Are e-cigarettes just for ex-smokers?

It’s a well-known fact that e-cigarettes or vapes were invented as a healthier alternative to smoking.

Smoking has been and continues to be a heavy drain on the NHS, as it’s proven to damage teeth, cause cancers and lead to premature death. It’s no wonder why so many smokers are looking to kick the habit!

But in recent years, there’s been a surge in the percentage of people using e-cigarettes who have never smoked before.

So, this begs the question, why are people who’ve never been addicted to tobacco cigarettes using vapes?

In this blog, we’ll explore who is using e-cigs in the UK, why more never-smokers are vaping and whether taking up the habit is really worth it.

How many never-smokers are using e-cigarettes in the UK?

According to research by ASH (Action on Smoking and Health), the number of people using vapes shot up from 3.2 million in 2020 to 3.6 million in 2021.

5% of users are never-smokers, who have taken up vaping without having smoked cigarettes beforehand, and this number is mostly made up of younger adults.

This percentage may seem insignificant, especially when compared to vapers who are ex-smokers or dual users.

But this figure is rising, having increased by over 3% in just five years.

This is a pretty interesting trend, so why are e-cigarettes so appealing to never-smokers?

Why are never-smokers choosing to vape?

If e-cigarettes were designed with smokers in mind, then why are more never-smokers vaping?

There are several pulling factors behind this sudden increase, such as new tech, fun, stress relief, flavours and vape tricks.

Vaping is a new trend 

For younger adults, e-cigarettes are used for fun rather than as a stop-smoking aid.

It appeals to a new market as modern e-cig technology is exciting and interesting.

Vapes have developed from simple plastic designs resembling cigarettes to state-of-the-art devices with digital screens and colourful designs.

Some vapes have advanced features such as variable wattage, taste modes and colour display. These features enhance the overall vaping experience and, let’s be honest, make e-cigarettes look cool.

However, e-cigarettes can become expensive. Disposable cigarettes may be cheap, but they need replacing often.

For those with refillable vapes, hardware can cost beyond £50 for more advanced models.

E-cigarettes relieve stress

Vapes were designed to encourage smokers to quit and switch to a healthier outlet.

This was only possible if e-cigarettes contained nicotine, the addictive substance found in cigarettes.

This chemical is renowned for its stress-relieving effects and is one of the most common reasons for starting smoking.

Nicotine is added to e-cigarettes through nicotine-based e-liquid or separate nicotine shots, making vapes effective at relieving stress.

But, just like smoking, this habit may become addictive, which isn’t good. There are many alternative stress-relieving techniques that aren’t addictive and costly. These include meditation, herbal teas and breathing techniques.

E-cigarettes are safer than tobacco cigarettes

Never-smokers are looking for a stress release, but why are they opting for e-cigarettes over cigarettes?

Health reasons play a big role in this.

Vaping is much safer than smoking and has fewer harmful effects on users and those around them. In fact, it’s 95% safer according to Public Health England.

E-cigarettes have many flavours 

E-liquid is available in all sorts of different flavours, from fruit punch and menthol to candy floss.

These quirky tastes are enjoyed by never-smokers who aren’t keen on the taste or smell of cigarettes.

However, fun tastes shouldn’t be the sole reason for taking up an addictive or expensive habit.

E-liquids can cost over £10 every few weeks, with potential extras like nicotine shots added on top of this.

Vape tricks are a hobby

Vaping has progressed into a hobby with many serious vapers who perform tricks with the vapour clouds they exhale.

As vapour is much denser than smoke, it can be worked into different shapes by vapers who know how to execute the tricks.

Again, whilst it looks cool, never-smokers must consider the downsides of vaping, such as potential addiction, costs, and distraction in the workplace before deciding to use e-cigarettes.

Should never-smokers start using e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are a much safer alternative to cigarettes and they certainly appeal to a new market – but it isn’t recommended that never-smokers take up vaping.

After all, e-cigarettes are intended for smokers trying to quit, so why take up the habit?

If stress relief is a huge pulling factor for taking up vaping, there are plenty of other free and natural remedies that should be tried first.

At the end of the day, the choice is down to each individual, but they must weigh up the positives and negatives before buying an e-cigarette.

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