Using e-cigarettes to stop smoking
Over recent years, e-cigarettes have become a very popular stop smoking aid in the UK. Evidence is still developing on how effective they are, but many people have found them helpful for quitting.
An electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) is a device that allows you to inhale nicotine without most of the harmful effects of smoking.
E-cigarettes work by heating and creating a vapour from a solution that typically contains nicotine; a thick, colourless liquid called propylene glycol and/or glycerine; and flavourings. As there is no burning involved, there is no smoke.
Will e-cigarettes help me stop smoking?
Research shows that e-cigarettes can help you give up smoking. If you want to use an e-cigarette to help you quit, you’ll give yourself the best chance if you speak to our local stop smoking service. In the year up to April 2015, two out of three people who used e-cigarettes in combination with the local stop smoking service quit smoking successfully.
E-cigarettes on prescription
Currently, there are no e-cigarettes on the market that are licensed as medicines, which means they are not available on prescription from the NHS. Once medicinally licensed e-cigarette products come onto the market, GPs and stop smoking services will be able to prescribe them alongside other stop smoking medicines.
Read about other stop smoking treatments.
Are e-cigarettes safe?
E-cigarettes do not produce tar and carbon monoxide – two of the main toxins in conventional cigarette smoke. The vapour from e-cigarettes has been found to contain some potentially harmful chemicals also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.
E-cigarettes are still fairly new and we won’t have a full picture on their safety until they have been in use for many years. However, according to current evidence on e-cigarettes, they carry a fraction of the risk of cigarettes.
New rules for e-cigarettes and their refill containers came into effect in the UK in 2016. These rules ensure that there are minimum standards for the safety and quality of all e-cigarettes and refill containers.
There are two types of safety concerns associated with e-cigarettes:
- a fault with the e-cigarette device that could make it unsafe to use
- side effects to your health caused by using your e-cigarette
Want to quit smoking?
Contact Peterborough Healthy Lifestyles service on freephone 0800 376 56 55.
Did you know that you're up to four times more likely to quit successfully with their expert help and advice?