It’s simply not true to say that e-cigarettes don’t help people quit smoking. In fact, you’re twice as likely to succeed using e-cigarettes! The NHS completed a comprehensive study in 2019 and it found that a standard e-cigarette was twice as effective at helping smokers to quit compared with the quitters’ choice of combination nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Both groups were provided with behavioural support and those in the e-cigarette group had significantly faster reductions in cough and phlegm and overall success.2

This myth is a serious road-block in the mission to get the UK smoke free and is rooted in the misconceptions many people still have. Many smokers place vaping into the same ‘bucket’ as smoking, not understanding just how radically different they are, and how much less harmful vaping is for long term health compared to smoking cigarettes.

4 in 10 smokers believe Nicotine is the cause of the majority of smoking related illnesses.  When in fact, it’s the burning of tobacco that causes almost all of the issues.2

It’s all about the toxins. There are approximately 600 ingredients in cigarettes. When burned, cigarettes create more than 7,000 chemicals. At least 69 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer, and many are toxic.

Public Health England (PHE) found that while vaping is not entirely risk free, it is 95% less harmful than smoking, due mostly to the absence of smoke as the chemicals in e-liquids are heated, not burned.1

Here are just a few of the ingredients found in combustible tobacco products, aka cigarettes:

Acetone—found in nail polish remover

Acetic acid—an ingredient in hair dye

Ammonia—a common household cleaner

Arsenic—used in rat poison

Benzene—found in rubber cement and gasoline

Butane—used in lighter fluid

Cadmium—active component in battery acid

Carbon monoxide—released in car exhaust fumes

Formaldehyde—embalming fluid

Hexamine—found in barbecue lighter fluid

Lead—used in batteries

Naphthalene—an ingredient in mothballs

Methanol—a main component in rocket fuel

Tar—material for paving roads

Toluene—used to manufacture paint

Nicotine is clinically proven to have little, or no impact on health when inhaled (it is, however extremely toxic if swallowed). In fact, it is the tobacco, or more specifically, it’s the burning of tobacco and the related toxins released into the body and environment via the smoke.

The NHS, Cancer Research UK and anti-smoking groups such as Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) all agree that switching to vaping is not only less harmful for a smokers’ health but is proven to work as a tool to help people quit.

Quitting smoking is tough and there’s no quick fix.  Going cold turkey is the least effective way to quit with less than 3% of smokers successfully using will power alone to quit. The facts are clear, that when it comes to quitting, you need two things; an effective tool (Nicotine Replacement Therapy or an e-cigarette) and behavioural support.


E-cigarettes and tobacco are not the same and should never be treated as such. There are many misconceptions surrounding vaping and, specifically, vaping as a tool to help people quit. It is absolutely critical to lessen the burden on the NHS with smoking related diseases and to improve the health of the 7 million smokers in the UK. Vaping isn’t risk free, but it is proven to be 95% less harmful than smoking.1 In addition, unlike smoking, there are no risks to those around you when you vape.

Switching to quit works and with a little help from your friends you can do it.



  1. McNeill, A. et al. Evidence review of e- cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018. A report commissioned by Public Health England (2018).
  2. McNeill, A. et al. Evidence update. A report commissioned by Public Health England (2019).

Joanne Emmerson FCIM
Head of Marketing, Ibiza Vape Club

Joanne is a fellow of the Royal Chartered Institute of Marketing and has 30+ years marketing experience. She has worked all around the world, is published in 7 countries and teaches marketing communication theory at Post Graduate level both in the UK and USA. She has worked alongside many government bodies, health organisations and national charities.