Vaping to quit smoking

Many people think vaping is less harmful than smoking. While it’s true that e-cigarette aerosol doesn’t include all the contaminants in tobacco smoke, it still isn’t safe.

If your Mum or Dad or a family member is vaping it’s probably because they want to give up smoking. This is great; vaping should only be used to quit smoking, and only after trying medically proven and approved methods. 

If vaping is used in a similar way to nicotine gum, where it replaces the habit and nicotine hit, while steadily reducing to nothing, it could potentially help. 

Unfortunately, due to a current lack of focused community support programmes, many are simply replacing the habit of smoking with vaping. This is not an ideal solution, and a recent study found that most people who intended to use e-cigarettes to kick the nicotine habit ended up continuing to smoke both traditional and e-cigarettes. This is even worse than one or the other, because you open yourself up to the harmful effects of both.

If you, a parent, or a friend intend to quit smoking, the best thing to do is talk to a doctor, or visit Quitline or Hāpai Te Hauora.

Non-smokers vaping

And why shouldn’t non-smokers take up vaping? Well:

  • Most e-cigarettes deliver nicotine, which is highly addictive and can harm the developing brains of teens, kids and fetuses in women who vape while pregnant. Some types expose users to even more nicotine than traditional cigarettes.
  • In addition to nicotine, e-cigarette vapour includes potentially harmful substances such as diacetyl (a chemical linked to a serious lung disease), cancer-causing chemicals, and heavy metals such as cadmium, chromium, lead, manganese, and nickel. Users breathe in these toxic contaminants, and others nearby risk second-hand exposure.
  • The liquid used in e-cigarettes can be dangerous, and not just from vaping it. Children and adults have been poisoned by swallowing e-liquid, or absorbing it through their skin or eyes.
  • E-cigarettes have been linked to thousands of cases of serious lung injury (EVALI), some resulting in death. While the exact cause is still not confirmed, the CDC recommends that people not use e-cigarettes.

But won’t vaping help people stop smoking? Well, that’s still unclear. A lot of people say that vaping helped them to quit smoking, but there is no conclusive evidence that vaping is an effective way to quit smoking.

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