Some types of e-cigarettes to be regulated as medicines

Behind the Headlines

Wednesday June 12 2013

More and more people are using e-cigarettes

Update – 21st August 2015

Public Health England has recently published an evidence review about e-cigarettes. The main finding of the review is that e-cigarettes are 95% safer than cigarettes and are an effective quitting aid.

Read more about their review.

Electronic cigarettes are to be licensed and regulated as an aid to quit smoking from 2016, it has been announced.

A dual approach to regulation for e-cigarettes- battery-operated devices that mimic cigarettes – will be introduced in May 2016.

E-cigarettes brands that make medicinal claims, such as “Helps you to quit smoking”, will require authorisation under existing medicines legislation, for which the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) is responsible. And only these types of e-cigarettes would be made available on prescription as a quitting aid, in the same way as nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches or gum.

E-cigarette brands that do not make such a claim will not require a medical license but they will have to meet a set of standards for safety and quality, as set out in the revised EU Tobacco Products Directive (TPD).

There will also be a set standard for packaging information so consumers can make an informed choice.

Regulations prohibiting the sale of electronic cigarettes to under 18s, or adults purchasing them on their behalf, will come into force on 1 October 2015 in England and Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland are seeking to bring forward similar legislation within their respective parliaments.


Are e-cigarettes safe? 

We don’t really know until they have been thoroughly assessed and monitored in a large population over time. However, compared with regular cigarettes, they are certainly the lesser of two evils.

A recent Public Health England evidence review concluded that e-cigarettes were 95% safer than "traditional" cigarettes.

First, e-cigarettes don’t contain any tobacco – only nicotine, which is highly addictive but much less dangerous. For this reason, smoking e-cigarettes (known as "vaping") is generally regarded a safer alternative to smoking for those unable or unwilling to stop using nicotine.

Also, while the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found the liquid and vapour to contain traces of toxins (PDF, 237kb), including cancer-causing chemicals nitrosamines and formaldehyde, the level of these toxins is about one thousandth of that in cigarette smoke.

We cannot be certain that these traces of toxins are harmless, but tests on animals and a small study of 40 smokers are reassuring, providing some evidence that e-cigarettes are well tolerated and only associated with mild adverse effects (slight mouth or throat irritation, a dry cough).

Public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) is cautiously optimistic, concluding in its January 2013 briefing (PDF, 447kb) that "there is little evidence of harmful effects from repeated exposure to propylene glycol, the chemical in which nicotine is suspended".

Others are more wary. Some health professionals do not recommend them because they believe the potential for harm is significant. It is worth bearing in mind that nicotine is not altogether harmless – for example, it has been linked to anxiety – and research suggests nicotine plays a direct role in the development of blood vessel disease.

E-cigarettes are banned by other countries and by some UK schools concerned about their influence on adolescents (see What are the other concerns?). 


What do e-cigarettes contain, and how do they work?

Most e-cigarettes contain a battery, an atomiser and a replaceable cartridge. The cartridge contains nicotine in a solution of either propylene glycol or glycerine and water, and sometimes also flavourings.

When you suck on the device, a sensor detects the air flow and starts a process to heat the liquid inside the cartridge, so it evaporates to form water vapour. Inhaling this vapour delivers a hit of nicotine straight to your lungs.


Will they help me quit smoking?

We don’t yet know. The evidence so far is promising, but not strong enough to draw any firm conclusions.

2011 study and a 2013 survey found that e-cigarettes decreased the number of cigarettes consumed by smokers, and the survey also suggested they reduce cigarette cravings – although participants were recruited from websites of e-cigarette manufacturers, so results may not be representative.

It’s not certain whether e-cigarettes deliver as much nicotine as forms of nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, so they may not be as effective at curbing nicotine cravings.

However, they do have the advantage of looking and feeling like cigarettes: they satisfy the same hand-to-mouth action, give out a smoke-like vapour, and some even have an LED light that resembles the burning tip of a cigarette. This could be why a 2010 study found that even placebo e-cigarettes (with no nicotine) relieved the desire to smoke within the first 10 minutes of use.

If you want to try a safer alternative to cigarettes but are concerned about the uncertainties surrounding e-cigarettes, you may wish to consider a nicotine inhalator. This licensed quit smoking aid, available on the NHS, consists of just a mouthpiece and a plastic cartridge. It’s proven to be safe, but the nicotine vapour only reaches the mouth rather than the lungs, so you don’t get the quick hit of nicotine that comes with e-cigarettes (see box below, which compares e-cigarettes with inhalators).


E-cigarettes vs nicotine inhalators



Is there any risk to others from e-cigarette vapour?

It’s not clear until more studies are done (see Are e-cigarettes safe?). Research to date has not shown the vapour to be harmful – it largely consists of water.

According to ASH: “Any health risks of secondhand exposure to propylene glycol vapour are likely to be limited to irritation of the throat.” To support this, it cites a 1947 study that exposed animals to propylene glycol for 12-18 months at doses 50 to 700 times the level the animal could absorb through inhalation. Compared to animals living in a normal room atmosphere, no irritation was found, and the kidney, liver, spleen and bone marrow were all found to be normal.


