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More people are turning to vaping to stop their smoking habits.
The NHS does not offer vapes on prescription, they are sold in specialist vape shops, some pharmacies and other retailers.
Mostly common among young adults, many believe vaping is less harmful than smoking, they are cheaper than traditional cigarettes in the long run and youths find the lack of smoke and strong smell appealing.
Read more:Is it time that smoking outside pubs and cafes be banned?
What are vapes and how do they work?
A vape or e-cigarette is a device that allows you to inhale nicotine in a vapour rather than smoke. It does not burn tobacco and does not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most damaging elements in tobacco smoke.
Vaping works by heating a liquid that typically contains nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine, and flavourings.
What types of vapes are there?
There are a variety of models and the thing they all share in common is they have to be charged.
Cigalikes look closely like tobacco cigarettes and can be disposable or rechargeable. Vape pens are shaped like a pen or small tube, with a tank to store e-liquid and replaceable coils.
Pod systems are compact rechargeable devices, often in the shape of a USB stick or a pebble. The last model there is mods, they come in different shapes and sizes, but are the largest vape devices. They have a refillable tank and longer lasting rechargeable batteries.
A rechargeable e-cigarette with a refillable tank delivers nicotine more effectively and quickly than a disposable model and is likely to give you a better chance of quitting smoking.
How safe are vapes?
Vapes aren’t completely risk free, but according to the NHS they carry a small fraction of the risk of cigarettes. They do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most harmful elements in tobacco smoke.
The liquid and vapour contain some potentially harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels. Vaping can be used as a way to quit cigarettes by getting nicotine with fewer of the toxins that come from burning tobacco.
The NHS says on its website: “E-cigarettes are far less harmful than cigarettes and can help you quit smoking for good. Many thousands of people in the UK have already stopped smoking with the help of an e-cigarette.
“A major UK clinical trial published in 2019 found that, when combined with expert face-to-face support, people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking were twice as likely to succeed as people who used other nicotine replacement products, such as patches or gum.” However the NHS also warns: “You will not get the full benefit from vaping unless you stop smoking cigarettes completely. “