E-cigarettes (Electronic cigarettes) are electrical devices that mimic real cigarettes by producing a vapour. They are increasing in popularity, with an estimated 2.1 million people now ‘vaping’ – and with traditional smoking now accounting for nearly 80,000 deaths a year in England, could e-cigs help more people to give up?
Companies such as Phoenix eliquid offer a range of electronic cigarette solutions available online – and the array of flavours is much more diverse than regular cigarettes, with quirky tastes such as coffee and even ‘gummy bear’ springing up.
There’s plenty of well-known evidence on the benefits of quitting smoking. The NHS website lists some of the immediate improvements you’ll start to notice:
- after one month your skin will be clearer, brighter and more hydrated
- after three to nine months your breathing will have improved, and you will no longer have a cough or wheeze
- after one year your risk of heart attack and heart disease will have fallen to about half that of a smoker
As if that wasn’t enough, stopping smoking will also improve your sex life and fertility, improve your sense of taste and smell, and give you whiter teeth! How much more motivation do you need to stop smoking? And, although tests are ongoing, there is some evidence that e-cigarettes CAN help you quit smoking regular cigarettes.
A group of leading British tobacco experts recently calculated that for every one million smokers who switch from cigarettes to e-cigs, 6,000 premature deaths would be prevented every year. This would equate to 50,000 lives a year being saved in England alone if every smoker switched.
A further study, carried out by University College, London looked at 6,000 people trying to stop smoking and concluded that those using e-cigarettes were 60% more likely to give up regular smoking than those using nicotine patches or gum. Professor Robert West, who led the study, said: “it was extremely important to find out how well e-cigarettes worked as a quitting tool – it could affect millions of lives. If the use of e-cigarettes for quitting continues to grow we will expect a public health benefit.”
There is a depth of further information on the EL Science website, which has researched electronic cigarettes and provides analysis of what actually goes into such devices. ‘There is no doubt that using an electronic cigarette or more correctly, an electronic nicotine delivery system is far better for your health than inhaling the thousands of chemicals from burning tobacco in standard cigarettes,’ it says.
And, because e-cigarettes don’t smell or produce smoke, you can use them in many places where smoking is banned, like bars and restaurants – another factor which is likely to contribute to their rocketing popularity. The research into their suitability as a smoking cessation device continues but there’s no doubt that e-cigarettes have already helped thousands of smokers to drop their habit.