e cigarette

Tobacco products are responsible for SIX MILLION deaths every year all around the world on its own. It's clear to see that although public health makes massive efforts to warn about the damage caused by smoking, prevent young people from starting and helping smokers quit, smoking remains the single greatest cause of ill health and premature death. Restrictions on advertising traditional cigarettes and smoking in public places don't show any promising results either!

Considering all of the above,  how should we view the increasing popularity of electronic cigarettes

E-cigarettes seem to be the best way of delivering nicotine but without the vast majority of other chemicals present in tobacco smoke (either from the tobacco itself, or as a result of the burning process). Of course, there are other alternatives, such as nicotine patches etc. But (as an ex-smoker myself) it's not just about the nicotine. Vaping gives us the throat hit and the flavour of fags, which smokers need just as well as nicotine. 

Plus, it's the habit of having something to inhale! Would you agree?

On the other hand, vaping is now considered as a lifestyle or a hobby. Vaping culture is on the rise - we've all at least heard of cloudchasing competitions and various vaping events in numerous countries (e.g. Vape Jam, VapeExpo ...). We now can build our own coil; modify the mod, mix our own e-liquid and obviously the extensive range of already made devices and amazing choice of e juice flavours - what is there not to like?

And yes, young people are experimenting with e-cigarettes (in the same way that they have always experimented with pretty much everything), although at the moment there is no strong evidence this is leading to subsequent cigarette use, or even long-term e-cigarette use.

The rapid growth in use of e-cigarettes, especially among smokers trying to cut down or quit, has taken the public health community and the tobacco industry by surprise - both are struggling to catch up. Health professionals are hurrying to carry out research to develop evidence-based guidelines and policies, where the tobacco industry is buying up e-cigarette companies and introducing its own products onto the market.

Part of the reason many vapers feel so passionately about the subject (and react strongly when they feel that vaping is being unfairly attacked) is that for the first time, through the use of e-cigarettes, they have felt able to take control of their nicotine habit, stop smoking, and reassert some control over their health, without being medicalised in the process.

But a problem remains in the lack of information on the possible harm of e-cigarettes. This is unlikely to change any time soon, since the health effects of tobacco use can take several decades to emerge, and it’s probable the same will be true for e-cigarettes. That is why, if you use ecigs to give up, it is recommended to slowly reduce the nicotine levels in your e-liquid and eventually give up vaping too.

Don't take this the wrong way though; nothing is entirely risk-free, but the vastly reduced number of chemicals present in e-cigarette vapour compared to tobacco smoke means we can be confident that vaping will be much, much less harmful than smoking. At the doses consumed by vapers the harm is likely to be very low (although still, more reasearch is needed), therefore public health bodies must be careful not to restrict smokers’ access to e-cigarettes, or over-state the potential harm of their use, if this will put people off making the transition from smoking to vaping.