What is vaping?
Vaping refers to the use of an electronic device that heats a liquid turning it into an aerosol (vapour) which the user inhales.
The difference between smoking and vaping is that smoking delivers nicotine by burning tobacco which can cause smoking related illnesses, and vaping can deliver nicotine by heating a liquid in a much less harmful way.
There are some risks to vaping, and the biggest is that long term effects are not yet known. While vaping is less harmful than smoking it is unlikely to be totally harm free. Scientists will not be certain for many years of any health risks associated with vaping.
Ideally, smokers who are vaping to quit should look to eventually stop vaping too.
Vaping is not for children and young people, and people who don’t smoke should not vape.
"Comparative risks of cardiovascular disease and lung disease have not been quantified but are likely to be also substantially below the risks of smoking". (Evidence Review of E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products 2018, a report commissioned by Public Health England)
Using vaping when you are quitting smoking
There are some published studies showing the ability of vaping to support people who are quitting smoking.
Vaping is significantly cheaper than smoking. Aside from the initial $40-$60 approximate set-up cost, vaping costs approximately 10% of what smoking. If you smoke a pack a day it will cost you approximately $9,000 a year, and vaping in a way to stop smoking would cost approximately $900. Check out this cost calculator to work out how much you could save.
It’s important to get the right kit for you, and good advice and support when you are vaping as part of your quit journey. Some people think the devices and kit looks complicated and tricky. A reputable, specialist vape store will be able to advise you on the best products for you, and the right nicotine level to start on. Quitline and the local stop smoking services found across New Zealand will be able to also give you advice, as well their tried and true programmes to help people quit.
Combining smoking with vaping
The greatest health benefits are seen when people stop smoking completely, and this should be the goal when trying to quit.
Some people manage to switch completely to vaping quickly. Others can take some time to adjust and may need to try a number of different vaping products and e-liquids before finding one that works for them.
Ideally, people will eventually stop vaping as well.
For more information
- Vapingfacts.health.nz has information about how vaping is different from smoking, and tips and advice on how it can be used when you are wanting to stop smoking. It also has a cost calculator and quiz.
- The Ministry of Health website provides information on the The Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 (the Amendment Act) which commenced on 11 November 2020. The Amendment Act strikes a balance between ensuring vaping products are available for smokers who want to switch to a less harmful alternative and ensuring these products aren’t marketed or sold to young people.
- Quitline has general information about vaping, as well as how they can help people who are using vaping to quit smoking. Local stop smoking services can also help you to use vaping when you are wanting to quit smoking.
- Te Hiringa Hauora/Health Promotion Agency has provided information on vaping to support schools, students, parents, teachers, and learning activities.