What are the other concerns? 

Because e-cigarettes can be smoked in public places such as bars, restaurants and public transport, some people feel they may be normalising what has come to be seen as an unacceptable activity.

Also, some argue that e-cigarettes (with their flavourings and clever marketing) are a "gateway to smoking" for children and teenagers, encouraging them to smoke when they wouldn’t otherwise take up the habit.

If they're not a gateway to smoking, they are at least a gateway to nicotine addiction. Cancer Research UK asks whether smokers who may have otherwise successfully conquered their nicotine addiction may be more likely to stay on e-cigarettes (and thus be addicted to nicotine) long term, if they start using them.

However, these are just theories and questions, which need to be properly researched before we can jump to any conclusions, and their potential influence on children will hopefully not be an issue when e-cigarettes are tightly regulated as a medicine.


Where do I buy e-cigarettes, and how much do they cost?

DIY vaping

Some vapers build their own e-cigarettes – known as "rebuildables" or "personal vapourisers" (PVs). These can be from components ordered online and many vapers even make their own cartridge fluid ("juice"). The same safety issues apply to this form of vaping, but it generally works out to be cheaper than buying the sophisticated kits and disposable devices that closely mimic cigarettes ("cig-a-likes").

E-cigarettes are widely available online and from newsagents, supermarkets and even some pharmacies. They are currently not available on the NHS.

A single disposable e-cigarette costs about £6. A starter kit costs anything from £17 to £90 (many retail at around £35-£45). For this, you typically get a battery, a charger and two or more replaceable cartridges containing nicotine. When the cartridges run out, a four-pack of refills will cost you £10-£17. In all, they are estimated to be 20% cheaper than cigarettes (this may be an underestimate).


How long do they last?

E-cigarette manufacturers say that a refill cartridge is equivalent to anything from seven to 25 regular cigarettes, depending on its nicotine content – but these may be overestimates, and its duration obviously depends on how heavily you use the device. The battery is said to last between two and five hours.


This page was last updated on August 27 2015.

Analysis by NHS Choices. Follow Behind the Headlines on Twitter.

Edited by NHS Choices

Further reading

Public Health England. E-cigarettes: an evidence update (PDF, 2.07Mb). Full Report. August 2015

Action on Smoking and Health, Electronic cigarettes (PDF, 447kb). January 2013


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The 41 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

clarkanton said on 04 November 2015

I have smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day for the past 30 years, and was beginning to feel the effects on my body with increased breathlessness and a smoker's cough which would wake me up in the night. I decided that the time was right to quit, but after having tried gum, lozenges, patches and an inhalator in the past was not optimistic. I decided to jump on the e-cig bandwagon as a last resort, and in spite of my initial scepticism I have now been using this for six weeks. I have not had a cigarette in this time, I have not wanted a cigarette in this time, and the cough and breathlessness have gone. It ticks all the boxes for smoking cessation, it gives a quick hit of nicotine, you still get the hand to mouth action and best of all you still get to blow 'smoke' out of your nose. I would highly recommend this method of quitting cigarettes toanyone.

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VapingWonder said on 30 August 2015

'they are estimated to be 20% cheaper than cigarettes (this may be an underestimate)'.

You don't say! That's a huge, huge underestimate. I used to smoke hand rolled tobacco, and probably spent £10 a week. After the initial kit (£30), vaping costs me around £5 a fortnight! So that's a 75% reduction in my case.

Regarding the health aspect - since switching to e cigarettes there have been no side effects. However, using the NHS approved nicotine patches induced night terrors (slightly more than 'vivid dreams') which were horrendous and resulted in me waking up screaming blue murder in the middle of the night, scaring my husband and children half to death.
I know which I would prefer!

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Joy1953 said on 06 April 2015

The bad side of Vape. I'm a smoker of 45 years. And than I tried to Vape. The first morning of No Smoking, I coughed a lot of junk out, I thought I can't do this, but I did anyways, the second week I now Welcome the cough, the 4th week, just a little coughing. The other bad side of Vape is. I now jump out of bed like a Teenager What's with that? At 62 years of age, I had never dreamed I could ever quit...My skin glows, my youth is coming back! Now 6 months later. I am not a Smoker, when my Friend had his Heart attack, I visited him in the ICU, and yes, I was Vaping in the ICU, a Doctor walked by, and went "Thumbs up" Now, they see the money they can make off Vaping. Listen we will March for our Vapes. I will stock pile, before you take away what has saved my Life and Millions of others....

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samantha56 said on 24 March 2015

i smoked cigs and roll up for a good 40 years, i tried loads of ways to try and stop but they never worked, a few months ago after having a real bad chest for ages i decided to try the e cigs refillable ones, i havent smoked a roll up or normal cig for over 2 months, my chest is alot better, my sense of smell is back, my health is better,when my friends smoke normal cigs around me, it doesnt bother me at all apart from the smell haha, the government do not want us to have these e cigs because of all the taxes they are losing through cigarette companys. i for 1 am grateful to e cigs, and i know i will never go back to normal cigs and on another plus side, i have saved alot of money.

