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Despite the many news articles - particularly those coming from the United States - suggesting that vaping is as unsafe as smoking, Public Health England recognises that e-cigarette use is 95% less harmful than smoking. In the UK we have substantial regulations that the vaping market must adhere to - as opposed to the U.S where there is practically no regulation of the liquids that are on sale.

This is, sadly, where things are going wrong - people are using chemicals like diacetyl in their liquids, in some cases as a base for mixing in other chemicals like THC (tetrahydrocannibinol - the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis) and this is causing the health issues that has skewed public perception of vaping, everywhere.

We can safely say that in the UK, with all the regulations, these occurrences are non-existent. According to Cancer Research UK "There’s no good evidence that e-cigarettes could cause the lung condition called popcorn lung". Now we’ve dealt with some of the myths regarding the dangers of vaping, it leaves us with one major point that can’t be refuted - switching from smoking to vaping is the healthy thing to do!


There are numerous benefits to vaping over smoking. We know that tobacco cigarettes contain thousands of chemicals, of which over 60 are known carcinogens - cancer causing - including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde and chromium, to name but a few. Then, burning the tobacco creates carbon monoxide, another horrible chemical that sticks to blood cells, preventing them from transporting oxygen.

In comparison, e-liquids contain just propylene glycol (PG), vegetable glycerine (VG), nicotine and flavourings, which is heated into an aerosol and inhaled using a vaping device. As the aerosol doesn’t damage the lungs like tobacco smoke, it takes longer for the nicotine to be absorbed.

A typical e-cigarette refill is about 0.9 ml of liquid - at the highest strength that can legally be sold in the UK, this equates to approximately 25 cigarettes worth of nicotine, depending on how the device is used. So, if each electronic cigarette refill is sold in a pack of 5, costing around the £10 mark, this means that one packet contains around 150 cigarettes worth of nicotine. This becomes even more efficient if you make your own liquids! Tobacco prices are never likely to be this low, so stop smoking and start vaping - your wallet will thank you!

an adult smoker who quits smoking traditional cigarette and switches to an e-cigarette could save up to £3000 a year

From a health perspective, getting off tobacco in favour of vaping is a positive step as it not only cuts out harmful chemicals, but will give the opportunity for the quitter’s body to start clearing out the lungs, leading to an improvement in their vascular health. Other benefits include not smelling like an ashtray, being able to inhale a huge variety of great tasting flavours and gaining the benefits of nicotine without the harmful chemicals that are typically found with it. 


Having made the switch, what changes can you expect? Vaping liquids with nicotine in will help prevent withdrawal symptoms. As vaping doesn’t get as much nicotine into your system as smoking tobacco, there may be some withdrawal experienced, so the higher nicotine strengths are likely to help when you first switch over. Watch out for headaches, cravings and insomnia - vaping e-liquid containing nicotine should alleviate these symptoms. Exercise is a great natural way to tackle withdrawal symptoms - it not only helps clear toxins through sweating, but reduces cravings, helps improve sleep, and helps deal with stress!

Users may experience some side effects - as propylene glycol is hygroscopic (it attracts water to it) it can dry out the mouth and throat, this can lead to feelings of dehydration and headaches, so make sure to drink plenty of water! 

drinking water will help to keep you hydrated when you quit smoking and switch to vaping


Determined to make the switch? There are a few things to keep in mind that may help you at the start of your journey.

With cigarettes, there is a natural stopping point as the tobacco is burned up - this isn’t the case with vaping. You could find yourself puffing until your tank is empty, and this is not good. Nicotine poisoning is rare but can happen, this can make you feel queasy, be sick, increase your heart rate, make you dizzy and make your stomach ache. Best to have a plan of action for using your vape device - when working or at home, store it away from you and let your cravings dictate when you go for a puff.

When you make the switch as a smoker, be sure to go for a high nicotine liquid. In the UK the strongest available is a 2% mixture (20mg/ml) but there are much stronger liquids available in the US. If the 2% is not strong enough for you, you can mix your own liquids; using nicotine salts is a great way to up the amount of nicotine, without making the throat hit unbearable.


‘Dual Use’ is when people are using a vape device in addition to cigarettes or tobacco. If you have switched to e cigarettes, you may already have experienced the delay between using the e-cig and neutralising the nicotine craving. This is a disadvantage of vaping as smoking a cigarette hits the nicotine craving hard - approximately 80% of your nicotine receptors in the brain become occupied, and that rises to 95% by the time you have finished the cigarette. This explains why those who have switched to vaping may still have a cigarette - possibly in times of particular stress when vaping isn’t ‘hitting the spot’ fast enough.

