The use of e-cigarettes and other vaping tools has become increasingly beneficial as a method to quit smoking traditional tobacco. In 2012, there was an estimated 700,000 vapers in the UK. Now that number has increased to an incredible 3 million! There are still around 9 million smokers, but an ever-increasing number of smokers are switching to the less harmful alternative, vaping.
Partly due to this rapid increase, there are quite a few misconceptions that have arisen, both from smokers and non-smokers/non-vapers.
In terms of nicotine, many smokers (and non-smokers too for that matter) wrongly believe that nicotine causes many smoking related diseases. However, nicotine, though addictive, carries little risk to health.
Possibly the most talked about issue that makes its way into the news, is the fear of a vaping device suddenly catching fire and exploding. Usually, when this happens it’s more often than not down to the user’s negligence and is not often caused by a fault with the device (although ensure you are always aware, and don't leave batteries on charge for too long) Mechanical mods are probably the main source of this scaremongering, and it is always vital when using these devices that you know your ohms law and battery safety. With common sense, care and caution, it is very unlikely that you would face this problem.
One of the most damaging misconceptions is the notion that e-liquids are filled with lots of unknown and destructive chemicals. Yes, they do contain a few chemicals, but usually just Propylene Glycol, Vegetable Glycerine, flavouring and (optional) nicotine. In a cigarette, there are over 4000 chemicals, including 43 known carcinogens. Overall, many agree that vaping is less harmful (but not necessarily 'healthier’) than smoking. PHE (Public Health England) has stated that vaping is thought to be 95% safer than smoking tobacco.
Another misconception, originating mainly from anti vaping associations, is the opinion that vaping products are aimed at children. Here in the UK, it is the law that retailers cannot sell any vaping product to someone under the age of 18, whether that be a mod, a tank, a coil, juice – it's all illegal. I feel that the UK has a pretty strong stance on underage vaping, and this is certainly a positive.
As vaping develops, we will see waves of understanding and troughs of misunderstanding, and as a community it is important to spread awareness and dispel the myths.
This was a guest post by Peaches Atkinson.