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Daz Croft said on 02 February 2015

This seems to be a biased article aiming to (subtly) discredit vapourisers as a means to quit smoking.
Instead you are promoting the inhaler which doesn't work (I've know about 6 people, me included, who have tried this and after a couple of weeks realised that it's no real help at all). Maybe it works for some, but I'm betting not for most.

The studies that you have linked to show how effective e-cigarettes are: they show dramatic reduction in smoking with the use of an e-cigarette especially considering that the participants where smokers who at the start of the trial had no intention of reducing smoking or quitting but by the end of one of the trials 20% quit, others on 25/day went down to 6/day by using e-cigs. Just think how effective this would have been if the participants actually wanted to quit.

You also try to mis-lead the reader into thinking that they're not much cheaper than cigarettes:
“......20% cheaper than cigarettes.”

You'll find they are about 92% cheaper than cigarettes.

The pack a day smoker will spend £2700 a year (£7.50 x 365), but using a vapouriser will typically cost £200 per year (about £4 per week) - assuming they're using a re-fillable tank.

As for health, Robert West professor of tobacco studies, at University College London stated “E-cigarettes are probably about as safe as drinking coffee”.

The comments below are pretty much saying the same thing – vapourisers (or e-cigarettes) have got people off cigarettes despite other methods failing. This also applies to me – thanks to vapouisers I haven't had a cigarette for 6 days now and it took no effort at all. Over the past 12 years I've tried everything: patches, gum, inhaler, nicotine mouth spray (which was the best) and even hypnosis – and nothing has worked except the vapouriser.

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Anuhel said on 11 November 2014

My husband was a fairly heavy smoker for more than 45 years. He smoked around 20 cigarettes per day,sometimes a lot more. As I am an ex smoker I was glad that eventually he only smoked outside,though still standing in the doorway of our kitchen,so smoke was still contaminating the house. The smell was awful, he coughed terribly and started to feel pain around the heart area.
Vaping has transformed both our lives. He went for 18mg of nicotine content straightaway and is now down to 11mg.. He mainly uses fruit flavours which smell lovely.
His chest pain has disappeared, he doesn't cough anymore, his voice is less hoarse, and he is fitter than ever.
He has now been vaping for six months. I would recommend vapourizers to anybody who wants to quit smoking. My husband tried plasters and other replacements before, they didn't do any good. To me it's like a miracle that after more than 45 years he finally managed to leave tobacco behind for good. He actually says that he can't stand the smell of cigaretees anymore,it makes him sick.And it saves us a lot of money too.He only uses one cartridge per week which at the moment costs around £3. The cartridges and battery so far had a long life.He used to spend around £35 per month on smoking,sometimes more.
All in all I will vouch for vaping anytime.He still has something in his hands and in his mouth which was essential to quit smoking.He still gets some nicotine but not quite as much as before,and he is planning to quit altogether. The next step will be 8 mg.
His health has improved a lot which I thought was impossible.
Yes, tobacco should be eliminated altogether because it contains lots of toxins apart from the nicotine which are proven to be very harmful.

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Paul Peacock said on 08 October 2014

I registered with NHS choices specifically to add my voice to the cacophony of those supporting vaping. I stopped smoking analogue cigarettes at the beginning of August, after smoking ~20/day for 20 years. I tried patches, gum, and lozenges, singly and in combination. None of that worked. I tried cig-a-likes. They were rubbish. Now I have a mod, I'm using ~2ml/day of 0.8mg juice that I make myself. I can taste again. I can smell again. I don't smell. When I lie in bed, I no longer listen to worrying wheezing and crackling from my chest.
My perspective is that all the evidence I have read suggests that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking. Not that it's perfectly harm free. We don't ban things which are not perfectly harm free (alcohol, caffeine, tobacco are all unregulated beyond age restrictions). So why are we seeing policy intruding upon our rights? I can't say for sure, but it certainly isn't because vaping might harm you.

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brendaannc said on 28 August 2014

I am close to tears at this moment, if e cigs are banned I have no choice but to return to my normal 20 plus a day cigarettes.
Yes I am totally addicted to nicotine. I have tried to quit for 30 years using all available aids, to no avail. Even using e cig I could not quit, until I realized there are different strengths available. Its now 3 months since I had a cigarette, using a vaporizer for my nicotine addiction.
The government allowed cigarettes to be available to me, they continued the sale of them to be allowed, most adults smoked when I was growing up, it was the norm. A shop at the top of my school road sold single cigarettes to school children. Every aid available on the NHS has too low a nicotine level.
My Dr told me I could be dead in two years if I continue to smoke, but I am an ADDICT. I need my fix :(

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gfe22 said on 20 June 2014

I am 31 years old, i had smoked since i was 15 and quit in 2012 using an ecig, it is now 2014 and i am still using it, the downfall i find with the e cigs is the addiction, when i was smoking regular cigs i smoked every say 30-60 mins but with the e cig its constantly in my hand, i feel more dependent on an e cig than regular cigs,
The craving for nicotine is getting more and more, i feel i will need to go back to the quit smoking group just to get nicotine patches to get off this e cig, I use the 6mg strength.

