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Is Vaping Better Than Smoking? | What Research Says

Vaping has been recommended as an effective tool for quitting smoking by healthcare professionals for a few years now.

While research into vaping is still in fairly early days, there are still many studies available that reveal the differences between the effects of smoking and vaping, that can show us that vaping is far better for us than smoking.

We take a look at the evidence compiled by researchers and scientists, that is backed by the NHS and Public Health England.

A burning cigarette

Why is Smoking Bad?

While we all know that smoking is bad for us, you might not be aware of the full extent of why it is recommended to quit smoking.

The World Health Organisation announced in May 2020 that tobacco kills up to half of its users, with 8 million people dying each year due to smoking-related diseases.

Tobacco smoke contains around 6,000 different chemicals, with at least 250 of these being known as harmful to both the smoker and passive smokers. These harmful chemicals include carbon monoxide, ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.

At least 69 of the chemicals found within tobacco smoke can cause cancer.

In the UK, smoking is the leading cause of premature and preventable death. Cancer Research reveals that in the UK, seven out of ten lung cancer cases are caused by smoking.

Smoking also has effects on your circulation, heart and lungs, leading to a further 39% of deaths from heart disease and stroke, and 24% from lung disease.


A vape device in vapour

Is Vaping Better for You?

Vaping is a relatively recent form of nicotine replacement, so research is still being carried out into the longer-term effects of using vaping devices. However, the studies that have been undertaken so far are all very promising.

Public Health England Report

The Public Health England report from 2015 concluded that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than tobacco. This is because e-cigarette liquid contains 95% lower levels of “cancer-associated chemicals”.

Professor Peter Hajek from Queen Mary University London, an expert who was part of the independent evidence review, concluded that:

“My reading of the evidence is that smokers who switch to vaping remove almost all the risks smoking poses to their health. Smokers differ in their needs, and I would advise them not to give up on e-cigarettes if they do not like the first one they try. It may take some experimentation with different products and e-liquids to find the right one.”

It's not just scientists who think that vaping is better than smoking. The study also found that 89% of people who use a vape to help them quit smoking believe that the vape is less harmful than the cigarette.

Cancer Research UK

A research study from 2017 funded by Cancer Research UK discovered that former smokers, who now used vapes alone, had a 97% reduction in levels of a cancer-causing toxic chemical compared with those who smoke.

A person holding cigarettes and a vape

Vaping Helps You Quit Smoking

Public Health England report that 52% of current vapers have stopped smoking completely. On top of this there are 1 million people who have given up smoking, with the help of vaping, and then gone on to quit vaping too.

Will Vaping Lead to Smoking?

One of the biggest concerns people seem to have is that vaping could be a ‘gateway’ to smoking tobacco.

Professor Ann McNeill, King’s College London and independent author of the Public Health England review, said:

“There is no evidence that e-cigarettes are undermining England’s falling smoking rates. Instead, the evidence consistently finds that e-cigarettes are another tool for stopping smoking, and in my view, smokers should try vaping, and vapers should stop smoking entirely.”

Other Factors to Consider

Healthcare aside, there are a few other aspects that make vaping a better option than smoking for many.


At the moment, the price of cigarettes is at an all-time high. Comparatively, vaping is much cheaper. Aside from the initial cost of the vape device (which can still be picked up very reasonably) E-Liquid is significantly cheaper than cigarettes.

For many, this is an appealing prospect that makes vaping the better option.


While there is a slight variation in taste between cigarette brands, smoking simply does not give you the range of flavour that vaping can. There are thousands of different flavour options available for vapers, which is something that many enjoy trying.

Control Over Strength

Vaping can give you a greater control over the amount of nicotine you are intaking. E-Liquid bottles are available in strengths such as 6mg, 12mg and 18mg, while nic salts can give you higher strengths and shortfills can offer lower, and more controlled strengths.


Is Vaping Safe?

While early research shows that vaping is less harmful than smoking and is also a great tool for quitting, there is not yet data on the long-term effects of vaping.

You may have heard concerns about the safety of vaping following deaths that have been associated with vaping. As of January 2020, the CDC has confirmed 60 deaths from lung injury associated with vaping.

Michael Blaha, director of clinical research at John Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease states:

“These cases appear to predominantly affect people who modify their vaping devices or use black market modified e-liquids. This is especially true for vaping products containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).”

With the majority of these tragedies coming from people buying vaping devices and E-Liquids from unreliable sellers, the importance of purchasing your E-Liquid and vape from a trustworthy source, such as RED Box Vape, is highlighted.

Can You Quit Smoking Without Vaping?

Of course, in an ideal world, we’d all be able to stop smoking without needing the support of nicotine replacements, like patches or vapes.

Unfortunately, this isn’t realistic for most people, with less than 5% of people who go cold turkey being successful in their attempt to quit smoking.

As the research above has shown, vaping is far safer than smoking as a form of intaking nicotine. As for other forms of nicotine replacement, vaping has been found to be three times more effective as a form of quitting smoking than patches and gum.

If you are looking to quit smoking and would like some assistance in choosing the right vape device and E-Liquid for you, then please get in touch with our team who will be more than happy to help! We understand the complex challenges you face when quitting smoking and can help to tailor your vape to suit your needs.

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