Can electronic cigarettes really help people stop smoking?


July 19, 2021

In recent years, e-cigarettes have become a very popular stop smoking aid in the UK. Also known as vapes ore-cigs, they're far less harmful than cigarettes and can help you quit smoking for good.

What are electronic cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are handheld devices that work by heating a liquid that usually contains nicotine and flavourings. E-cigarettes allow you to inhale nicotine in a vapor rather than smoke. Due to the fact they don’t burn tobacco, e-cigarettes do not expose users to the same high levels of toxins that we know can cause smoking-related diseases in people who use conventional cigarettes.

Using an e-cigarette is known as 'vaping' and many people use them to help quit smoking tobacco.

Will an e-cigarette help me stop smoking?

Many thousands of people in the UK have already stopped smoking with the help of an e-cigarette. There's growing evidence that they can be effective.

Using an e-cigarette can help you manage your nicotine cravings.

A major UK clinical trial carried out by Kings College Cancer Research Group (published 2019) found that, when combined with behavioural support, people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were twice as likely to succeed as people who used other nicotine replacement products, such as patches or gum.

Is vaping more harmful than smoking a normal cigarette?

Professor John Newton, Director for Health Improvement at Public Health England describes in a recent PHE review that “vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits.” The review goes onto to find that vaping is a ‘fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders’

There’s also no tar or any of the other 4000+ingredients found in a cigarette. In fact, there are only four ingredients in an e-liquid; water, nicotine, flavourings, propylene glycol or vegetable glycerine base.

Professor Ann McNeill, lead author and Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London said:

“People smoke for the nicotine, but contrary to what the vast majority believe, nicotine causes little if any of the harm. The toxic smoke is the culprit and is the overwhelming cause of all the tobacco-related disease and death. There are now a greater variety of alternative ways of getting nicotine than ever before, including nicotine gum, nasal spray, lozenges and e-cigarettes.”

The fact is, that although e-cigarettes are not 100% safe, they are 95% less harmful than smoking. So, if it’s a toss-up between vaping or smoking then vaping is by far the ‘healthier’ choice. 

Do you have any advice on buying an e-cigarette? 

Buy the best vape you can afford - speak to the experts in the shop. They will let you try different vapes and flavours and help you get the right product for you. Remember, when you started to smoke you had to get the ‘right technique’, it’s the same with vaping.  

You can buy liquids with varying amounts of nicotine. As with using a nicotine patch where you would reduce the amount of nicotine over a 3-month period, it is worth considering doing the same with a vape to quit smoking.

Can you help quit smoking while vaping? 

The 28 Days team can help with planning your quit attempt and its always easier with the support of those who specialise in nicotine addiction. Additionally, you’re more likely to quit altogether with weekly support!