There is no doubt that over recent years e-cigarettes have become extremely popular.  Many people though ask us “are e-cigarettes safe?”.  Well there is much debate on this.  We at Let Me Quit will try to make some sense out of the various information there is out there. We have tried to compile and summarize the current evidence and data on e-cigarette into this one article.

Unlike cigarettes and tobacco, e-cigarettes are a recent thing.  This means that there is no historical data and research to show what effect it might have on the human body.  What is for certain is that e-cigarettes have become a very popular stop smoking aid.  The NHS, which is the National Health Service in the UK has states that “evidence is still developing on how effective they are, but many people found them helpful for quitting.”

How do e-cigarettes work

So how do e-cigarettes work and are e-cigarettes safe? Basically e-cigarettes work by heating and creating a vapor from the solution added in.  This solution normally has nicotine inside it.  This is mixed along with a colorless liquid called propylene glycol and/or glycerine. Given that there is no fire or burning there is no smoke. Differently to normal cigarettes, e-cigarettes do not produce carbon monoxide and tar. They though have been found to contain some intoxicants which are also found in cigarettes, albeit at much lower levels. Simply said electronic cigarettes allow you to inhale nicotine without many of the harmful effects of smoking. The next main question, are e-cigarettes safe?

Are e-cigarettes safe?

A recent study by Public Health England (McNeill A. et al, August 2015), states that the “best estimates show e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes, and when supported by a smoking cessation service, help most smokers to quit tobacco altogether.”  This is positive news for people who wish to quit smoking.  In fact smokers that have tried to quit smoking using more traditional methods are being encouraged to quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes.

The report goes also to state that by “encouraging smokers who cannot or do not want to stop smoking to switch to EC” the switch “could help reduce smoking related disease, death and health inequalities”. In fact recent findings show that electronic cigarettes actually help people to quit smoking.  Plus they also reduce their consumption of cigarettes. E-cigarettes can actually encourage users to quit and decrease cigarette consumption even among individuals that use them without the intention of quitting.

Do e-cigarettes help you quit smoking?

In a paper on the journal Addiction (Leonie S. Brose et al, 25th April 2015), they state that the “daily use of e-cigarette use while smoking at one time-point is associated with subsequent increases in rates of attempting to quit smoking and reducing smoking, but not with increased smoking cessation.”  This is a very interesting point.  It means that people using e-cigarettes regularly will probably decrease their tobacco consumption. Not only but they are more inclined to try to quit smoking.

The growing us of e-cigarettes has ensured that the governments are giving more attention to their use.  In fact a number of countries have already issued legislation creating minimum safety and quality standards for the actual e.cigarettes and the refill containers.  From a safety perspective we underline the importance of taking care of your e-cigarette. A fault with the e-cigarette device could make it unsafe to use.  It is probably better to change or buy a new e-cigarette than keep using a faulty or damaged one.

Have a quit plan

Let Me Quit believes that e-cigarettes can help you quit smoking. This though should be part of a proper quit plan.  We actually advise our readers to read more on the subject.  We have a many support articles aimed at helping you kick the habit. You should use e-cigarettes as part of a plan. Check where the nearest cessation clinic is and give them a visit. Many countries have free sessions sessions and also telephone support lines.  We would also like you to share your experiences within the Let Me Quit community.

Which e-cigarettes should you buy

We have done some research on the various e-cigarettes available and have tried to short list which we believe are the better.  You can find our recommendations by following this link.  We do not shy away from stating that by purchasing an e-cigarette by following these links you will be helping us sustain this website. This money helps support our initiatives and the work we do. We are not financed by any state or organisation. You support means that we can promote more and have a greater and wider reach.

 

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