Side effects experienced so far is:
Being tired, normal nicotine dependency effects, racing heart rate, breathlessness, dizziness, lethargic.

When i started the gym and ran on the tread mill it felt like i just had 20 normal fags it must restrict your airways.

Long term i dont think they are healthy some days i feel awful, they are a gateway to poor health i just hope they dont find anything bad in these things stay clear of them and use patches.
No vapour into your respiratory system can be good for you.

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psycowitch said on 17 May 2014

I just turned 34 this year, I started smoking when I was in my first year of secondary school, I was only 11 years old! I've tried to quit a number of times and once stopped for 11 weeks, I started back on cigarettes on a night out. I managed to change from normal cigarettes to menthol a few years ago. In February this year I bought a menthol e-cig and I will put my hands up and say I tried a menthol cigarette since starting on the e-cig but it tasted so bad I almost threw up! I have now bought myself a refillable e-cig and varying levels of nicotine menthol vapour oil 12mg which is what I am on now, 6mg which I hope to drop to quite quickly and 0mg which is my ultimate goal. I wanted to stop smoking and stay stopped and even if I'm puffing on Menthol vapour for the rest of my life, I'd rather that than kill myself with the tar and other chemicals that come from cigarettes. Yes I've swapped one for the other but it's certainly a LOT less dangerous. I've had no withdrawal symptoms, no cravings, I feel great and smell far better.

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sandy57eruk said on 11 April 2014

Ok I am 61 year old morbidly obese female who was so unfit 15 weeks ago I found it impossible to walk 10 metres without having to stop to catch my breath. I started vaping early January after so many attempts in the past to stop smoking, including drugs and the safe? inhalator which used to make me cough and heave, the longest I stopped smoking was the 12 weeks I was monitored by the professionals. I had also seen most of my class smoking again within a couple of weeks of that.

I am now on zero or 0.6mg of nicotine (depends on availability of flavours) I have had NO withdrawal symptoms and have not smoked one cigarette despite my granddaughter and her partner still smoking in the house. I now go to the gym 3 times a week and have lost 5kgs in weight in 5 weeks and walked for over an hour when I went shopping at the weekend . I have dropped 2 clothes sizes from a 24 to a 20 and that's now starting to feel loose.

Does vaping work in my case yes. I would be prepared for any one to see my gym records weight and measurements if they wanted proof.

Do the government ever stand outside a secondary school and count the number of teenagers who walk out of school and 'light up' at break or around the corner as they leave at night and who will buy a roll up cigarette for £2 er? at a guess no. It must be a good 40%. I would rather a child vape, in my opinion, safely, than smoke.

One more question :- Is it only the nicotine in cigarettes that's addictive or are some of the other additives to blame too?

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MumOfTwoKiddies said on 11 April 2014

I just want to say that I've just been exposed to e-cigarette's secondhand vapours and, without having read anything about them, I have suddenly started feeling nauseous. I do believe this e-sigarettes are more harmful than it is believed and am concerned about mine and other peoples health as it is legal to smoke these cigarettes in public indoor places.

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Cochise19 said on 10 April 2014

one cartridge of 16 ml on my e lite cig lasts me 3 days so unless im doing it wrong .... my mate on the other hand smokes one cart a day.... i must be doing it wrong but it works.

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Cochise19 said on 10 April 2014

LOL I smoked my e cig in the jobcentre and no one cared

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Cochise19 said on 10 April 2014

when i was 15 i started smoking cigarettes i tried them all even the expensive ones. and after smoking for 10 years I thought... im gonna quit so i got an e-cig. 2 weeks later :) ive noticed so much better breathing, no irritability in my chest and i no longer crave a disgusting lung tightening cigarette. I feel no side effects from it at all no bad sides this is by far the only aid to stop smoking anyone should be using.all that talk of OMG the kids are gawnna smoked it and dun got dem selves addicted... this is nonsense. BTW When the NHS said they are going to regulate this and make it prescription only what they really meant to say was.... " This is way better than anything we have to offer, Quick lets steal it and put our own rediculous price on it" then while they're not looking tell them they cant have it anymore because they where on an -average time it takes to quit smoking style rota- and the NHs just cant afford to keep giving it to you AWWWWWW "try this itchy patch instead".

