Electronic cigarettes

Is vaping safe?

In recent years, electronic cigarettes, sometimes known as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vapour cigarettes, vapes or smokeless cigarettes, have become a very popular alternative to tobacco smoke. They work by using a small battery to turn nicotine liquid into an inhalable mist (although nicotine-free options are also available).

While there are no studies proving the long-term safety of e-cigarettes, many people nevertheless feel they are a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. If you choose to vape, or are considering vaping, there are some safety issues you need to be aware of, particularly the potential for children to be poisoned and fire risks.


Nicotine poisoning

Children love to watch and copy grown-ups so always keep e-cigarettes out of their reach. There is a risk of poisoning from e-cigarette nicotine fluid, and we have heard of some cases involving children. After swallowing nicotine fluids, symptoms are usually mild and include nausea and vomiting. But serious poisoning can happen after swallowing larger amounts, especially by small children. If e-cigarette liquid is swallowed, contact your GP or call NHS 111. In an emergency, dial 999.

E-cigarette chargers

Poorly made or counterfeit chargers for e-cigarettes have caused house fires. Only buy e-cigarettes from reputable outlets, use the correct charger for the device, follow the manufacturer's instructions and don't leave an e-cigarette charging unattended or overnight. As with other electrical devices like mobile phones and laptops, e-cigarettes should not be charged or used if they've been damaged - battery cells that are damaged pose a chemical and fire risk.

The sale of e-cigarettes to under-18s is banned or due to be banned in all parts of the UK. E-cigarettes are now regulated in the UK under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. Under the regulations, e-cigarette products are either licensed as medicines or, if unlicensed, are subject to new quality and safety standards, packaging and labelling requirements, and a ban on print and broadcast advertising.

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