Vaping IS Better for you than smoking cigarettes… and it’s right the government has finally admitted it
By George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco policy manager | September 22nd, 2017
Tobacco is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, accounting for around 6 million deaths each year.
FOR the first time, a government public health campaign has backed e-cigarettes as a way for smokers to quit.
Stoptober, an annual campaign run by Public Health England, gives smokers a range of options to support them to stop, including Stop Smoking Services, a support app, and now e-cigarettes.
Tobacco is the world’s leading cause of preventable death, accounting for around six million deaths each year. That’s thanks to the cocktail of over 5,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke, of which at least 70 may cause cancer.
E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco. Instead, they carry a nicotine-containing liquid which is heated into a vapor and inhaled.
The nicotine satisfies the cravings associated with addiction to cigarettes.
It’s not completely harmless but it doesn’t cause serious diseases like cancer – which tobacco does.
Since they arrived on the UK market e-cigarettes have become very popular.
There are now almost 3 million vapers in the UK, and more than half of them have completely stopped smoking tobacco.
A new Cancer Research UK-funded study shows that success rates for quitting smoking are at their highest level for a decade, and experts say e-cigarettes have made a big contribution.
And when smoking is still responsible for a fifth of all deaths in the UK, it’s great news that they are helping people quit.
But people still have a lot of questions around e-cigarettes.
Are they really safer than tobacco? Does second-hand e-cigarette vapor harm people like second-hand smoke? And are they leading kids into smoking tobacco?
The research so far shows e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking.
Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians have both published reports that reviewed all the evidence and concluded vaping only carries a fraction of the risk that smoking does.
Earlier this year, a Cancer Research UK-funded study was the first to show evidence that long-term e-cigarette users had far lower levels of key harmful toxins in their bodies than tobacco smokers.
While the nicotine found in e-cigarettes doesn’t cause smoking-related diseases, such as cancers and heart disease, it is addictive.
The best thing for an individual’s health is to quit entirely, but the most important thing is that they stop smoking tobacco.
There’s a common misconception that you can overdose on nicotine by vaping.
But you should actually use your e-cigarette as often as you need to help manage the urges to smoke, or, if you want, to wean yourself off nicotine.
Like Nicotine Replacement Therapy, if you do have more nicotine than you’re used to, then you might feel a little nauseous or lightheaded, both of which pass quickly.
If this happens, just reduce the level of nicotine in the e-liquid that you buy, or use the e-cigarette less.
Unlike second-hand smoke from cigarettes – which is known to cause cancer – there’s no evidence that second-hand e-cigarette vapor is dangerous to others.
Some studies have found traces of toxic chemicals in second-hand vapor, but at such low levels that they’re not likely to be harmful to those around you.
There have also been concerns, particularly in America, that e-cigarettes are acting as a gateway for kids to smoke tobacco. But we’re simply not seeing this in the U.K.
A large-scale study in the UK showed that although some kids experiment with vaping, it very rarely turns into regular use, especially among young people who have never smoked.
And as smoking rates in young people continue to decline, there is no evidence that e-cigarette use is leading to smoking.
If you’re still a smoker, stopping is the best thing you can do for your health.
The resources provided by the Stoptober campaign can help you quit for good. And if you’ve tried other methods and you still can’t quit, it’s worth giving vaping a shot.
Meanwhile, bosses ‘should let staff VAPE in the office in bid to encourage smokers to switch to e-cigarettes and help slash smoking rates’.
And, this is how swapping your fags for e-cigarettes could ‘prevent you and your kids getting meningitis’.