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Nico Teen said on 29 March 2014

I have given up a 30 year habit smoking cigars by switching to vaping. It was easy and pleasurable. I am now gradually and painlessly reducing the nicotine intake.
I have achieved this by:
1. Ignoring all ecigs sold in supermarkets or tobacconists.
2. Ignoring all scaremongering about the possible downsides of vaping. There are no serious downsides except to the treasury, the NHS and the tobacco companies. (Why the NHS? Because they will have to look after people like me for longer.)
3. Ignoring all NHS schemes. They did not address the fundamentals of why I needed to smoke.
4. Researching thoroughly on forums and YouTube to get the most suitable equipment and eliquid for me.
5. Realising it might take a while to get used to vaping.
I am appalled by the lack of ecig (let alone vaping) knowledge in the NHS and the mentality that allows "best" (giving up nicotine entirely) stand in the way of "better" (using nicotine safely).

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RS47 said on 17 February 2014

Thanks to vaping I managed to quit smoking astonishingly easily and quickly after more than fifty years. I'm delighted.

But I'll add to what others have said here: it needed a strong nicotine solution and a powerful device, much larger than an imitation cigarette. No other method helped, and I'd tried them all.

I remain addicted to nicotine but at least I don't use tobacco, and that's a blessing for my health. And what I'm saving is a small fortune, far in excess of the figure given in this article.

I agree that vaping will serve as an introduction to nicotine addiction for youngsters, especially as the nicotine solutions are available with childish flavours, but the solution is easy: restrict nicotine sales to adults only. The trouble is, the government regulates tobacco sales as distinct from nicotine sales.

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Athe_mai said on 16 February 2014

What a load of twaddle. I've only been using e cigs a couple of weeks and have noticed a huge difference in my wallet even withe the initial start up cost. Not only that but having lost my e cig temporarily whilst out with friends last night decided stupidly to have a cigarette and oh wow could I tell. Not only did I notice the smell immediately but the fact that when I woke up this morning and felt that my lungs were going to explode says it all for me. Needless to say I ripped my house apart looking for my e cig and have learned my lesson that smoking is bit happening again.
No I certainly don't intend to stay on the e cig forever but even if I did, then I know it's definitely the lesser of two evils. I use organic oils, am safe in the knowledge that the oils I use are locally made and it's listed as to what is in them... Something you'll never find on a cigarette packet.
I know that within the week I'll be once again reaping the benefits and I can stay focusing on my fitness without my lungs feeling like they're burning. Something you can't feel with smoking. Do your research, stop making up propaganda and report something worthwhile.

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LucyL said on 15 February 2014

I sit at work by three people who are constantly puffing on e cigarettes. I have started getting a localised headache to the front and my nose hurts. I leave the room and go out or fresh air and it clears up in half an hour or so but returns when I re enter the office.
Has anyone else noticed these side effects? I am thinking of requesting work to ban them from being smoked in the office as it is getting unbearable.

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Finley2014 said on 05 February 2014

I tried an e-cig last year when I wanted to quit smoking. I found it unpleasant and it irritated my throat and made me cough. Have now quit smoking (11 weeks today) with support from local NHS Quit Clinic, using NRT Mouthspray and inhalators. Much cheaper than e-cigs and the face to face support really helps too. I know people who are using e-cigs and say they are harder to give up than actual cigarettes and others who say they were the only thing that helped them give up tobacco. I would say try NHS help first

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plookyskin said on 07 January 2014

E-Cigs are for me. Harm the lungs? What do cigarettes do? Exactly that along with other health risks. Vaping is best. I used to literally panic if I thought I was running out of cigarettes as I was a real slave to the weed. Not any more plus I find a big differense in my purse. I feel better and my coffee tastes so different. I have no desire for a cigarette anymore. Actually the thought of one disgusts me now. My home smells much much better and I am re-painting as vaping does not leave the yellowy tinge cigarettes do. Politics. That just has to come into everything! If E-cigs are banned then hospitals shouldn't be able to turn you away or refuse you treatment because you are a smoker.
Leave us ex-smokers to our devises after all it was the government that issued the cigarette to us in the first place without the carnal knowlegde the harm we were doing to ourselves. We should all sue for that alone.
Apart from anything else we pay enough taxes. People will just start to stock up on vaping equipment so whats the use in a ban?

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Simon9131 said on 21 December 2013

To add to my comment below. This article is very wrong about the savings - vaping from a PV is costing me less than 1% of the cost of smoking...

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RedSlayer said on 29 November 2013

I don't believe the above people that said "I don't believe...".

Remember; the government corporation owns the NHS and the NHS does what the government tells it to do.
If that means harming the population, then harm the population the NHS will do!
Look at how the NHS already willingly harms it's own patients to save the government money. (And I'm talking management - not nursing staff forced into an untenable situation).

Simple fact: the NHS will not be here if smoking revenue is lost.

So, the NHS demonise vaping because 95% tax revenue will be lost when we choose not to smoke and also choose not to use the harmful chemical solutions contained in patches, chewing gum, inhalers etc that the NHS advertise / sell on behalf of the government / pharmaceutical companies.

Of course the piece was biased and factually incorrect, it was intended to try to keep you smoking!

Get it?

