Is vaping harmful?

  • Research so far shows that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking. 
  • For people who smoke, e-cigarettes are an option to help them stop. 
  • E-cigarettes are not risk-free. We don't yet know their long-term effects, so people who have never smoked shouldn't use them.


What are e-cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are also known as e-cigarettes or vapes. They heat a liquid so that it becomes a vapour that people can breathe in. They usually contain nicotine, which is the addictive chemical in cigarettes. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, which is the harmful part of cigarettes.


What are the benefits of switching from smoking to vaping?

Vaping is far less harmful than smoking. So, your health could benefit from switching. But you need to stop using tobacco completely to get the benefits.

E-cigarettes can help people stop smoking and are a popular stop smoking tool. They can give people who smoke the nicotine hit they need to help beat their cravings. Vaping can also feel similar to smoking, like holding a cigarette and breathing in. For the best chance of stopping smoking for good, get advice from your local stop smoking service, GP or pharmacist.

Switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes could save you a lot of money. Some people spend more than others, but in general, vaping costs less than half as much as smoking.


Is passive vaping harmful?

There is no good evidence that second-hand vapour from e-cigarettes is harmful. As vapes are still relatively new, we can’t be sure there aren’t any long-term effects to people who breathe in someone else’s vapour. But this is unlikely to be harmful.

Passive vaping is not the same as passive smoking. This is because e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco.



Is nicotine harmful?

Nicotine is the chemical that makes cigarettes addictive. But it is not responsible for the harmful effects of smoking. Nicotine does not cause cancer, and people have used nicotine replacement therapy safely for many years. Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is safe enough to be prescribed by doctors.


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