|1881 Cigares De Joy by clotho98 via Flickr under Creative Commons|
Cigarettes haven't always been the vilified cancer-causing agents that they are. People used to think of them as therapeutic products that could relieve health problems, such as hay fever and influenza, prevent indigestion, and offer respite from sore throat and coughing. (If you don't believe me, you can check out the preposterous claims of these vintage ads for famous cigarette brands here and here.)
Cigares de Joy (Joy's Cigarettes), in particular, promoted itself as a common remedy for asthma and bronchitis. That's because the cigarettes contained Jimson weed (Datura stramonium), which was a well-known indigenous remedy for respiratory problems as well as a mild hallucinogenic.
But, the last 50 years have not been good for tobacco. People have now realized how truly bad cigarettes are to their health. In response to this, many smokers have switched to vaping as a nicotine delivery system. So, is vaping as dangerous as cigarette smoking? Actually, the answer is a strong NO.
For starters, vapes deliver nicotine without the carcinogenic compounds found in tobacco smoke. Another thing is that nicotine has been found to have some healing properties. Yes, you read that right. Nicotine has healing properties as mentioned by this paper, which cross-references another paper:
Nicotine has been shown to have angiogenic and wound healing properties potentially suggestive of useful therapeutic indications within the oral cavity, including the management of osteonecrosis and post-surgery healing, especially when using free-flaps.
However, nicotine's effects on human cells ravaged by cancer can go either way. Moderation leads to improvements, but using too much of it and for much longer than recommended can aggravate the cancer's progression and hasten its growth.