Almost all of us know the dangers of smoking these days, and for good reason! Smoking is one of the most harmful things you can do for your health, and in the UK is the leading cause of preventable death. Everyone who smokes is recommended to quit, and the vast majority of current smokers actively would like to kick their habit for good (if only it were that easy!).
What many people don’t know, however, is how vaping or e-cigarettes, can be used to not only help you quit, but to do it safely and effectively. There are so many benefits to quitting smoking using e-cigarettes, and these are just a few that you can expect when you make the transition!
1. It’s significantly better for your health
There’s a huge amount of misinformation out there around the safety of vaping, with a lot of people seeing vaping as just as, if not more dangerous than smoking, when this is categorically not the case. Vaping is estimated to be 95% better for your health than smoking, and its effectiveness as a quitting aid means you’re more likely to succeed in cutting down or quitting, which is the biggest benefit of all.
E-liquids contain far fewer chemicals than cigarette smoke and don’t stay in the body like tar in the lungs does when you smoke. Those who switch to vaping very quickly see great health benefits, including lower blood pressure, easier breathing, improved immune function, improved sense of taste and smell and improved lung function, all within the space of around a month!
2. Vaping is much cheaper than smoking
Estimates show that smoking 20 cigarettes a day will set you back, on average, £3000 per year. The average smoker in the UK smoked 11.3 cigarettes per day in 2015, so using that data we can estimate that the average smoker spends around £1700 on cigarettes every year. This will, of course, be a bit different for everyone - the type of cigarettes you smoke, where you buy your cigarettes and all sorts of other factors come into it too. However, this is a good estimate for the average smoker.
It’s with noting that vaping has more upfront costs than smoking - you need to buy your e-cigarette and any relevant accessories before you get started - but on an ongoing basis is considerably cheaper than smoking tobacco cigarettes. For a mid-level beginner-friendly device, we reckon you can spend about £30 upfront, and extra accessories like replacement coils and batteries will cost around £90 per year. Once you have your bulk purchase out the way, vaping is a massive decrease in ongoing costs compared to smoking. You can get e-liquids at almost any price point, from less then £1 per 10ml to more than £10-15 per 10ml. However, for a good value, high-quality e-liquid, you should expect to pay around £7 per 10ml. The average vaper gets through about 10ml of e-liquid per week, which adds up to only £364 per year. Even if you’re a heavy vaper and get through double the average amount of e-liquid per week, you’re still slashing your yearly costs by more than half when compared to smoking!
3. E-cigarettes are a really effective way to help you quit for good
As we’ve mentioned, e-cigarettes are incredibly effective at helping smokers cut down or quit smoking for good. More than half of current smokers in the UK expressed a desire to quit, and the most common reason for using e-cigarettes is to help reduce or quit smoking tobacco, according to the most recent data from the ONS on smoking habits in the UK. Research also shows that vaping is almost twice as effective as traditional nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) - this refers to things like nicotine gum, patches, lozenges, inhalers and other more “traditional” quitting aids. One study, in partnership with the NHS stop smoking service, found that among one group of smokers trying to quit, 18% of e-cigarette users had stopped smoking tobacco after one year, compared to only 9.9% of traditional NRT users.
There are lots of reasons that vaping is so effective at helping smokers quit, and the nicotine rush is just one part of the overall experience. Vaping is so effective at helping you quit as it sates lots of the physical habits and cravings you build up without realising over months or years of smoking traditional cigarettes. Many smokers struggle with finding something to do with their hands once they’ve quit - vaping gives you just that! Even the physical act of inhaling and exhaling smoke or vapour can be something you miss with patches, gum or lozenges for example. Finally, for many smokers, smoking is a social activity, and this aspect is something they miss when trying to quit. Vaping allows you to continue the social aspect of smoking, without keeping up a dangerous habit.
4. Second-hand vapour is not as dangerous as second-hand smoke
For many years, the impacts of secondhand smoking have been studied, and results show that smoking is and continues to be incredibly dangerous to not just smokers themselves, but those around them as well. The smoke that is exhaled from tobacco products contains more than 7000 chemicals and around 70 known carcinogens (cancer-causing ingredients). Secondhand smoke is so dangerous because it can be inhaled by other people, not just the smoker. In children, the effects of secondhand smoke can lead to:
- Increased risk of respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia
- Increased risk of ear, nose and throat infections
- Increased risk of severe asthma and asthma attacks
- Increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (also known as SIDS or cot death)
In adults, secondhand smoke can raise your risk of heart disease, lung cancer and strokes, among other conditions.
Vaping, on the other hand, has been shown to not have the same risks when it comes to inhaling secondhand vapour. Like everything vaping, there’s still lots we have yet to learn, but all current evidence shows that the effects of secondhand vapour are negligible, as vapour evaporates very quickly, making them much safer for those around you when you vape. Some health professionals do recommend that you avoid vaping around small children and pregnant women, however, to be on the safe side.
5. Vapour doesn’t linger like cigarette smoke
Studies have shown that the vapour exhaled by e-cigarette users breaks down within seconds, without compromising the air quality even in a poorly ventilated room. Cigarette smoke, on the other hand, can last in the air for more than 30 minutes. While also exacerbating the effects of passive smoking, this also allows cigarette smoke to sink into furnishings and fabrics in a room, which is why many smokers find their walls, curtains, clothes and furniture stained or smelling of tobacco smoke after a while. As vapour disappears so quickly after being exhaled, this isn’t a concern for vapers.
6. There are many more vape flavours than tobacco
With the ban of flavoured tobacco products in the EU in May 2020, there are now even fewer options available to smokers, while there is pretty much no limit to the flavours of e-liquid available, making the experience better for both vapers and those around them!
7. You can use your vape in some places where you can’t smoke
There are currently no plans to ban vaping indoors on the whole, as has been done with cigarettes, though lots of private companies lump e-cigarettes in with tobacco cigarettes, so depending on the rules where you are, you may or may not need to step out in order to vape.
8. E-cigarettes don’t produce harmful chemicals when exhaled
As there are considerably fewer main ingredients in your vape compared to a tobacco cigarette, there are also considerably fewer compounds in the vapour that is exhaled! Most e-liquids only contain 4 main ingredients, a PG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin) base, nicotine and the vape flavourings, all of which are deemed to be safe to consume. Tobacco cigarettes, on the other hand, contain more than 7000 chemicals when the smoke is exhaled. This means that vaping is very safe to do both in public and around others if you need to!
9. You can vape and smoke at the same time
Another reason that vaping makes such a good quitting aid and one of the reasons it is so popular is that you don’t need to quit cold-turkey! Many vapers take a combination approach, using vaping to help them cut down, while at work or when commuting, for example, but will continue to smoke at home, or vice versa. Then, over time, you can start to reduce your cigarette consumption across the board and hopefully transition to vaping full time! This flexibility gives you a transition period to allow you to take your journey to become smokefree at your own pace, ultimately making you more likely to succeed.
10. Vaping is easier to cut down on over time
Most e-liquid ranges will give you a few different strength options to let you control your nicotine intake on a regular basis. This means that you can gradually reduce your nicotine intake in a way that works for you, something that isn’t often possible with tobacco cigarettes. By taking your preferred nicotine concentration down bit by bit, you can more easily satisfy your cravings and start to reduce your intake overall, until you are completely smoke-free!