A Look at the UK E-Cigarette and Vaping Landscape

For years, government and health officials have been warning of the dangers of smoking cigarettes manufactured with tobacco. Smoking is the leading cause of illness including cancer (several types), heart disease and other chronic diseases of the lungs. The underlying cause is felt to be tobacco and the carcinogens produced from burning and inhaling the cigarette smoke that actually causes the disease in question.

In recent years there has been a great number of smokers who have switched, at least partially, to electronic cigarettes, commonly referred to as e-cigarettes. The most recent data released by ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) and compiled from a survey conducted by yougov.co.uk estimates that there are more than 2.1 million consumers in the UK alone who regularly use e-cigarettes. Some of these people have switched totally to electronic cigarettes whilst others use them as an adjunct to smoking and smoking cessation programmes.

An interesting bit of data reported by the Office for National Statistics, ONS, is that it is rare for a non-smoker in the UK to pick up an e-cigarette rather than a traditional tobacco cigarette. In their latest statistics dated late in late 2014, electronic cigarettes are almost always utilised by smokers and those who have quit traditional tobacco cigarettes. It is truly interesting to note that nowhere is it documented that electronic cigarettes lead to smoking.

What Exactly Are E-Cigarettes and How Do They Compare with Traditional Tobacco Cigarettes?

Very few smokers are unfamiliar with electronic cigarettes, but a brief explanation is simply that it is a device designed to deliver nicotine without the carcinogenic effects of inhaling actual smoke. Nicotine is delivered electronically as a vapour when inhaling, much like the sensation of smoking. Most of today’s e-cigarettes utilise two main chemicals that combine with nicotine to create a vapour, glycerine or propylene glycol. Unfortunately, at the current time, there may be other additives used by specific manufacturers that are not labelled.

Is There Any Evidence that E-Cigarettes Can Help Smokers Quit?

The evidence at this time is somewhat inconclusive as there have been very few actual studies conducted in this regards. However, there is a great deal of data compiled from surveys and government statistical reports that suggests many people have actually been successful quitting with e-cigarettes alone and without the use of nicotine patches, gums and other medications.

Government Steps In to Regulate Labelling and Advertising Claims

One of the problems with electronic cigarettes has been the debate over whether these are a consumer product or a medical product. Because of this, the government has stepped in to regulate how e-cigarettes are labelled and advertised. If they are simply marketed as a smoking device, they will fall under the labelling and advertising guidelines of consumer products. However, if a manufacturer claims they can be used as an adjunct to smoking cessation like patches and gums, then they will need to follow the strict confines of labelling relegated to medicines and medical products. At the moment, e-cigarettes do not need to label:

  • The actual nicotine content
  • That they are child-proof
  • The ingredients (either active or inactive)
  • The constancy of nicotine delivery

All this is set to change next year. In 2016 new EU rules and regulations will require electronic cigarettes to be marketed in one of two ways:

  • As a nicotine delivery system only (consumer product)
  • As a potential adjunct to quitting (medical product)

So, as you can see, great strides are being made to ensure that consumers are protected and as safe as possible when making an informed decision on whether or not to buy e-cigs.

The Evolution of Electronic Cigarettes – From Yesterday to Today’s Hi Tech Landscape

Over the past few years, electronic cigarettes have taken on new “hi tech” forms and no longer simply resemble cigarettes (but made from plastic.) The first generation of electronic cigarettes, e-cigs, actually looked quite like a cigarette right down to a glowing LED light at the tip so that the experience was similar to that of smoking. Today, there are a number of different mechanisms to yield the same results, the intake of nicotine, so it is a good idea to become acquainted with the various options available – that is to say, unless you really want to ‘look’ like you are smoking a real cigarette!

The new trend in electronic cigarettes has evolved to something called vaping, which has become quite a trend. In principle as well as practice, it does feel the same as smoking. Nicotine is inhaled to satisfy the craving, but the device no longer resembles a tobacco cigarette. One of the absolute best features of this next generation of vaporisers is that you can now control with more accuracy the amount of nicotine in each inhalation.

As well, there are so many flavourful liquids to add which can enhance the ‘smoking experience.’ You control how much nicotine you are getting and you literally control the flavour to enjoy. For example, you may love the taste of blueberries and would like to enhance your e-cigarette to add a burst of fresh berry with each puff. You can order a specially designed vaping liquid that controls the amount of nicotine you get alongside the aromatic taste of blueberry – here’s an example online e-liquid supplier.

Whilst the jury is out and there is no conclusive evidence as to whether or not electronic cigarettes aid in a successful cessation programme, there are indeed studies that indicate many people have quit with e-cigarettes alone simply because they can continually reduce their intake of nicotine. The new breed of electronic smoking devices have added appeal and functionality. Whether you want to cut back on tobacco or simply want to experience delightful new flavours, join millions of others in the UK who are vaping and loving it.

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