Published: 1 November 2022 | Updated: 1 December 2023

Electronic cigarettes otherwise known as e-cigs or vapes, deliver the high of nicotine, without some of the other harmful chemicals found in tobacco smoke.

Some key facts

  • Despite what you think, the amount of young people that use e-cigs is low.
  • E-cigs do not have chemicals like tar and carbon monoxide and in come in lots of different colours and designs.
  • They do contain nicotine and the level of nicotine can vary.
  • When you use an e-cigarette, it’s called vaping, not smoking. Someone who vapes and does not use any tobacco products is a non smoker.
  • E-cigs have been promoted as being cheaper and healthier alternatives to smoking and have become very popular in the last few years.

What’s in them?

  • nicotine
  • propylene glycol (which is the same thing that asthma inhalers contain)
  • vegetable glycol
  • water
  • flavourings

E-cigs vs normal cigarettes

We do not know what the long-term effects of using e-cigs will be because they are so new, but experts are confident that the risks are less than if someone smokes tobacco.

If someone just cannot or does not want to stop smoking, they are a much better alternative.

E-cigs and the law

It is illegal to sell electronic cigarettes or e-liquids to anyone under the age of 18. It is also illegal for an adult to purchase any nicotine containing product on behalf of someone under 18, which would include e-cigs and e-liquids which contain nicotine.

It is not against the law to smoke e-cigs in a public building like a pub or restaurant, but many places make their own rules.

There may be a danger with buying e-cigs over the internet as they could be of poor quality, it is important that your e-cig should have a kitemark and the CE marking on it.

Reasons why non-smokers should not start using e-cigs

Most e-cigs contain nicotine. Nicotine is highly addictive this means if you want to stop using them, you might find it difficult.

E-cigs cost much less than cigarettes, but they still cost money, money that you could spend on music, makeup or eating out!

Ask us anything!

You can ask us a question or get help and advice relating to using E-cigs