Others may just be using an e-cigarette in order to cut down on smoking. If you plan to use the e-cig in conjunction with tobacco cigarettes throughout the day, alternating your smoke breaks between an actual cigarette and your vape for example, would halve your tobacco consumption. This can make dual use a very effective stepping stone for those who are trying to cut down their tobacco consumption, and those struggling to fully switch over to vaping.


When comparing vaping and smoking side by side, vaping is definitely the healthier option. As we mentioned earlier, Public Health England recognises e-cigarettes are 95% less harmful than traditional cigarettes. In the UK there is strict regulation regarding e-liquids, so the reality is that products made in certain places, like the U.S, are unlikely to be as safe as the liquids sold in the UK. This is one big problem, as the safety of vaping is often called into question by the stories that have come out of North America.

The substantial number of harmful chemicals in tobacco, combined with the tar and carbon monoxide we take in when we smoke, have many negative effects: from increased blood pressure which puts a strain on your blood vessels, to increased risk of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. While vaping isn’t perfect, it does massively reduce the amount of rubbish we are putting into our lungs and body, so it is logical to expect that maintaining this reduction in harmful chemicals will lead to better overall health.

Cutting out carbon monoxide means your blood can transport more oxygen to the muscles - this means a higher workload can be done, in simple terms: you will have more energy. The cilia lining your airways will also start to recover, and while vaping does stress the cilia, a study showed that this stress is modest when compared to the damage done to cilia by tobacco smoke. This means your lung health and breathing should improve over time, even with vape usage.

More clinical trials are needed to assess the long term effects of vaping, but the short term studies do suggest that "e-cigarette consumption is less toxic than tobacco smoking". So - if you are determined to do one or the other, vaping is undoubtedly the better of the two. 

Cancer Research UK infographic explains how e-cigarettes and vaping is far less harmful that smoking cigarettes


The first step on the journey to be tobacco free is choosing the right vape device for you. When you first dip your toe in the market, you will learn there are a few different things to consider.

For many, the throat hit is a large part of what makes using an e-cigarette feel close to smoking a tobacco cigarette. This throat hit is affected by the level of nicotine in the liquid, and the balance of propylene glycol (PG) to vegetable glycerine (VG) - higher PG will increase the throat hit. Often, a balance of 80/20 PG to VG is appropriate for smokers making the switch. Those seeking a smoother inhale are likely to lean towards a higher VG content, and liquids available in the 30/70 PG to VG balance are the way to go here.

How important is portability to you? An e-cigarette is small and convenient, as are the refills, so using it on-the-go is not problematic. A pod style device fits the bill as well, but when you enter vape pen territory, things become less convenient. The vape pen style device requires filling the tank yourself, so in addition to the vape pen, spare coils, spare tank and spare battery, you need to carry your e-liquid with you as well. For some users, filling the tank (and performing general maintenance) becomes part of the ritual, keeping your hands and mind occupied, and this can be a great distraction from nicotine cravings and withdrawal. The final style is the box mod type - these are customisable, expensive, require more maintenance, and are quite a bit larger than even a vape pen - certainly the most inconvenient to keep on you when you’re out and about!

If you are a smoker, be sure to go with a high nicotine liquid - the aim is to keep you off cigarettes (or at least cut down) so the high nicotine absorption experienced with tobacco smoke needs to be matched by your vape - you can reduce the strength over time if necessary. For casual or social smokers who are concerned with the effects of cigarette smoke on their body, a lower nicotine or nicotine free liquid may be appropriate, and this may help prevent young people from being tempted to take up smoking by keeping nicotine out of the equation.


Vaping is quite a personalised experience: you use your particular nicotine strength liquid, in your favourite flavour(s), with the device that best suits you and your needs. It can take some time to get this all worked out, and any research on the subject before you buy your device will pay off in the long run. 

Make no mistake - switching to vaping from smoking will see you improve your vascular health, see reduced risk of many conditions like heart disease and lung cancer, and if you push yourself, may well see you through to the last cigarette smoked by you. Try one of our popular SMOKO e-cigarette or vape starter kits today, and let us help you get started on your journey to a healthier you!
leading e-cigarette review site found "SMOKO is the one of the best vapes we tried - perfect for the beginner looking to quit smoking - 9.5 / 10"

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