e-cigarettes and vaping

Vaping is seen by some as a safer alternative to smoking. But there are still risks to health. The safest thing to do is not to smoke at all.
Vaping young man

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are a device which heats a fluid to create a water-based vapour which is inhaled. The vapour includes flavouring and in some cases nicotine. There are rules about how much nicotine can be included.

Crucial: Electronic cigarettes sold online or from unlicensed providers are unsafe and may include dangerously high amounts of nicotine or other dangerous substances.

Is vaping and e-cigarettes better for me?

Based on current evidence, vaping and e-cigarettes are less harmful to health than cigarettes. But they do still expose you to health risks. This risk can be very serious, especially if you’re vaping heavily or regularly, or using vaping as a way of taking drugs.

Crucial: Some adults are prescribed vapes by doctors or health advisers to help them give up smoking.

What the law says

Shops are not allowed to sell vaping products to under 18s. If adults buy vaping products for anyone under 18, they are also breaking the law. If companies or shops supply vape products to children, then they can be prosecuted, fined, and shut down.

Crucial: It is still illegal for those aged under 18 to buy a vaping device, even if they pair it with 0% nicotine vape fluid.

Nicotine and developing brains

As e-cigarettes are new, nobody knows exactly how serious the health risks are. But nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs, and the effects seem to be particularly serious for teenagers. Although vaping is safer than smoking, if the fluid contains nicotine then there are risks, including:

  • Addiction
  • Side effects (sore throat or cough)
  • Changes to the developing brain (including problems with learning and mood regulation)  

Instant expert: Want to know more about the effects of nicotine on the teenage brain? Science News for Students has made this Explainer: the nico-teen brain

Do e-cigarettes help you give up smoking?

For existing smokers, switching to vaping is a healthier and safer choice. Vaping can:

  • Lower the risk to others from second-hand smoke
  • Help you save money – vaping is cheaper than smoking cigarettes
  • Lower the risk of accidental fires

If vaping doesn't work for you, there are other methods you can try to help you quit smoking. Talk to your doctor to find out more about these methods, and what might work best for you.

Do e-cigarettes encourage young people to start smoking?

Although lots of young people are curious about vaping, most will only try it a few times. But those who start vaping regularly often go on to use cigarettes too.  Your risk of becoming a smoker is higher if:

  • Someone in your household smokes
  • Someone is supplying you with cigarettes
  • You have friends who smoke regularly

Know the facts: Vaping any illegal substance (including cannabis) is extremely risky, and against the law.

Find out more


Posted by ukvaporwaves
Posted ago

It is a nice post. It is very helpful for me. Thanks for sharing such a great information.

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