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gran45 said on 28 October 2013

A lot of us at work have been using e cigarette's since the beginning of October with a lot of success I must ad and now our smoking shelter smells like a bowl of sweets at break time.
Over the years we have all tried the different replacement therapy's with no success, That was a lot of money spent on the pleasure of, feeling sick, dizzy, bad dreams, insomnia, weight gain depression, anger along with god knows how many other side effects.
I think our sweet smelling smoking shelter speaks for its self.

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Mickelodian said on 23 September 2013

I can't begin to say where this article goes wrong.

Its as if its set up to deliberately give the non e-cig using smoker a totally wrong impression and do do so deliberately and mischievously.

Here are just a few of the inaccuracies I noticed.

1. Toxins found in e-cigarettes were not just 1,000 time lower than in tobacco cigarettes they were lower than found in the general environment including nitrosomes.

2. e-cigarettes are not 20% less costly than cigarettes... they cost about 10% the cost of tobacco cigarettes. at almost about £8 for one pack of cigarettes the smoker spends over £50 per week smoking or about £200 a month. The average vaper spends $20 a month... that needs to be revised as it is wholly inaccurate.

3. It not being 'welcomed' that e-cigarette use is to be classed as a medicine by anybody but the pharmaceutical industry the tobacco companies and the revenue people.

4. the Gateway argument is backwards... e-cigs are a gateway off of cigarettes as demonstrated by those flocking to them as they see their friends, family and every smoker they know either switch or use them to quit. Gum and patches are out decades and e-cigs have got more off cigarettes in one year then they did in their entire history.

5. Where on earth did you get those prices from? 20 seconds online would have demonstrated how cheap they actually didn't even spend 20 seconds looking at the prices on en e-cig website? what on earth?

Anyway I couldn't care less...classify them as medicine if you like...I'll just buy mine from all the companies that threaten to leave the uk and trade offshore. This article is rubbish, its inaccurate and clearly the author is either wholly incompetent or has an agenda!

Revise the article as you can read from the responses you are fooling absolutely nobody!

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samanthasamantha said on 18 September 2013

i cannot believe how ill informed this article is, it seems as if BP are trying to pick out as manyempty excusese to bring this product down, you have shown yourself that their is no real reason to believe that the ecig needs such tight regulations

-the toxic content is about as harmful as the air we breathe Dido

-passive vaping is just inhailing water, no harm to children there

-they are classed as tobacco related products so no vendor, shop or supermarjet would dare sell them to an adolescent

-the ecigs that 95% of he vaping community use look nothing like a cigarette and anyone observing someoe whold know that they are not smoking and therefore not be causing anyone and harm

-all the prices you have mentioned are way off and are much higher, disposables are as cheap as £1, rechargables are around £8 for a full kit and juices are from £2. even thoguh it is not free, the start up costs are minimal and once you have your main bits, will spend approximately 20% of what you did smoking

-smoking indoors is illegal, not ''socially unacceptable'' vaping indoors is not visually offencive or unpleasant in any way.

-the ecigs you mention do have a low success rate, ones that look nothing like real cigarettes are the raelly successful ones.

-althoguh it is early days, i got myself a kanger tank, an ego batery and some dekang juice an have gone 8 days without any withdrawal symptoms, no irrittability and now feel amazing. i failed mltiple times with patches, inhailators and other means but kicked it just on the 10 year mark.

ban the ecigs and i, an many like me, will end up costing the nhs when we get cancer because we gave up on quitting because you snatched it away and then tried to give it back on prescription or extortionately taxed. if you do successfully ban it, i will make it my mission to make the government loose out by only buying duty free, assuming i havent successfully gone 100% smoke free.

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Timinwales said on 30 August 2013

I can't help but think that this paper is at best ill informed, or at worst written and researched to provide an already agreed or decided out come.
It appears that while this paper seeks to enlighten it looks at only one area of e cigarettes and from reading this I have to assume that these are those which one can purchase off the supermarket shelf, which look like a standard cigarette, in my experience these things are about as useful as either a nicotine patch, or an inhaler, which to be honest isn't very.
I have read reports which quote. The success rates of both patches and inhalers (infact most of the mainstream prescribed solutions) as having a 96% failure rate, and from watching friends who've used these would think this cant be far wrong (I know no body who has successfully given up smoking via patches or similar).
Conversely however decent quality e cigarettes do seem to work, the use of UK Pharma quality dilutants means that the content of any liquid is known, the ability to mix your own fluids with pharma quality constituents means one can accurately control nicotine content..
I have to wonder how this study was funded?,
On a personal note however, I have dropped an almost 30 year smoking habit, I mix my own fluids using UK pharma grade constituents, the nicotine content I mix to is just under half that of a cigarette, I feel better in my self I have more energy, it is less expensive... The cigalikes this paper seems to focus on are pretty useless for the most part in my personal opinion and as everything is pre made and pre filled just like the patches and inhalers for that matter ...

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philip100 said on 16 August 2013

I've been e-smoking for about 2 years and I would say that my health condition is much better than before. I wish some day I quit e-smoking too, But so far, I'm really happy that I don't smoke a normal cigs anymore.

