No doubt many of you have heard some of the stories coming to us from across the pond in
the US about eliquids and vaping, which have apparently resulted in the deaths of some
users – but a toxicologist from Imperial College London has spoken out about these
incidents, saying that they are “extraordinarily unlikely” to have anything to do with the use of
a “normal, approved ecigarette”.
Emeritus professor of toxicology at the college Alan Boobis suggested that the harm could
have been down to the oils and unlicensed substances being added to vape pens, rather
than the approved contents of the eliquids themselves.
Discussing the US cases, Mr Boobis said there is some evidence in place that suggests
some of the victims inhaled an oil that led to reactive changes in their lungs – but he believes
that the lesson to be learned here is to be aware of what is in the products you’re using and
always use equipment from reputable and reliable sources.
“I think the problem in the US is the use of a range of substances in the modifiable e-
cigarette allowing them to inhale non-conventional products which are not nicotine
containing. So for example, we know that a lot of the people with lung injury were inhaling
some cannabis product – that, of course, is not advised and nor would it be legal in the UK,”
Mr Boobis went on to say that while toxicologists try to avoid using the word ‘safe’, the
conclusion in this instance can probably be drawn that ecigarettes are “not very harmful”.
However, the long-term effects are still unknown and that’s the trade-off when it comes to
the reduction of the harm caused by smoking actual cigarettes.
“I think it’s fair to say that if you use a product from a reputable source to vape, then it’s
going to be a lot less harmful to you, than if you were to use conventional cigarettes,” he
With a new year just around the corner, no doubt there are countless smokers out there
planning on quitting to enjoy a new lease of life from 2020 onwards. But it is often easier said
than done to just ditch the cigs and that’s where vape pens really do come into their own.
Recent research from University College London, published back in October, found that ecig
use helped between 50,700 and 69,930 people quit who would have carried on smoking
otherwise… so, as you can see, vaping can be the perfect weapon to have in your arsenal if
you want to start off the new decade completely smoke-free.
Making a plan can really help you stick to your quitting goals in the new year. Promise
yourself that you won’t even have a drag on a cigarette and stick to it. You may have to
adjust other behaviours for a period of time to maximise your chances of success, such as
avoiding the pub and not drinking alcohol at all for a few weeks until you feel more confident
in your ability to leave the cigs well alone.
Over the next few weeks, try and identify the times when you find yourself most wanting a
cigarette. Cravings can last for five minutes so come up with a few ideas to help distract
yourself for those five minutes and see how you get on.
Also remember that you don’t have to go through it alone and there is a lot of support out
there for people trying to quit. If you know anyone else who has similar plans for the new
year, why don’t you try and quit together? It can make it easier if there’s someone close to
you going through something similar.
And don’t forget that preparation is key… make sure that you have everything you need on
January 1st to help you quit. Stock up on the likes of Vgod Cubano and all your favourite
flavours of eliquid so you know you’re not going to run out. You might also like to invest in
two vape pens so you have a backup in case one runs out of battery charge.