dates back as far as 2015 says vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking, and recent updates continue to support this.

Myth 2: Vaping causes popcorn lung.

According to Cancer Research UK, “Popcorn lung (bronchiolitis obliterans) is an uncommon type of lung disease, but it is not cancer.  It is caused by a build-up of scar tissue in the lungs, which blocks the flow of air. E-cigarettes don’t cause the lung condition known as popcorn lung.”.

Myth 3: Vaping causes lung cancer.

The fact is that burning tobacco in all its forms means exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. If you are a smoker, switching to vaping will reduce your risk of cancer.  Most toxins from smoking are absent in electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems’ [ENDS/ ENNDS] aerosol (not smoke, by definition, the difference is absolute).

Myth 4: Vaping causes more harm to health than smoking.

Michael Russell is often quoted as stating, ‘people smoke for nicotine but they die from the tar’. ENNDS are a tool for consuming nicotine that is less harmful than if consumed via the combustion of tobacco. Coffee is brewed for caffeine. Vaping atomises e-liquid for nicotine. Both caffeine and nicotine would (and do hurt) if burned.

Myth 5: All Vaping is addictive.

The addictive substance in some vaping e-liquid is nicotine. Not all e-liquids contain nicotine. Smokers can use non-nicotine vapes to lessen their addiction while meeting their habitual need to puff.

Myth 6: Vaping is designed to attract young smokers.

Vaping is intended for adult smokers who want to explore alternatives to smoking. Though there is a legitimate worry about youth vaping, evidence from the UK, US, and New Zealand show that only a very small proportion of young people vape on a full-time basis as shown by a recent study. Most do so on a trial basis and do not become regular vapers

Myth 7: Vaping cannot help people quit smoking.

Updated Cochrane evidence has found that electronic cigarettes containing nicotine could increase the number of people who stop smoking compared to nicotine replacement therapy – such as chewing gum and patches – and compared to no treatment, or electronic cigarettes without nicotine.


About the Vapour Products Association of South Africa

The Vapour Products Association of South Africa (VPASA) represents vapour product manufacturers, retailers, and importers. The association was established to protect the interests and well-being of vapour product consumers in South Africa.

To learn more about vaping or electronic nicotine and non-nicotine delivery systems and industry development in South Africa, please follow our social media conversations on Twitter;, and LinkedIn or visit our website:

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Puseletso Nthate

On behalf of Vapour Products South Africa

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