Artur Filipiak

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VapeDog1666 said on 11 August 2013

Not good, ecigs are much better than the current nicotine replacements.

It allows those who want to smoke do so but in a much safer way. I think the NHS should stand with the vapers and stop the 2016 ban.

I stopped smoking 2 and 1/2 years ago thanks to vaping and have never smoked a real cig since.

The NRT did not work for me but vaping did. I have also dropped my intake of nicotine right down to 6mg from 18mg with no withdrawl sysmptoms.

NHS You should stand with the vapers and help fight the ban.

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nicktolhurst said on 24 July 2013

I've been smoking for almost 9 years and I am confident I won't need/want to smoke again after moving on to an e-cig.

What I don't understand why can't this regulating body do the research to determine and regulate what exactly is in the product and what any health implications might be, without regulating the selling (and most probably the production) of them and ruin what could be a great thing for the citizens of our country.

As mentioned in previous comments turning this in to a medicine may stop people from using them and stop the trend all-together.

Oh and yes, slap an official law on them to make then not able to be sold to anyone under the age of 18. As I understand, most if not all places will not sell these to the 'under 18 year old's' anymore but a law in place is always a good idea.

I guess they just won't do the research for free..

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lozNWUK1991 said on 12 July 2013

I wish I could have given zero stars for this article. Absolutely disgusted by this. However im very happy that 250+ people have seen this for what it is. Well done britain, we will take back our freedom!

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althalus401 said on 14 June 2013

What is wrong with you people? I have smoked all my life until 6 months ago when I took up vaping. I have not had a cigarrete in 6 months, nor do I want one. I have therefore avoided the health hazards of all the other dangers involved in smoking but still able to get the nicotine, which it is said by anyone with an ounce of common sense, is not particularly dangerous.
The article above is misleading. The only countries to ban the product are totalitarian regimes and third world countries with wierd governments.The simple truth is neither the NHS or the UK goverment really want to see a reduction in smoking cigarettes, the loss of revenue would be a serious loss.

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Lizzie62 said on 14 June 2013

My fear is that now MHRA have said that they will regulate e cigs as medicines, it will put smokers off trying e cigs and so switching to a much healthier alternative.

There is a scientific consensus that smoking is bad for your health. When it comes to e cigs, there's no such consensus. Most e cig users like myself, do research e cigs and are satisfied that they are not harming their health. We tend to ignore anyone who has links to big tobacco or pharmaceuticals.

As far as NRTs are concerned. They have a failure rate of over 90%, which is why most of them are free on prescription. If the general public knew their hard earned taxes were paying for failure, there would be uproar.

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Steffijade said on 12 June 2013

I find the above article disturbing on a few levels. It contains inaccuracies and cites 'information' that has largely been discredited.

What I find more disturbing is the seemingly generalised approach from 'health experts' who want to see vaping effectively banned on tenuous grounds. The 'gateway' theory is laughably concocted to try and bring in child protection as an issue.

The normalisation argument is both cynical and cruel... smokers are people too and deserve to be given the best chance to use a successful method of tobacco harm reduction (in the long term, 'traditional' NRT products have a woefully bad success rating).

What I find the most disturbing however, is that 'normal' cigarettes remain freely available even though they have been absolutely proven to be damaging, but when a lot of the evidence (which the above article chooses to largely ignore) shows that vaping is a far safer option, there is discussion about restricting their usage.

It's my belief that all this discussion is merely a thinly disguised front to try and curb the growing financial losses to the tobacco industry, the pharmaceutical industry (which make millions by selling ineffective NRT products) and the UK government which raises billions in tax revenue from the sale of cigarettes and tobacco.

I've come to expect cynicism and corruption motivated by profit from large corporations and politicians.. neither of them are to be trusted, but I'd expected better from the NHS.

The NHS should have the best interests of UK citizens in mind... smokers included.. and this poorly researched article does little to promote the effective use of 'e-cigs' and merely seems to support the profit fuelled motives of corrupt corporations and government.

Shame on you... I expected better from the NHS.

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lubylou12 said on 12 June 2013

Errors-Not all e cigs glow at the end, most look nothing like real cigs, its under £5 for a bottle of e liquid, not over a tenner, plus they do not sell to kids, they state you must be 18 years old to buy them, you can start on higher nicotine strength and lower them when your ready just like patches but more effective, 24mg, 18mg, 16mg, 12mg, 8mg, 4mg and 0mg.

Of 15 people i know that smoked, 10 of them now use e cigs, Me and my partner were the first to get one and most of my family and friends have followed on after, all of us have quit, not one of us has failed, I bought my mum one who as tried everything else to give up and for the first time she has gone 6 week without a real cig, the longest ever in 32 years, i am so proud. SO me, my mum, my sister, two uncles, aunt, partner, and many friends have made an easy more healthy switch, and we are about to get it snatched away from us, and i can tell you, nearly all of us will end up back on real cigs if this is allowed to happen, I use my e cig proudly and am always promoting it when people ask about it.

