If you’re thinking of making the move to vaping and have questions about the health risks, costs, and effectiveness of vaping products, the first thing you’ll do is search online. There’s a lot of information online about vaping, however many can be misleading. So we’re going to breakdown the most common misconceptions and see what it’s all about, in turn helping you make informed decisions about making the switch to vaping.
Vaping Contains Nicotine, so they’re just as Harmful as Smoking Cigarettes
Not exactly, most of the harm comes from smoking tobacco, this is from the combustion of the cigarette and inhaling the thousands of harmful chemicals from tobacco smoke. No combustion takes place in a vaping device and as a result, the vapour does not contain things like tar and carbon monoxide. Many people think it’s the nicotine which causes this and that’s incorrect. Although Nicotine is highly addictive, evidence shows that it poses minimal risk of harm to health. Nicotine is relatively harmless and doesn’t cause smoking-related diseases such as cancer. The only effects from nicotine use are elevated blood pressure, and greater effects when going through withdrawal such as anxiety, nausea, headaches, irritability etc. This does not mean that vaping is entirely risk-free, but Public Health England (PHE) continues to stand by its assertion that vaping is approximately 95% less harmful than smoking. Therefore, Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) helps in both providing a less harmful alternative in providing nicotine, and to help eventually lower the intake of nicotine. Another alternative you can buy lower or nicotine free e-liquids to wean yourself off completely but still enjoy vaping.
E-liquids Contain Toxic Chemicals
All e-liquids in the UK must be TPD compliant, they contain only 3 or 4 ingredients: Glycerol, Propylene Glycol, Flavouring and Nicotine (optional). You’ll be glad to know that all these ingredients, except nicotine, can be found in products that we use daily, such as drinks, food, or cosmetics, therefore these are not unknown compounds or toxic chemicals. PG is in a huge range of things that you ingest daily, including soft drinks, food colouring and even stage smoke. It is used as a flavour carrier in e-liquids, alongside vegetable glycerine (VG). You can even choose what PG/VG ratio you prefer to have when purchasing e-liquid.
Second Hand Vape is Harmful
We know e-cigarettes don’t involve combustion, so there is no exposure to harmful chemicals compared to tobacco cigarettes. Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic and over 70 of these can cause cancer. The vapour from an e-cigarette presents no issues to bystanders. Public Health England has also found no negative health risks associated with passive vaping.
Vaping Devices & E-liquids have No Regulations
The UK government and the European Tobacco Products Directive have put in place certain laws to regulate what can go into Vaping products and e-liquids. The UK benefits from the most comprehensive set of legislation anywhere in the world and everything must conform to minimum quality standards. From what is in an e-liquid to the packaging and how it is labelled. Advertising standards must also state what can and can’t be said about vaping, and clear restrictions in place on where you can’t vape. Further to this, there is an age restriction to stop under 18s from buying vape products. There are also standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and refill containers. These are some of the regulations and laws, the vape tank capacity to not exceed 2ml and a restriction on the purchased quantity. The maximum volume of the refill container containing nicotine is set at 10ml and liquids containing nicotine cannot exceed more than 20mg in the UK and all nicotine-containing e-liquid must be registered with the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and it keeps a full record of all the ingredients contained in each bottle.
Vaping Doesn’t Help You Quit Smoking
This is a common misconception that vaping with e-Cigarettes is the same as smoking. Smoking involves the burning tobacco and inhaling the smoke however, vaping is the inhaling of vapour that has been heated by a coil within an e-Cigarette. Both provide a nicotine hit, but there is a difference. Inhaling tobacco smoke, you’re allowing thousands of harmful chemicals directly into your body, chemicals that have been proven to cause numerous illnesses and health issues, but the vapour from vaping is a much less harmful, with not chemical and toxins like tobacco smoke. Vaping allows smokers to still get the nicotine hit without the harmful smoke inhalation, a study conducted by the National Institute of Health Research and Cancer Research UK showed an 83% increased chance of stopping smoking with e-cigarettes compared to nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). In 2021, Public Health England released a summary update of their most current research on quitting smoking. The study found that combining vaping products with stop-smoking service support should be available for all who want to quit smoking.
Vaping is a Gateway to Smoking
Many people think vaping can lead to cigarette smoking; however, vaping is used as a gateway from smoking traditional cigarettes – a cessation tool to quitting, many reduce the health risks associated with tobacco consumption. According to a Public Health England review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018, the most common reason for e-cigarette use continues to be in order to stop smoking, and smokers who use e-cigarettes on average have higher motivation to stop smoking than other smokers.