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E-cig expert explains whether vapers take in more nicotine than regular smokers

James Hockaday

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E-cig expert explains whether vapers take in more nicotine than regular smokers

While not completely risk free, vaping is generally considered to be a much safer alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes.

In fact, the NHS is confident enough to recommend it as a method of kicking the habit – after all, you’re still taking in nicotine, and the convenience of e-cigs means you can puff away to your heart’s content in bed or in the car without leaving an aroma of stale ashtray.

According to the expert, vapers take in more nicotine. Credit: eldar nurkovic / Alamy Stock Photo
According to the expert, vapers take in more nicotine. Credit: eldar nurkovic / Alamy Stock Photo

Exercising a bit of self-control is probably a good idea, but Dr Dawkins tells LADbible she doesn’t think vapers should panic:

“Smokers are very good at controlling the amount of nicotine that they take from a cigarette and the same is the case with vaping.

“People vape in a way to match the amount of nicotine that they previously got from smoking.”

Dr Dawkins recently took part in a study looking at how much people were vaping over the course of a year and the concentration of nicotine they took in."

Dr Dawkins explained the potential impact. Credit: Drug Science
Dr Dawkins explained the potential impact. Credit: Drug Science

She adds: “People tended to start with a higher level of nicotine, and then a year later they would have a lower level.

“But when we measured the amount of nicotine in their saliva, it was actually the same, so people were adjusting the way they vaped to make sure they had the right level of nicotine for them.”

Most of you probably know someone who seems to treat their vape as an oxygen tank, but it’s not exactly the same as being a chain smoker.

“People do vape more than they smoke, but that's because when you smoke you get nicotine into your bloodstream much quicker,” explains Dr Dawkins, a member of Drug Science's scientific committee, which investigates scientific evidence relating to psychoactive drugs.

The full impacts of vaping aren't yet known. Credit: Tom Grundy / Alamy Stock Photo
The full impacts of vaping aren't yet known. Credit: Tom Grundy / Alamy Stock Photo

“With vaping it takes a bit longer, you have to vape a little bit more continuously to get that same level.”

Dr Dawkins says how much nicotine people absorb can vary depending on the device they’re using, the power set-up, how used they are to vaping and the strength of their e-liquid.

A 2021 NHS review found people who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking, along with expert support, can be up to twice as likely to succeed as people who used products such as patches or gum.

But unsurprisingly, inhaling chemicals isn’t risk free, and you probably shouldn’t start if you’re not already a smoker.

Featured Image Credit: incamerastock / Alamy. Jes2ufoto / Alamy

Topics: News, Health, Science

James Hockaday
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