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Stoptober 2017 – All about e-cigarettes

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Thinking of quitting smoking with e-cigarettes?

Stoptober is a great opportunity to stub out that last cigarette for good and make a change that will lead to a healthier, wealthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

NHS stop smoking services offer support and medication to help you through the process of stopping. Although e-cigarettes are not yet available as part of the NHS programme we can support you to stop while using them if that option appeals to you. When you join the programme we can provide carbon monoxide monitoring and also help you to cut down and eventually stop the e-cigarette so you are free from the addiction to nicotine.

These are some common question that the One You Hounslow specialists get asked about e-cigarettes. If you have any of you own questions please ask these on our Facebook page here, a lot of other people may have the same question!

Are e-cigarettes safe?

An e-cigarette is a device that uses a vapour consisting of nicotine, propylene glycol and/or glycerol. This is then heated by a battery to create a vapour that can be inhaled much like the smoke from a cigarette. One of the most common questions we get asked about these devices is: are they safe?

The safest way to stop smoking is with the NHS programme using stop smoking medications as these have been proven to work and they have a good safety profile. However, more and more research is being carried out on e-cigs and they are being seen as a much safer alternative to regular cigarettes.

As there is no burning in an e cigarette (only heating of the vapour), there is no inhalation of carbon monoxide and tar which are some of the most dangerous chemicals that smokers of regular cigarettes inhale and that lead to cardiovascular disease and lung cancer. Therefore, although they cannot be guaranteed to be completely safe they are much safer to use than regular cigarettes.

Which e-cigarette should I use to stop smoking?

This is really a matter of personal choice. There are 3 main types of e-cigarette. The first generation is the one that looks most like a cigarette and often lights up at the end when puffed on. A heating coil then vaporises the liquid and the vapour is inhaled.

The second generation e-cigarette is larger and more powerful. They are often refillable and the liquid is heated by a more powerful battery then the first generation. The liquid comes in different flavours and concentrations of nicotine and the appearance is more like a large fountain pen than a cigarette.

The third generation e-cigarettes are the most powerful and most adjustable. They have a larger liquid container and can even monitor how many puffs the user is taking. These are the more common choice among experienced e-cigarette users.

Are e-cigarettes an effective way to help me stop smoking?

Studies show that e-cigarettes can help users to either cut down or quit smoking. As with all stop smoking medication however, they are not a magic bullet and need to be combined with a will to stop and the setting of a quit date and commitment to not having a puff on a cigarette. Your chances of stopping smoking completely will also improve if you access one to one support and advice while you are stopping. Having someone to check in with every week or fortnight to ask questions and get support from increases your chances of leaving cigarettes behind for good.

Are you going to make the commitment to stop this Stoptober?

For further information about local support please see our stop smoking page here which has a map of all the stop smoking drop-in clinics across Hounslow or call our health advisors on 020 8973 3530.

Jessica Cox

Stop smoking specialist

One You Hounslow