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Vaping and e-cigarettes

What is vaping?

‘Vaping’ is a term used when a person uses and electronic cigarette (e-cigs), a device for inhaling vapour that usually contains nicotine.

What is an e-cigarette and how do they work?

E-cigarettes are either disposable or they are rechargeable and contain a battery, a heating element and either a cartridge containing e-liquid or a tank that can be filled with e-liquid. E-liquid typically contains propylene glycol or glycerine, together with nicotine and flavouring. Sucking air through the e-cigarette triggers the heater to create a vapour and inhaling the vapour delivers a hit of nicotine.

Are e-cigarettes safe to use?

E-cigarettes are not completely risk free, but experts agree that they are much less harmful than smoking. E-cigarettes are still fairly new and we don’t know about any impacts from longer term use but the evidence base is growing. Exposure to the vapour does not present the same risks of second hand smoke from tobacco. 

When e-cigarettes are used within normal operating levels (e.g. not overheated) there are far few harmful chemicals present in their vapour than in tobacco smoke.

Will vaping help me quit smoking?

Evidence suggests that vaping can help smokers cut down or stop smoking completely. People who vape alongside expert support from stop smoking services have some of the highest rates of success quitting smoking.

Are e-cigarettes available on prescription from stop smoking services?

Currently there are no e-cigarette products licensed as medicines. This means that stop smoking services, GP’s or Pharmacies can’t supply e-cigarettes on prescription but these services can offer you the extra support that will help you to stop smoking tobacco if you buy your own e-cigarette.

How old do you have to be to buy an e-cigarette?

It is against the law for retailers to sell e-cigarettes or e-liquids to someone under the age of 18.

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