Since the rise of e-cigs, smokers across the nation have had a handy device to aid their smoking cessation. So much so, that BBC News recently published an article stating that 1.5 million vapers are now ex-smokers. That’s more than half of the UK’s vapers who have managed to kick the habit. To see whether vaping is genuinely an effective method to quit smoking, we talked to doctors across the UK.
The Dangers of Smoking
Chances are, if you’re reading about vaping, you don’t need us to lecture you on the dangers of smoking. Day after day, so many people turn to e-cigs as the safer alternative to the regular cig. But what is it about smoking that makes it so dangerous?
First of all, there are around 4000 chemicals in one cigarette, 60 of which can cause cancer. If this isn’t enough to scare you, smoking is estimated to double the chances of coronary heart disease and make you 25 times more likely to get lung cancer than a none smoker.
Professor of Epidemiology, John Britton, adds:
‘Smoking is lethal – it kills half of all long-term smokers, and takes away a day of life for every four days of smoking. The best thing any smoker can do for their health is to quit smoking. Quitting is difficult but there is lots of help out there – medicines that can take away the urge to smoke, and practitioners who can help with the lifestyle changes and knowledge that help smokers to quit. The health improvements, both in quantity and quality of life that quitting delivers, are substantial for all smokers, and at any age.’
How Effective is Vaping to Quit Smoking?
If you are attempting to quit smoking, vaping could be the right way to go. Public Health England have stated that ‘e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco and they can help smokers to quit.’ Also, in a BBC article, the Royal College of Physicians adds ‘smokers who use e-cigarettes or prescribed medications, with support from their doctor, are more likely to quit permanently.’
A report by the RCP states that it is ‘in the interests of public health it is important to promote the use of e-cigarettes, NRT and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible as a substitute for smoking in the UK’. This is because vaping provides a tobacco-free alternative to the traditional cigarette and delivers nicotine through the odourless vapour. Therefore, you can still settle your cravings without the many risks.
Are There Any Health Risks With Vaping?
While vaping is evidently healthier than smoking, is there anything the doctors have to add about the risks of vaping?
Britton, who also co-authored the RCP report says:
‘Smokers who quit by switching to e-cigarettes probably gain almost all of the health benefits of quitting smoking by other methods. The only unknowns are what the effect of inhaling vapour many times a day for many years will be – it seems likely that there will be some adverse effects, but it’s not yet clear how much of a problem they will be. However, they will definitely be much less than those of continued smoking.’
‘The main risks of vaping to health don’t come from the nicotine – and vapers need to make sure they are taking in enough nicotine to prevent urges to smoke – but from the toxins generated by heating vape solutions too quickly, and from heating flavours, which add oxidants and some other toxins to the vapour. So, it’s a good idea to invest in quality hardware, and if possible, avoid flavours’.
Read more: How to Cross Over From Smoking to Vaping
Have you crossed over from smoking to vaping? Let us know how you got on in the comments!