Want to stop smoking? The most important thing for your health is to stop using tobacco.


The facts

E-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco. But what does this mean? Well, say you smoked a cigarette which was 100% harmful, if you used an e-cigarette instead, you’d only have 5% of that harm. However, this is only true if you stop smoking tobacco completely and do not smoke cigarettes as well as an e-cigarette (this is called ‘dual-use’).

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices which create a vapour or ‘vape’ which contains nicotine. Liquid, known as e-liquid or juice, is heated up by a coil in the e-cigarette which turns into a vapour and is then inhaled into the lungs where the nicotine is absorbed, same as with tobacco smoke.

Some concerns have been raised about e-cigarettes, especially their long-term use and harm to others who breathe in the vapour. The most up-to-date research shows us there is very little risk from second-hand vapour and that, in the long term, vaping is a far better alternative than continuing to smoke.

There have been a few scare stories in the news about ‘popcorn lung’. Cancer Research UK, who have done a lot of work looking into e-cigarettes, said: “No evidence has shown that e-cigarettes cause the disease known as popcorn lung. The chemical thought to be responsible for this disease has been banned from use in e-liquids in Europe.”

What’s an e-cigarette?

This vapour usually only contains a couple of ingredients:

Propylene glycol and glycerine – commonly used as food additives


Nicotine – an addictive chemical, like caffeine

Flavourings – these vary depending on user choice

There are lots of different types of e-cigarettes and e-liquid to choose from and to begin with it can be hit and miss to find what works best for you. E-liquid comes in different strengths; for example, if you’re a heavy smoker, you should start with a higher concentration of nicotine to better curb your cravings. Most vape shops will be happy to talk you through the most suitable ‘mg’ and flavour for you.

The e-cigarette needs to deliver a sufficient dose of nicotine to help you break the habit.


Did you know...?

If you are trying to quit smoking, you are up to 4 times more likely to succeed if you use nicotine replacement therapy, like gum or patches etc, as well getting support through a stop smoking service such as Help Me Quit.

Why not sign-up for support and give an e-cigarette a go at the same time?