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Making the Switch? Experts Answer your Questions

As e-cigarette usage increases, so do studies touting benefits or warning of long-term health risks, so it’s no surprise people are confused on the topic. Is it indeed a way to decrease nicotine dependency, eventually helping people quit for good?

So far, no study has been able to prove a person worse off by switching from combustible cigarettes to e-cigarettes. On contrary, e-cigarettes are 95% safer than smoked tobacco, and they can actually help smokers quit, for good (Public Health England).

We know making the decision to switch can be daunting, which is where we come in. We’re always on the look-out for helpful information from experts, including the latest studies from the likes of Public Health England, Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society for Public Health, to help answer your questions surrounding the use of e-cigarettes.

Isn't nicotine bad for you?

If you pay attention to advertising throughout the decades then your answer is surely yes to this question. Nicotine has assumed the role of enemy of the state for decades, and since e-cigarettes do contain nicotine, aren’t they then just as harmful?

In a word: No.

Nicotine in cigarettes is harmful because it is combined with tobacco which includes damaging chemicals such as tar and arsenic. E-cigarettes do contain nicotine, but no tobacco, which means no tar and no arsenic.

In fact, according to the Royal Society for Public Health, nicotine itself is no more harmful to health than caffeine. Your cup (or cups) of coffee every day.

Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH, said: “Over 100,000 people die from smoking-related disease every year in the UK.  While we have made good progress to reduce smoking rates, 1 in 5 of us still does. Most people smoke through habit and to get their nicotine hit. Clearly we would rather people didn’t smoke, but in line with NICE guidance on reducing the harm from tobacco, using safer forms of nicotine such as e-cigarettes are effective in helping people quit.”

Jasmine Just, from Cancer Centre UK agrees that there is one key ingredient missing in e-cigarettes that makes all the difference.

Up to two-thirds of long-term smokers will die because of their addiction, but e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco. Instead they contain nicotine, which is what keeps people addicted, but is not responsible for the major health harms from smoking. Research has shown that those who make a complete switch from smoking tobacco to e-cigarettes can significantly reduce their exposure to key harmful chemicals in tobacco smoke.”

Aren’t e-cigarettes as harmful as combustible cigarettes?

Well, according to a study by Public Health England, the latest evidence concludes that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoked tobacco and they can help smokers quit.

Commissioned to provide an independent review of the latest evidence to ensure that the public has the best information available, the study also concluded that when used as intended, e-cigarettes pose no risk of nicotine poisoning to users.

Is second-hand vape harmful?

So far, we’ve addressed topics related to the effects of vaping on the vaper, but what about second-hand, or passive harm caused by the cloud of vapour released from e-cigarettes, is it harmful?

To answer this question we turn to one of the most credible reports on the topic is called “Smoking without Smoke” from the Royal College of Physicians which concludes:

“Users of e-cigarettes exhale the vapour, which may therefore be inhaled by others, leading to passive exposure to nicotine. There is, so far, no direct evidence that such passive exposure is likely to cause significant harm, although one study has reported levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that were outside defined safe-exposure limits. It is clear that passive exposure will vary according to fluid, device and the manner in which it is used. Nicotine from exhaled vapour can be deposited on surfaces, but at such low levels that there is no plausible mechanism by which such deposits could enter the body at doses that would cause physical harm.”

At AYR, we encourage everyone to be their own health advocate. We will continue to work hard, providing the facts and answering your questions, to help you make the switch.

Have more questions? Let us know in the comments, we’ll be sure to address them in our upcoming articles.

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