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The Environmental Impact of Vaping: Eco-Friendly Practices

26 Mar 2024
The Environmental Impact of Vaping: Eco-Friendly Practices

Vaping is a harm-reduction method that reduces the damage to lungs caused by smoking, by employing the use of vape devices and e-liquids. Vaping, as we all know, is a really beneficial tool, that globally helps thousands of people quit smoking and lead a healthier lifestyle. But you may wonder, does vaping come with a cost?

Of course, vaping is not free. It does come with the financial cost of getting a vape device, the right vape gear, e-liquids etc. And it does include the running cost of maintaining the said device and vape gear. But there are other costs too, that have less to do with finance and more with the environment. These costs include environmental costs and negative externalities i.e. the intangible cost that is borne by other people who are not directly involved in vaping.

In this blog, we will discuss some of the intrinsic costs of vaping, that are not as widely discussed by people, and also suggest some of the ways you can reduce those costs or prevent the impact caused by them.

The Environmental Cost of Vaping

Two of the most widely used methods of vaping include the use of disposable vapes and refillable devices. Disposable vapes are one-time-use devices, that come prefilled with vape cartridges, and (in most cases) a non-rechargeable battery. Whereas, refillable vapes, as the name suggests, can be refilled with e-liquids multiple times, and the battery can be recharged upon depletion.

The environmental cost of refillable devices is comparatively lower than disposable vapes, but they do incur some cost in the form of vape gear i.e. the replacement of coil and e-liquid bottles. The environmental cost of disposable vapes is high because of the litter they produce after they are discarded by consumers.

The Negative Externalities of Vaping

A negative externality is an economic phenomenon where a party that is not directly involved in a transaction or economic phenomenon bears the cost of the said phenomenon. This framework can also be applied to vaping because it does incur a negative externality upon bystanders.

Vaping does not provide any harm to the health of the bystanders because it does not involve the burning or combustion of tobacco and the subsequent release of harmful chemicals and toxins. However, people who are unaware of the use of vaping – passersby in public, people sitting at restaurants, elderly people in public transit – may not be appreciative of vaping or may show their disdain towards it.

If you vape, in the presence of such people, you will incur a negative externality towards those people, who are not appreciative towards your vaping habits. For example, vaping in a closed restaurant may impact the dining experience of other people with excessive vapour production or vaping in a packed bus may cause an allergic reaction or coughing in those who are sensitive to PG or VG in the e-liquid.

Sustainable Vaping

In order to ward off the environmental impact of vaping, consumers must take proactive actions to reduce their individual as well as collective impact. Disposable vapes are extremely useful for beginners to kick-start their vaping journey, as they are easy to use, and low maintenance. But users must dispose of them in a cautious and careful manner. A lot of vape stores have electronic bins (E-bins) facilities for consumers, where the waste is recycled. A lot of vape shops offer recycling and are happy to take back the empty disposable bars after you use them.

Similarly, empty vape coils and cartridges and empty vape bottles must also be disposed of mindfully and cautiously. These vape bottles if thrown in public trash cans might be bitten by stray animals, and any residual e-liquid inside can cause damage to them. E-liquid bottles and cartridges must be carefully packed before disposal.

One of the ways you can vape sustainably is by adopting better disposable vapes with technological and/or sustainable edge. A better disposable device could have more puff counts or a rechargeable battery. One of the disposable vape devices that is currently trending in the market due to its positive environmental impact is the IVG 2400 big puff disposable bar. The device employs the use of 4 rotatable coils, that can be interchanged by rotating the device. This way the device lasts longer than other devices in the market. You can learn more about IVG’s sustainable initiatives by following this link:

Vaping Etiquettes

Vaping indoors, when you are in the company of people, should always be done with the consent of those around you. It may not cause damage to those around you, but people with health complexities could still be impacted by vaping. Vaping could send people with any auto-immune lung disease into a coughing fit. It’s also the same for people who have PG or VG allergies, and pregnant women who shouldn’t be ingesting nicotine at all.

We should not assume to know what the risk factors are for other people. Something may be safe for you but not for others who have lung conditions, allergies or pregnancy, and they shouldn’t need to disclose these things to you for you to take them seriously. That’s why it is always better to read the room, and the consent of each individual present in the room, before using your vape in their presence.

It doesn't matter whether or not secondhand vapour is actually bad. You cannot and should not make that call for other people. If someone finds your vaping distasteful, or annoying, or believes - even if they were incorrect - that it presents a hazard to their health, then you should not make them put up with it just because you know better.

Final Note

Vaping and an eco-friendly world can coexist with each other. The onus of littering and waste, in the end, lies more on the consumer than the producer of these devices. Mindful waste disposal practices and mindful vaping around bystanders are extremely important to reduce the environmental impact of vaping. Hence it is critical for users to adopt these practices and pave the way for a better and more sustainable vaping culture to further destigmatize the vaping industry, and encourage more people to adopt vaping.

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