Smoking and vaping among teenagers and pregnants
Young people and vaping
It’s important for young people to have the facts about vaping so they can make an informed decision. Youngsters can learn more on this blog.
Parents, teachers, and anyone working with children can ensure young people understand the health facts about vaping and know about vaping and the law.
Here are some facts to inform young people about vaping:
- Vaping is a way for adults to quit smoking, not something for non-smokers, especially children,and youths to try.
- Vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking, but that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
- In the UK, it’s against the law to sell nicotine vaping products to under-18s or for adults to buy them on their behalf.
- Vaping may expose users to somechemical toxins, and now we don’t know what the risks might be in a long term of use.
- Some vapes contain nicotine, which is an addictive substance that can be hard to stop using once you’ve started.
- Nicotine may be more dangerous for young people than for adults, as evidence suggests the teenage brain is more sensitive to its effects.
- Some disposable vapes on sale are illegaland not compliant with UK laws.
Are vapes safe to utilize during pregnancy?
Research on the safety of vaping during pregnancy is limited, but it is believed to be significantly less harmful to both the mother and baby than smoking. If you are pregnant and looking for support to quit smoking, nicotine replacement therapy products that are certified, like gum or patches, are the recommended options.
However, if you find vaping helpful to quit smoking and stay smoke-free, it is still a much safer alternative than continuing to smoke while pregnant. The most important thing is to avoid smoking while pregnant or being around pregnant women who are smoking.
If you need further advice or assistance, it’s recommended to speak with a midwife or a quit smoking adviser. They can provide you with the necessary guidance and support to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Is vaping harmful?
Experts agree that vaping is indeed less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but it is important to note that it is not entirely safe. While vaping does expose people to fewer toxins and at lower levels than smoking, it is still not risk-free.
Switching to vaping can help individuals significantly reduce their exposure to harmful toxins that can lead to cancer, lung disease, and illnesses of the heart and circulation such as heart attack and stroke. And disposable vapes are good choices for their simplicity and convenience, such as Lost Mary, Elf Bar, Geek Bar, and Elux Bar. However, the long-term effects of vaping are still unknown since it has not been around long enough to fully understand its risks, including the potential long-term effects of inhaling vapour flavourings.
While vaping is a safer alternative to smoking, the ultimate goal for those who use it to quit smoking should be to eventually quit vaping as well. The healthiest option is to not smoke or vape at all, and if you do not smoke, it is best not to start vaping.
It is worth noting that vaping does not cause “popcorn lung,” which is the common name for a rare disease called bronchiolitis obliterans. This disease is typically found in employees exposed to a chemical used to flavour snacks, and is not caused by vaping.
Vaping versus smoking
Cigarettes emit thousands of chemicals when they burn, and many of them are toxic. Up to 70 of these chemicals are known to cause cancer. In addition, cigarette smoke contains contaminants that can lead to other serious illnesses, including lung disease, heart disease, and stroke.
Compared to smoking, vaping exposes users to far fewer contaminants. Vapes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, two of the most dangerous substances found in tobacco smoke.
When it comes to secondhand smoke, vaping is not believed to be as harmful to those around you as cigarette smoke. However, it’s still a good idea to avoid vaping around infants and children, as they often mimic what adults do. Also, be considerate when vaping around individuals with respiratory conditions like asthma or those who do not like vaping.
Switching to vaping can save you a lot of money compared to smoking. Once you’ve purchased the necessary vape kit or just disposable vapes, it’s estimated that vaping costs around a third as much as smoking cigarettes.
How to vape safely
Records of vapes blowing up or igniting are very rare, but it is always important to minimize any risks by:
- purchasing a vape from a reputable seller, so you can be sure it is covered by UK safety regulations
- using the correct charger and not leaving a vape charging unattended or overnight
- keeping a vape and e-liquid out of the reach of children and pets, as there is a risk of poisoning if nicotine is ingested.
Youths and vaping
While vaping can assist smokers to quit, it is not safe and is not intended for youths under 18. It is particularly important to protect young lungs and minds. Consequently, there’s a minimum age of sale for vape products in the UK. It is illegal to sell nicotine vaping products to anyone under 18 or for adults to purchase them on behalf of those under 18s. If you come across a retailer selling either nicotine vapes or tobacco products to those under 18s, you can report them to the local authority Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice online portal.