How Cannabis, Tobacco, and Vaping Affect Your Health

Published September 29, 2023

There’s never been more kinds of smokers than there are today, and things are getting a bit complicated to keep up with. If you go back just 20 years, it was just cigarettes or some other kind of tobacco smoking. Now, with cannabis being legalised and e-cigarettes bursting out, there’s much more to keep track of.

In this article, we’ll go over how cannabis, tobacco, and vaping affect your health. As substances, they each come with their own set of side effects, some better and some worse for your health.

So let’s get right into it!

How Smoking Cigarettes Affects Your Health

We’ve known how harmful smoking cigarettes can be for your health since the 60s. Saying that smoking is bad for you isn’t news for anyone at this point. But smoking is still popular, with 10% of Canadian adults smoking daily. So it can never hurt to be reminded of what smoking does to your health.

Smoking has been directly associated with a long list of diseases and conditions. To keep things short, we’ll only name a few of the most serious and pervasive ones:

And don’t forget, that it all comes at a monetary cost too! The average Canadian smoker spends a whopping $7000 a year on cigarettes. It’s no wonder Canadians are moving farther away from cigarette smoking with each passing year.

 

How Cannabis Affects Your Health

Unlike tobacco, cannabis’s effects on health are still relatively unknown. There seems to be good sides and bad sides to consuming cannabis, and research is still ongoing on some of its longer term effects.

What we do know is that marijuana is not nearly as harmful as tobacco is for your body. A few of the known side effects of cannabis usage are:

  • Trouble breathing due to lung irritation. This can lead to phlegm buildup and regular coughing fits, or even lung disease or infections. The good news is that there has been no correlation found between cannabis usage and lung cancer, unlike with tobacco.
  • Increased heart rate, which can increase the risk of heart attacks, especially with older people or people with preexisting heart problems.
  • Stunted brain development if consumed as a teenager or young adult.

Many of the main side effects of marijuana are psychological, so using cannabis won’t decrease your life expectancy like smoking cigarettes does.

 

How Vaping Affects Your Health

Vaping, or using e-cigarettes, is even newer than smoking cannabis. Research on it, while plentiful already, is still not as settled as it is with smoking cigarettes. But from what we know so far, things don’t look too promising for vaping when it comes to health.

Researchers generally agree that vaping is less dangerous than smoking cigarettes, but that doesn’t make it safe.

So far, it looks like vaping can be harmful for:

  • Your heart, due to the high amounts of nicotine present in e-cigarettes which increases the chance of heart attacks.

Overall, it looks like vaping is something you should be cautious about and preferably avoid until there is more research available on the matter.

 

Cigarettes, Cannabis, Vaping, and Life Insurance Premiums

Let’s summarise what we’ve learned so far:

  • Smoking cigarettes is definitely very bad for your health.
  • Vaping is probably harmful as well, but not as much as smoking cigarettes.
  • Cannabis usage is unclear, although there are some known mild physical side effects.

The disparity in known health effects is why being a smoker is such a big deal for insurance companies. We know for a fact that smoking cigarettes is very bad for your health. That’s why non-smokers pay up to 4 times less than smokers in life insurance premiums.

Because of the lack of research surrounding both vaping and cannabis usage, insurance companies differ on applicants that use those substances. Some will have special cases, some won’t care, as long as you’re not smoking cigarettes. If you’re not a cigarette smoker but you consume cannabis or vape, make sure to talk to your provider and figure out if they’ll increase your premiums as a result of that.

 

Conclusion

It’s important to know if our habits negatively affect our health. While things like smoking cigarettes have been well-documented over the years, there is still a level of mystery surrounding vaping and cannabis usage.

Your priority should always be to prioritise your health, so if you’re unsure, it’s safest to just stay away from all substances. You can keep an eye on the latest research and see if a consensus arises in the future.

As for life insurance, staying healthy means you’ll get the best deal possible. Avoid smoking cigarettes at all costs, and you’ll guarantee lower premiums for yourself.

 

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