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


If you smoke cigarettes and are worried about the risks around COVID-19 then now would be a good time to think about quitting for good. Research into previous coronaviruses shows cigarette smoking makes the impact of the virus worse.

Some media are also reporting that vapers face additional risks from coronavirus however the evidence for this is far less clear. Smokers who have switched to vaping should be reassured that this is better for them than smoking regular cigarettes. 


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?