Is vaping the best way to switch from smoking?

Written by Ollie Norman, Content Marketing Manager at EDGE Vaping

On average, in a room of 20 adults in England, more than one person will vape. The latest statistics estimate between 6.9% and 7.1% of English adults now vape, a trend which is only climbing.

Understanding vaping’s rapid rise in use is due to a number of factors, from the taste, convenience, pricing and not least of all fuelled by notable research from Public Health England. People use vaping to reduce the health risks posed by smoking and to change the habit altogether.

A research-led movement

Public Health England’s 2015 study famously said vaping is 95% less dangerous than smoking, spurring nationwide confidence in opting for vaping as the best way to make the switch from smoking – a confidence that has not ceased to grow.

By 2020, vaping had well and truly overtaken patches and gums as the nation’s leading nicotine replacement for smokers wanting to switch, with 27.2% preferring vapes versus 18.2% choosing other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products. So, it is time to recognise the government and NHS advice to understand vaping’s effectiveness to stop smoking.

One year later, the NHS found that people who used vaping to make the switch from cigarettes, alongside face-to-face support, are up to twice as likely to succeed.

How does vaping help you make the switch?

Vape devices (or ‘vapes’, ‘e-cigarettes’, even ‘e-cigs’) come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colours. Some have rechargeable batteries, allowing the vaper to keep the same device, and change e-liquids whenever they want, to access a nearly-unlimited number of flavours.

It is no coincidence that the most common vaping silhouette is an oversized cigarette. The user holds a familiar device that delivers nicotine and smoke-like vapour; a recognisable experience that fulfils the user’s nicotine demands in an identical physical format.

On the surface, they seem to be similar experiences – so why make the switch?

It is to no one’s surprise that smoking is destructive to health. England has seen mass media campaigns against smoking since 1994, and has increasingly funded research-backed advice to make the switch from cigarettes. In 2005 – eleven years after the first anti-smoking TV campaign – vaping was quietly introduced to the UK.

What sets vaping apart is that it does not burn tobacco and does not emit tar or carbon monoxide, which are two of the most harmful components of tobacco smoke. In fact, cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals – at least 250 of which are known to be harmful, and 70 are known to cause cancer.

In contrast, a vape device heats a liquid (called an ‘e-liquid’ or ‘vape juice’) containing nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, and flavourings. Harmful chemicals are present in these e-liquids and vapour, albeit at far lower levels than in cigarette smoke, resulting in a much less harmful way to consume nicotine.

E-liquids are available in a range of nicotine strengths, in nearly as many flavours as there are foods. To use vape liquids as a suitable substitute for smoking, people should use them as often as they need to and with the appropriate nicotine strength, but finding the right nicotine strength is not possible with a simple calculation, so it is vital that a newcomer to vaping seeks expert advice in tailoring a vaping experience to their needs.

Nicotine is not a healthy substance – but the omission of the other chemicals found in tobacco smoke, many of which are lethal, makes vaping a better alternative on your journey to moving away from smoking. The NHS saw an impressive switch-success rate between 59.7% and 74% from 2019 to 2020 for those using a vaping product as part of their switching attempt.

Evidence shows that as the usage of vaping products in switching efforts grows, so does the number of successful switches. In 2017 alone, more than 50,000 smokers who would otherwise have continued smoking made the switch by using a vaping device.

Vaping’s accessible and familiar experience, the research-backed health benefits, alongside the impressive range of flavours available, and the possibility to recharge a device and quickly replace an e-liquid on the go, make vaping the best substitute to smoking. Thanks to vaping, the need for cigarettes is essentially quashed, as every need is fulfilled but without significant risk.

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4428 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.