World Vapers' Alliance

Vaping Mythbusters: Truth over Lies

Misinformation about vaping is widespread and one of the main obstacles for smokers to switch to less harmful alternatives. Despite its indisputable successes in bringing about the end of the smoking health crisis, vaping is still subject to a wide array of myths. Among many politicians, the media and the general public, we see a fundamental and pervasive lack of understanding surrounding the topic of tobacco harm reduction  — including the very meaning of harm reduction, the importance of nicotine alternatives, and misperceptions of the effects of nicotine itself.

Tobacco harm reduction has proven to be the most successful smoking cessation strategy in history. Ignorance and false claims have impaired and sometimes even reversed the successful adaptation of less harmful nicotine consumption such as through vaping or snus. In order to break through the ignorance surrounding tobacco harm reduction, the World Vapers’ Alliance joins the vaping community efforts to tackle the most common myths about harm reduction and provides scientific information to help smokers and politicians to make the science-based decision.

Despite the research and numerous studies, many already debunked myths around vaping continue to influence political debates, the attitude of the general public, and media coverage. 

We need to educate and empower people to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Let’s work together to separate fact from fiction and ensure that accurate information is available to everyone. 

Common Myths

Vaping is often mistakenly believed to be as harmful as smoking. However, while vaping is not completely risk-free, it poses significantly lower risks than smoking – 95% lower according to Public Health England. 

Combustion cigarettes release thousands of chemicals, including up to 70 carcinogens and other toxins like tar and carbon monoxide. Due to the lack of combustion and the differences in ingredients, most of these harmful chemicals are not present in the vapour of electronic cigarettes, making nicotine consumption much less harmful and lowering the risks of smoking-induced illnesses like cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and stroke.

Evidence has shown that vaping is one of the most effective ways to quit smoking, and more effective than traditional nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine patches or gums. They can even help reduce nicotine dependence thanks to the possibility to adjust nicotine concentration levels. Smokers find it an attractive alternative because of the similar action of putting a cigarette in the mouth and the similar sensation of feeling the smoke in the throat.

Smoking-related illnesses and deaths are caused by the harmful ingredients in traditional cigarettes and the toxins liberated during combustion, not by nicotine. 

Nicotine is an addictive substance, but it is relatively harmless to health and does not increase the risks of severe illness or mortality. As we know, nicotine is not a problem in conventional nicotine replacement therapies. Therefore it cannot be a bigger problem in vaping.

EVALI is linked to illicit THC vape products containing vitamin E acetate, while popcorn lung is caused by diacetyl. Both substances are banned as e-liquid ingredients and cannot be found in legal vaping products.

E-cigarette vapour and cigarette smoke are considerably different. Smoke results from cigarette combustion, which releases thousands of harmful chemicals, some of them carcinogenic, while vape aerosol results from the heating of e-liquids, which contain common food ingredients that are safe to ingest.

Research shows that those near a vaper inhale 100 times less nicotine than a passive smoker, ruling out the existence of the passive vaper.

In many countries, daily smokers are at their lowest recorded levels. Vaping has been credited with helping people quit smoking, and studies show it’s twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy. The gateway claim is not supported by evidence, as only 1.5% of non-smokers [in the UK] currently vape and smoking rates keep falling. The highly respected health NGO Cochrane and various health agencies recommend vaping as a means to quit smoking due to its effectiveness.

Critics who seek to ban vaping flavours claim they’re only used by minors and serve as a gateway to smoking. However, flavors are primarily designed for adults to quit smoking by masking the tobacco taste. In fact, over two-thirds of vapers regularly use non-tobacco flavours. Flavours not only help smokers quit but also reduce the likelihood of relapse. Yale School of Public Health reports flavoured vaping devices increase adult smoking cessation odds by 230%. Banning flavours could result in half of vapers returning to smoking or the black market.

Restricting vaping based on the claim of a youth epidemic is not supported by evidence and in most countries it is already illegal for underage people to vape. Studies show that youth smoking has decreased in the US, Germany, and the UK since e-cigarette use began to increase. Environmental factors such as parental smoking habits and genetic predisposition are more likely to lead children to vaping or smoking. Evidence suggests that vaping may divert high-risk youth away from smoking, and most teenagers try vaping after already starting to smoke. A review of fifteen studies in 2019 found no evidence of a true gateway effect in youths. 

Tax increases on vaping products lead vapers to switch to cigarettes, especially among young adults. This, in turn, damages public health. Risk-based taxation, with lower taxes on less harmful products, is recommended to encourage smokers to switch. Restricting access to vaping products via high prices has unintended consequences, as users turn to the black market or smoking. Unregulated black market products are more harmful, as they don’t comply with safety regulations, posing a risk to users and public health.

Despite misconceptions, vaping is not without evidence. The Royal College of Physicians estimates its long-term risk at 5% of smoking’s. Chemicals in vaping are extensively researched, with significantly fewer harmful chemicals produced than smoking. Reports of adverse effects are rare, and many modelling studies show a net public health benefit. 82 million people use vaping products with no serious side effects. Switching to vaping has improved asthma, COPD, lung function, and cardiovascular markers.

What Can You Do?


Are you tired of hearing conflicting reports about vaping and harm reduction and not knowing what to believe? Join the vaping community in their effort to debunk the most prevailing myths surrounding vaping.

There are many ways that you can get involved and help promote accurate information about vaping and harm reduction.

Spread the word about the myths and misconceptions to inform the community.

Tillsammans kan vi göra skillnad!

Join the effort

Vi kommer att använda informationen du anger i det här formuläret för att kontakta dig om World Vapers' Alliance och vapingfrågor. För mer information, läs vår integritetspolicy.

Use the resources

The vaping community is providing a range of free resources and materials to support the messaging, including infographics and adaptable and shareable graphics. You can use these resources to promote accurate information about vaping and to help dispel myths.

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Follow us on social media and share our posts and videos with your followers. Spread the word and help the vaping community raise awareness about the myths surrounding vaping. Don’t forget to use hashtags #VapingMythBusters #TruthOverLies

Höja rösten

join our campaign

It’s time to beat smoking like the Swedes! By embracing harm reduction and alternative nicotine products like snus and vaping, Sweden is on track to become the first smoke-free country worldwide.

Our goal is to raise awareness about the Swedish success in tobacco harm reduction and encourage Swedes to celebrate their achievement. We will spread Sweden’s success story on the EU level, among EU member states and an international audience.