Stock up now is my motto, as i do not want to go back to real cigs and become unhealthy again. No passive smoking, i can smell, taste, and breath easier. How can they justify this when they still actively sell cigarettes in every store all over the country, cigs that contain 100s of chemicals that kill people and cost the NHS money to treat people for these illnesses, yet they continue to sell them, real cigs are not prescription only, why should the healthy alternative be?

It hypocrytical, ban healthier e cigs? then ban real ones too, the ones they allow to be sold but know they kill

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Shaker21 said on 12 June 2013

Hi, I have been on a Tornado Tank Vaporizer for 1 year now and so has my better half, I was smoking 40 cigarettes a day for 30+ years. My health was not the best, and if I got a cold it always went to my chest. I feel a lot better since going onto Vaping, I do not stink of tobacco anymore, and my wallet is a lot fatter. Surely it is our decision as a human being to change over to vaping, after all when i was a kid I didn't know how addictive fags are. I also would be happy to be a guinea pig. The cost is 90% cheaper than fags. I have gone from 18mg down to 11mg strength. With the amount of chemicals in fags and health risks, (I'm sure this has been said before) why doesn't the Government ban Cigarettes. We all know why don't we. The Law should be and as I buy from 2 well known websites they have an over 18 only policy, after that they should be free to use anywhere. The only thing I have found with the e cigarette is you need to drink plenty of water. Seems to me almost everything has some negative red meat , cheese (high Cholesterol), Take Away food, not to mention Alcohol which is a legal massive killer. You go into a big city and the fumes you inhale are certainly not good for you.

I am all for the E Cigarette to help people to quit smoking, I tried Zyban which messed with my head, and made me feel awful, Patches well I might as well have had a plaster on, mini pills, gum all were not for me. And the cheap cigarette looking vaporizers did nothing for me and my other half.

Also my taste and smell is back :-)

E Cigarette user

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Dodderer said on 12 June 2013

The evidence to date is that ecigs are considerably safer for smokers to use than Champix which the NHS prescribe for smoking cessation.

Until there is hard evidence that ecigs are more harmful than smoking,why not let smokers decide - there are 1.3m smokers that have made the choice to replace some or all of their cigarettes with ecigs.

It would be more harmful to crush the ecig industry with excessive and onerous regulation.

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skippy41 said on 11 June 2013

No body has mentioned that you can start on the higher strength nicotine, and reduce it as and when you feel you can.
I started on 36mil now in down to 8 mil this has taken 17 weeks.
With the patches, full strength, I was still smoking as they where not strong enough
I feel much better and don't feel edgy like I did on the patches,
all the cigarette looking types should only be sold to over 18s from the shops.
I am offering my services as a volunteer if required, to fully test these good but harmless e cigs
The e cigs are not a gateway to nicotine addiction but a way for smokers to quit
I have almost stopped vaping now, but was on 55 cigs a day, and because of this product I hope never to start again

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FergusMason said on 11 June 2013

This article makes some good points but unfortunately it also contains some major errors.

The FDA tests which found nitrosamines found trace amounts (below the harm threshold) in ONE cartridge out of a batch. Most vapers now buy European-made e-liquid made to higher quality standards which does not contain contaminants like nitrosamines or formaldehyde.

Most e-cigarettes do not have an LED at the tip, and don't even vaguely resemble a cigarette. The most popular one looks more like a pen or laser pointer. Vapers are frankly baffled about the "normalises smoking" argument, because we DON'T smoke and we mostly don't use things that look like cigarettes.

The "gateway" argument is specious. Several surveys have now been conducted into e-cigarette users and children are not using them as a gateway. The only under-18s who have tried e-cigarettes are smokers. The industry association, ECITA, has a voluntary code of conduct which bans sales to under-18s. ECITA fully supports restricting e-cigarette sales to adults.

The prices you quote for e-cigarettes show a lack of research. The entry-level "cigalike" models, which use prefilled cartridges, typically cost less than £20. For £25 you can get an eGo kit, the most popular model, which looks like a high quality pen and uses refillable cartridges; the liquid costs a moderate user less than £10 per week. £90 will buy a high end variable voltage device, several atomisers and enough spare heating coils and liquid to last for well over a month. Vaping is definitely NOT 20% cheaper than smoking; even allowing for the initial cost of equipment it is typically around 75% cheaper in the first month, and up to 90% cheaper thereafter.

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ChrisPrice said on 11 June 2013

Thank you for this balanced article on e-cigarettes.

A proper reply ended at 5,000 characters, which is well beyond the limit for comments here. Therefore, I created an article in response that addresses some of the issues arising from your article. There is much here that the e-cigarette community would agree with; on the other hand, there are statements that have no basis in science (and are frankly indefensible). Please see below for the full response:

E-Cigarette Politics

Chris Price
ex-ECCA UK Secretary
ex-ECF Manager

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skippy41 said on 11 June 2013

I have been smokeing about4s cigarets a day, for the last 45 years, took up vapeing 17 weeks ago never had a smoke since, it would be better to ban the ones that look like cigaretts and supply the other types on the nhs

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