If you’re looking to stop smoking for Stoptober, you may have considered using e-cigarettes as a quitting tool. Small battery-powered devices, which allow you to inhale nicotine through a vapour, they have become increasingly popular among smokers and ex-smokers alike. According to a survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), around 2.9 million British adults used e-cigarettes in 2017.
Unlike cigarettes, which burn tobacco and produce a cocktail of harmful chemicals, e-cigarettes work by heating up a liquid nicotine solution. This means users are not exposed to carbon monoxide or tar, two of the deadliest components of tobacco smoke. The devices are billed as a safer way for smokers to manage their cravings.
However, there is a lot of confusion in the air about whether the marketing claims are true. Many news articles on the subject seem designed to inspire mistrust, while the e-cigarettes company JUUL has been hit with several lawsuits. According to one claimant, vaping left her teenage son “heavily addicted to nicotine … anxious, highly irritable and prone to angry outbursts”.
Perhaps as a result, public opinion remains split down the middle. In the ASH survey, only 13% of respondents said they thought vaping was a lot less harmful than smoking, while 26% thought it was equally bad or even more so.
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