A 40 – 60 a day smoker successfully quit smoking with the help of a Totally Wicked e-cigarette
A case study, featured within the HealthCheck UK programme aired on BBC One at 10.00 am on Thursday April 2nd, shone some well-deserved light on the benefits of e-cigarettes. An impartial documentary segment in the programme showed the remarkable success story of a heavy smoker who was given an e-cigarette to help him quit; provoking thought for smokers who are yet to give vaping a try.
The segment followed a 30-year old man named Ace Langley on his journey to becoming smoke-free. The 40-60 a day smoker had tried and failed to quit smoking on numerous occasions, using patches and gum. However, Ace had little knowledge of vaping and was yet to give an e-cigarette a go.
You can watch the full programme here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000gz14/healthcheck-uk-live-series-1-episode-4
Ace was slightly dubious about e-cigarettes and queried whether vaping could cause adverse effects on the lungs that cigarettes cannot. Unfortunately, this a common theme amongst smokers and a worryingly low percentage (34%) of people in the UK can correctly identify that vaping is less harmful than smoking. Nevertheless, Ace’s worries were put to bed by highly credible experts later in the show.
Ace spoke to Dr Nick Hopkinson, Medical Director at the British Lung Foundation, and was given a carbon monoxide test so he could see the impact smoking was having on his body quantitatively. After recording a carbon monoxide level 14 parts per million in his breath, he was shocked to find out that this was more than twice the level of a healthy non-smoker, which seldom exceeds 6 parts per million. This hit home hard with the participant, who was now more motivated than ever to ditch the cigarettes. He was given a Totally Wicked arc 5 and vaping supplies with the aim of remaining smoke-free for 4 weeks.
Ace Langley’s e-cigarette story
A couple of weeks in, Ace claimed, that he “craved smoking cigarettes” but explained that when others at work went out for a cigarette, for him “this [e-cigarette] was perfect”. However, he still needed a slight nudge to show him just how beneficial a complete switch to an e-cigarette would be for his lungs.
Hazel Cheeseman, of Action and Smoking and Health (ASH) was on hand to show him just how smoking was impacting his lungs compared with an e-cigarette with a simple visual experiment. Comparing the effect of absorbing the smoke of 20 cigarettes and an equivalent volume of e-cigarette vapour on cotton wool in glass bell jars, the anti-smoking expert startled Mr Langley by showing him the large quantity of yellow/brown tar that would have been collecting in his lungs. As for the cotton wool exposed to e-cigarette vapour, there was no visible discolouration.
Taken aback by the demonstration, Ace said, “I can happily say that after seeing that, I’m not going to touch cigarettes again.” Ace stuck to his word, and 5 weeks in, he hadn’t smoked a cigarette. Smiling to camera he said, “Happy days, happy vaping!”
What was the outcome when using e-cigarettes?
Dr Nick Hopkinson had planned to meet up with Ace again and run some health tests, but unfortunately this wasn’t possible due to social distancing guidelines amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Nevertheless, given the importance of improving the nation’s respiratory health right now, the BBC caught up with Mr Langley via a video call to see how he was getting on at week 5.
BBC Presenter, Kev simply asked Ace how he felt. This was his response:
“A lot healthier than expected. Not smoking cigarettes has improved my health dramatically. I feel a lot more energetic now. I do a lot more physical activities like running, so it’s benefitted me quite well.”
He was then asked if he thinks he could quit smoking for good.
“I’ve been reducing my nicotine content quite dramatically; I’ve been halving it each time, so slowly, slowly I’m going to get to 0 nicotine and never need a cigarette in my life”.
As a vaper, it was fantastic to see an honest real-life example of how vaping can benefit a smoker. At Totally Wicked, we see and hear these success stories of e-cigarette users on a daily basis, but for it to be aired to hundreds of thousands of viewers makes us particularly proud. Our industry has done, and will go on to do a lot of good.
We hope that smokers all over the UK were watching and are now more informed about e-cigarettes. Earlier this year a Public Health England report showed that 37% of smokers still haven’t tried vaping. The need for further positive coverage like this HealthCheck UK case study is abundantly clear. If the government is to reach its goal of creating a smoke-free country by 2030 we will need a lot more positive communication about the most effective ways of quitting.
If you’ve been inspired by Ace’s story and want to make the switch to e-cigarettes, then contact Totally Wicked today. Visit www.totallywicked.co.uk, where you can contact us via Live Chat, drop us an email at [email protected], call us on 01254 692244, or message us on social media.