Welcome to the professionals page of your local NHS Stop Smoking Service.
As and NHS Stop Smoking Service we do not recommend e-cigarettes and we are unable to supply them as part of out service, however we are aware that more and more smokers are using these devices and felt it would be useful to give some information about them.
WHAT ARE E-CIGARETTES?
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that often look like cigarettes but do not contain tobacco. They contain an airflow senor and a heating element. Some can be recharged via a USB port,others are disposable.
Oh inhalation, a solution, often containing nicotine, is vaporised into a fine mist resembling cigarette smoke. The solution can also contain propylene glycol or glycerin and flavorings. The solution can also be housed in a cartridge that is attached to the device or can be provided in a bottle and poured into the device. Cartridges can contain up to 16mg of nicotine.
As the 'vaper' is inhaled, an LED lights up at the end of the e-cigarette, mimicking burning tobacco.
The electronic cigarette was develop in China in 2004. Many are produced there.
SAFETY AND RISKS
With reports of batteries exploding, facial burns and trading standards raiding brands that are not appropriately labelled or packaged, it is clear that e-cigarettes can present a number of potiental hazards. Another issue is the number of brands that exist, worldwide there are hundreds if not thousands of e-cigarette companies and this combined with relatively little research is cause for concern.
PRODUCT OR LIFESTYLE ACCESSORY?
The issue with e-cigarettes is that they are a technology that our legislation has failed to keep up with. For instance e-cigarettes do not fall within the definition of 'tobacco products' which are covered by an EU directive and they are not currently classed as medicinal products so they 'blur' the distinction between 'good' and 'bad' nictotine replacement products.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) state that although electronic cigarettes would be a safer alternative to smoking, they do not endorse the use of the unlicensed/unregulated products.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency MHRA is currently undertaking further research on the place of e-cigarettes in smoking cessation and how regulation should be achieved. The research is expected to be complete by spring 2013 and then further guidance will be issued.
Meanwhile if you are thinking of using one of these products contact the service on 554545 to get some advice and support.
You will get cravings, you need to take your mind off your cravings when they occur, you could go for a walk or call a friend, it is essential to keep busy as this will help you take your mind off your cravings and remember they only last for 3-5 minutes at a time.