Is vaping bad for you? Depending on what you read, you might think that vaping is as safe as breathing clean air, or that it’s just as bad as smoking cigarettes. Neither of those things is correct, of course. The truth is more nuanced, but it isn’t somewhere in the middle either.

When we judge the risks of vaping, we’re typically looking at relative risk. We’re comparing vaping to smoking, which is usually what vapers did before they began using e-cigarettes. There’s not much reason to compare vaping to clean air, since most vapers would be smoking if vaping didn’t exist.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to learn the specific dangers of vaping though. If there are dangers hidden in e-cigs, most vapers would like to know what they are. Maybe the products could be modified to avoid the potential risks, or maybe smokers could find an even safer source of nicotine like smokeless tobacco.

Let’s look at how vaping affects the areas of the body that are damaged by smoking, and examine the evidence about potential disease outcomes.

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