MANY smokers have swapped traditional cigarettes for of e-cigs in recent years.
Vaping devices are designed with the goal of helping smokers quit and are billed as a healthier alternative. Here’s all the info on vaping and e-cigarettes…
What is vaping?
Vaping is the process of smoking e-cigarettes, allowing a person to inhale nicotine without other harmful substances in tobacco.
Millions of Brits now get their nicotine hit via the devices, and they are growing in popularity.
The first modern e-cigarettes were developed by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik who wanted to create a safer alternative to smoking.
E-cigs and vaping pens come with a tiny sensor and computer chip that activate a heater, which warms up the nicotine inside every time a person takes a draw.
When the liquid nicotine warms up it vapourises, creating a vapour that users can then suck through the mouthpiece.
But, e-cigarettes are still relatively new, and much more research is needed to explore the true effect they have on a vaper’s health.
While some studies have shown they are – in many ways – better for smokers than cigarettes, other studies have raised concerns they are encouraging a new generation of smokers.
Legislation brought into law on May 21 2017 restricts the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids.
As there is no burning involved, there is no smoke.
Unlike normal cigarettes, the devices don’t produce tar and carbon monoxide.
But, that does not mean the vapour produced is free of harmful chemicals.
Studies have found it contains some toxic chemicals, that are also found in cigarette smoke, at lower levels.
Health officials last year claimed e-cigarettes were 95 per cent safer than tobacco and GPs will soon be able prescribe E-cigs alongside nicotine patches and gum to help smokers quit.
But some trials reveal vaping triggers similar levels of damage to blood vessels as smoking tobacco.
What are the laws on the sale of e-cigarettes?
Vaping laws were created to restrict the sale of e-cigarettes and e-liquids.
The new guidelines include:
- Refillable tanks must have a capacity of no more than 2ml
- E-liquids can not be sold in quantities greater than 10ml
- Unless registered as a medicine e-liquids can not have a nicotine strength of more than 20mg/ml
- E-liquid packaging must be child-resistant and tamper evident
- Additives including colouring, caffeine and taurine are banned
- All e-cigarettes and e-liquids must be registered with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency before they can be sold
- Stricter labelling requirements
It comes after an undercover investigation found that almost nine tenths of British vape shops are willing to sell e-cigarettes to non-smokers – against the industry code of conduct.
Is vaping harmful and does it damage your lungs?
New Government-backed advice from Public Health England says all smokers – including pregnant women – should be encouraged to switch to the devices to help slash deadly tobacco addiction.
Public Health England said vaping was 200 times less likely to cause cancer than smoking.
Officials now want vaping allowed inside and outside hospitals.
It also found no evidence passively inhaling fumes is a risk to those nearby.
But previous reports have said that e-cigarettes could be as bad for your heart as smoking fags and tests have found they damage key blood vessels.
Top Greek professor, Charalambos Viachopoulos, told the world’s largest gathering of heart experts in Rome the devices are “far more dangerous than people realise”.
Health officials have claimed e-cigarettes were 95 per cent safer than tobacco and GPs will soon be able prescribe them alongside nicotine patches and gum to help smokers quit.
But trials have revealed vaping triggers similar levels of damage to key blood vessels as smoking tobacco. Known as arterial stiffness, it is the main predictor of heart disease.
Last summer, top Greek professor Charalambos Viachopoulos, told the world’s largest gathering of heart experts in Rome the devices are “far more dangerous than people realise”.
Mice exposed to e-cig vapour for 10 to 30 days suffered more severe strokes, and greater nerve damage than those exposed to tobacco smoke.
While results have yet to be confirmed in humans, the warning signs are there, the researchers said.
The team at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center said: “Vaping is not safer than tobacco smoking and may pose a similar, if not higher, risk for stroke severity.”
Meanwhile another study published last year also shows that electronic cigarettes also have a immediate harmful effect on the lungs.
Researchers found after using the devices, people’s airways became obstructed and their lungs became inflamed – with the symptoms most severe in asthmatics.