Smoking and Vaping

Other names: smokes, cigs, ciggies, rollies, fags, snouts, tabs, vapes, puff bars, elf bars

Nicotine is a drug that is contained in rolling tobacco, cigarettes, cigars and many fluids/juices used in vapes/e-cigarettes. Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant which is widely used throughout the world, it is dependency forming and one of the hardest drugs to stop using.

Vaping the Facts

Video from ASH (Action on Smoking & Health)

Nicotine is contained in a range of products. This includes rolling tobacco, cigarettes, cigars and many fluids/juices used in vapes/e-cigarettes.

When smoked or vaped, nicotine reaches the brain very quickly. The first time someone uses it, it can make them feel a bit dizzy and sick. Very quickly these feelings will pass and they can become addicted. If someone does not get enough nicotine they can feel stressed and agitated. When they smoke again, they experience an improved mood and concentration. However, this only lasts until the nicotine levels drop and need to be topped up again.

The more nicotine you have, the more you need to manage emotions associated with cravings.

Nicotine can affect people in different ways. Some people may get heavily addicted, whereas others may not. For some people smoking and vaping is maybe about socialising, fitting in, or just what you do at certain times or in certain places. Everyone is different, so the way in which they decide to stop can also be different.

People consume nicotine in:

• Smoked tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, pipe tobacco, shisha/waterpipe)

• Vaping products (vapes and e-liquids)

• Smokeless tobacco, including chewing tobacco and heated tobacco

• Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) products such as patches and gum

• Other products such as nicotine pouches

Nicotine has very few risks in its own right, however it is highly addictive and the main reason people continue to smoke. Giving it up can be difficult because the body has to get used to functioning without it.

The harms come from the other parts of tobacco, such as the tar and carbon monoxide. Short term, it can leave you breathless, affect your skin, teeth, hair, and nails. Longer term it can cause many illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. It can also negatively affect fertility and sexual performance.

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK. The long-term effects of vaping are still being researched but it is agreed to be up to 95% less harmful than smoking.

If buying vapes, verify the product via official websites or buy from a licensed shop. Legal UK vapes are strictly regulated. They must contain a maximum of 2% nicotine, about 600 puffs, four named ingredients and can be identified by a kite mark and hologram. 2% nicotine is the recommended strength for adults who are heavy smokers and want to quit smoking.

You can check the legitimacy of any vaping product on this website ECIG Dynamic Search | MHRA.