Vapes eliminate the most harmful elements of tobacco cigarettes and, by regulating the strength of the e-liquid, can even help you kick the habit.
Vapes are less damaging than regular cigarettes as they deliver nicotine with vapour rather than with smoke. Vaping involves heating a liquid mixture containing vegetable glycerine, nicotine and propylene glycol to create a vapour. Flavouring is also mixed in to this liquid. With vapes, the harmful tar and carbon monoxide elements are removed from the experience. These e-cigarettes are less damaging than tobacco cigarettes (but it is not recommended that those who are non-smokers take up the habit of vaping).
A Useful Tool to Help You Kick the Butt
A review conducted in 2021 reported that a combination of switching to e-cigarettes and in-person support made it more likely that a person would quit smoking. This approach doubled their chance for success when compared to other products such as nicotine patches or chewing gum.
One of the reasons e-cigarettes are so effective in helping people quit is because the vaper can adjust the strength of the nicotine used in the liquid. This helps them manage their cravings. However, to give this exercise the best chance, the smoker has to completely stop smoking regular cigarettes.
What Are the Risks of Vaping?
Although vapes eliminate two of the most harmful elements present in tobacco smoke (carbon monoxide, tar, and a number of VOCs), they are not totally risk free. The e-liquid or ‘vape juice’ used in these cigarettes does contain some of the chemicals that are present in cigarette smoke but in smaller quantities.
Since these are a relatively new product, the long-term effects are not yet known and vapes are well-regulated in most countries.
E-cigarettes are designed in a variety of ways, the user can get vape pens to pods, bars and even ‘cigalikes.’ Some of these are disposable, but rechargeable models are also available.
When the vaper is choosing the model of e-cigarette, they must remember to also choose e-liquid of the correct strength. This will depend on how much they smoke and a specialist vape shop can help them determine this.
Additionally, unlike with conventional cigarettes, there is no evidence that suggests that vaping is damaging to those around you. This could mean that those around vapers can circumvent the risks of passive smoking or second-hand smoke.
At the moment, vapes or e-cigarettes are not available on prescription and cannot be obtained from a GP. However, they are widely available to those above the age of 18 at a number of stores including specialiser vape stores and online.
Are Vape Devices Safe?
Vapes are electronic devices and there have been recorded instances of them catching fire or exploding. As with any electronic device, the user should follow the recommended safety regulations. This includes using the correct charger for the device. Users must also never leave it unattended to charge overnight.
Vapes and Pregnancy
Little research has been conducted to understand whether vapes are harmful to pregnant women and the unborn child. As a result, it is generally recommended that pregnant women use licensed nicotine replacement therapy products like nicotine chewing gum and patches. According to the NHS website, for those who feel that e-cigarettes are more effective in helping them quit smoking, it is safer to resort to vaping than conventional tobacco cigarettes.
Vaping Among the Younger Generation
While vaping is safer than conventional smoking, it is recommended that non-smokers do not take up vaping. It contains toxins that are less harmful than those present in regular cigarettes so it is logical that regular smokers should switch. However, scientists do not yet know the long-term effects of vaping so it’s not advisable for non-smokers to take it up.
It has been suggested that nicotine poses more of a risk to youngsters than for adults as their developing brains are more sensitive to it. Nicotine is also highly addictive and could form a habit that becomes difficult to give up.
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