In July 2019, the government laid out its aim to make the UK smoke free by 2030. But a clear road map to achieving that goal has yet to be published. With COVID-19 still active in our communities our attention on respiratory health has never been more focused.
Smoking causes nearly 1 in 5 cancer cases and more than 1 in 4 cancer deaths each year in the UK. Decades of policy action have steadily cut the UK’s smoking rates to one of the lowest in Europe. But with around 1 in 7 people still smoking, tobacco continues to place an enormous cost on our society and our economy.2
This is a goal we all need to support, not just for the health of the smokers, but for our communities as a whole. Smoking related illnesses are 100% avoidable, but unless more people have access to smoking cessation programmes it will be incredibly hard to reach the goal of zero smokers by 2030.
Switching to vaping to help quit smoking is not just a smart choice, it’s one that is supported by the NHS. The body begins to heal almost immediately when the smoker switches to vaping. Airways open up, the level of toxins in their body reduce and within a very short period of time they are feeling the benefits of quitting. Vaping isn’t without risk, but it is 95% less harmful than smoking and it allows the vaper to control the amount of Nicotine they are consuming to help manage cravings. Nicotine is harmless when inhaled (although highly addictive) so a smoker can continue to enjoy the ‘fix’ but with 95% less harm to their body.1
VAPING IS ALSO NOT HARMFUL TO THOSE AROUND YOU
There is no such thing as passive vaping. That’s a very different story to smoking.
Passive smoking is not only deadly, it’s obnoxious to be around. But it would be wrong to say that smokers don’t care about how their habit affects others, they do, and as we found in a recent study, 62% of smokers want to quit. Passive smoking is an unavoidable bi-product of smoking and until the invention of vaping, there was no real alternative. People, wrongly, assume that a vapour cloud is as toxic as cigarette smoke. ABSOLUTELY WRONG. Public Health England found that, to date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to the health of bystanders.3
Secondary smoking is deadly because the toxins released when tobacco is burned are incredibly poisonous to the human body. When burned cigarettes release thousands of toxins that not only go direct into the lungs of the smoker but hang in the air and cling to surfaces.
Vaping doesn’t produce smoke, or water vapour; it produces an aerosol. It might look like a cloud of steam, but it isn’t. Aerosol has a very short active life, meaning it doesn’t linger, which helps prevent any real risk of passive vaping.
Any chemical will change state when heated. Vaping produces an aerosol cloud, which consists of fine particles. It is often confused with water vapour as it looks like clouds of steam (it does contain H2O but it isn’t considered to be water vapour). The aerosol cloud contains particles of material that have been transformed by the process of heating. The three core ingredients of e-liquid will be converted into different ratios of chemicals depending on the ingredients used.
While it is known that vapour can include toxins, they appear in very small quantities. Regulated e-liquids are also subject to emissions testing to ensure their safety.
The most significant difference between smoke and vapour is that how they are produced. Smoke is produced by burning the tobacco which produces a staggering 7,000 chemicals, at least 69 of which are known to cause cancer. E-liquids are heated which ensures that the compounds do not change state in the same way as they would if they were burned.4
Switching to vaping to quit smoking is not only 95% less harmful than smoking for you, it’s the best choice for those around you. You can breathe easier and breathe easy when you vape … you’re not harming anyone when you vape.