Vape Myth Busting - Welcome to Kick It
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Vape Myth Busting

Vape Myth Busting

Woman using a vape outdoors

If you’re thinking about quitting or swapping from smoking to using a vape / e cigarette, it’s normal to have questions and/or worries. There are lots of inaccuracies and misleading reporting in the media about vaping. The following information is intended to give you the facts so that you can make an informed decision.

The risks of vaping are slight compared with smoking tobacco. At just 5% of the harm of cigarette smoking, this figure was set in 2016 and the latest independent research reinforces this. The main reason it’s not as harmful is vape liquid does not contain any carbon monoxide – the poisonous gas given off the lighted tip, or tars – which turn lungs black and contain over 60 cancer causing substances.


Won’t I just be swapping one addiction for another?

No. You can choose whether you would like to use a vape long term or use it as a quitting aid where we can step down the nicotine content so that at the end of the course, you should no longer be addicted to nicotine, much the same way that we use other nicotine replacement therapy. It is much easier to break the habit of vaping than of smoking.

I’m worried about vaping as I’ve heard that it will cause popcorn lung.

The ingredient, Diacetyl, is not present in vape liquid and is banned in the UK so there is NO risk from vaping. At very high levels it has been associated with a lung disease bronchiolitis obliterans, as was observed among workers in a popcorn factory. It is present in cigarette smoke but does not cause popcorn lung at these levels.

They are not regulated so how do we know what’s in them?

The UK has some of the strictest regulation for vapes in the world where they are subject to a minimum standard of quality and safety under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. Before being permitted for sale, all products must be submitted to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with detailed information including a list of all ingredients. Vape liquid is typically composed of nicotine, propylene glycol and/or glycerine, and flavourings, compared to tobacco which has 500-600 ingredients and combine to create 7,000 chemicals.

Vapes must be harmful as they contain nicotine.

Many smokers think that nicotine causes most of the tobacco smoking related cancers. Although it is the most addictive substance in tobacco, evidence shows nicotine carries minimal risk of harm to health. In reality, it is the thousands of other chemicals that cause almost all of the harm. Vape liquids contain a few of the chemicals found in tobacco smoke but at much lower levels. 

Vapour from an vape is harmful to bystanders.

Unlike cigarettes, there is no side stream vapour coming from a lighted tip, just the exhaled aerosol. Public Health England’s 2018 evidence review found that there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to bystanders. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions can be sensitive to a range of irritants in the environment including pollen and cold air and the vapour from vapes can be one of those irritants.

Vapes don’t help people to quit smoking.

A major UK clinical trial, funded by the National Institute of Health and Care Research, was published in February 2019 involving nearly 900 participants. Data from local stop smoking services showed that a standard vape was twice as effective at helping smokers to quit compared with other methods. It also found that vape users had significantly faster reductions in cough and phlegm.


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