The nation has been gripped by vaping fever. Cigarettes are evidently on their way out and
e-cigs are firmly in. The BBC reported in Sept 2015 that just 16.9% (compared to approx
45% in the 1970‘s) of the UK now smoke and largely attributed this fact to the rising
popularity of e-cigs as the preferred method of weaning from cigarettes by two thirds of
smokers actively trying to quit.
Around 700,000 smokers attempting to quit are using NRT’s (Nicotine Replacement
Method) such as gum, pills or patches, however more than one million people are using e-
The phenomena knows colloquially as ‘vaping’ has become somewhat of a fad. Youtube is
awash with examples of ornate vape tricks and the ability to ‘vape’ in a demonstrative way
is seen as admirable and humorous.
Public Health England have published information stating that smoking an e-cig is 95%
less harmful than smoking traditional cigarettes. This information has been criticised by
Health and medical academics such as Martin McKee (Professor of European public
health) as biased information given that at least one of the studies use to inform the report
was sponsored by groups with links to tobacco and e-cigarette production. Mckee and his
peers argue that the advice and information so desperately needed regarding the safety of
vaping should come from completely unbiased sources.
The debate over the safety of using e-cigs as opposed to cigarettes is still being played out
in the public arena. Pro-vapers argue that vaping is safer than smoking cigarettes (which
are proven to have harmful effects) and that vaping as yet has not been directly attributed
to causing the same level of harm, if any at all.
Anti-vapers argue that certain components of the vaping liquids can indeed be very
carcinogenic once inside the body, however to what degree is still largely unknown.
Storing liquids containing nicotine at home can also be extremely dangerous. As little as
10ml would be enough to seriously harm or even kill a small child.
The technology has recently come under fire too with reports of chargers and the e-cig
devices themselves being capable of exploding with massively damaging effects one has
to really wonder whether playing the vaping version of russian roulette is wise.