There’s some confusion and misleading information about vaping, which can make it difficult to work out what’s true or not. Nicotine vaping is less harmful than smoking. It’s also one of the most effective tools for quitting smoking.
Vaping is not recommended for non-smokers and young people because it is not completely harmless. Additionally there is some evidence that the use of these products by adolescents increases their chance of starting to smoke cigarettes later in life.
Common side effects of vaping include:
• coughing, dry mouth and throat
• mouth and throat irritation
• shortness of breath
While vaping can help smokers quit, it is not harmless and is not for young people under 18. It is especially important to protect young lungs and brains.
That’s why there’s a minimum age of sale for vaping products in Gibraltar. It is illegal to sell nicotine vaping products to anyone under 18 or for adults to buy them on behalf of under-18s.
How vaping can help you quit smoking
Vapes are electronic devices that let you inhale nicotine in a vapour instead of smoke. This is done by heating a solution (e-liquid) that typically contains propylene glycol, vegetable glycerine, flavourings and nicotine.
E-liquids come in different nicotine strengths, so you control how much nicotine you need to help with cravings and other withdrawal symptoms, such as feeling irritable and having low mood.
Nicotine itself is not very harmful and has been used safely for many years in medicines to help people stop smoking.
Help break the routines of smoking cigarettes
The routines and rituals of smoking can be hard to stop, so vaping can help you gradually let go of these while immediately reducing the health risks of smoking cigarettes.
Did you know?
You’re roughly twice as likely to quit smoking if you use a vape compared with other nicotine replacement products, like patches and gum.
Is vaping harmful?
Experts agree vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking but it is not risk-free.
Long-term effects of vaping
Vaping has not been around for long enough to know the risks of long-term use. This includes the long-term effects of inhaling the flavourings in vapour. While vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking, it is unlikely to be totally harmless.
Ideally, if you are vaping to quit smoking, you should aim to eventually stop vaping too.
The healthiest option is not to smoke or vape.
If you do not smoke, do not start vaping.
Anyone concerned about vaping should contact the GHA Smoking Cessation Clinic on 200 52441 for advice.
Information source NHS England