Stoptober: a Collective Effort

The month of October is upon us and you know what that means – Stoptober, Public Health England’s annual campaign alongside the NHS. They implore cigarette and tobacco smokers across the country stop smoking, beginning with the 28 day challenge. PHE report doing so means you’re five times more likely to quit for good, especially when turning to vaping as a safer alternative. Designed as an initiative to help people quit cigarettes permanently, it needs not just individual mental strength. In addition, it requires the collective power of thousands coming together to help each other out. The task can be achieved individually without any assistance – through pure will power, persistence and determination. Nonetheless, it always helps to get moral support too.

Two Million Stoptober Quits and Counting

In its 9th year, Stoptober shows no signs of slowing down, yielding or losing popularity. More than two million have signed up already, following the government’s announcement for UK society to go smoke-free by 2030. However, withdrawing from cigarettes will come with its fair share of niggling cravings, anxious feelings, and irrationality. In some cases, people have been smoking more than a pack a day for years. This means it can take multiple attempts to shake off that habit for good, regardless of whether you complete the challenge.

You’ll need all your resolve to not reach for a pack of cigarettes, even after Stoptober. That’s where e-cigarettes enter the equation, to use not just during the campaign but once you’ve completed Stoptober. Whether you go for an easy to use vape pen, or try your luck with something more advanced, it’s proven as an excellent cessation tool.

The nature of a national campaign such as Stoptober ultimately means that you will not be going it alone in your quest to become tobacco-free. With more than six million still smoking in the UK, chances are you know someone looking to quit. The Stoptober website has a host of tips, tricks to support you as well as a great list of products to aid you on your journey to becoming smoke-free. Listen to real-life accounts from people who have been in exactly the same position as you and track your progress throughout the month with the Stoptober app.

Get Support From Friends and Colleagues

Don’t go it alone. Instead, why not take the time to ask your fellow smoking friends if they fancy taking the challenge with you? It doesn’t matter at what point during October that you start the challenge. Heck, you can even start it in November or December 2021 – better late than never. Watch your health improve dramatically within a few days.

It’s essentially all about making the most of the resources available.  If you smoke at work, fellow smokers you meet at regular intervals during the day could also be up for the challenge. People power is a remarkable force to behold and with a little help from your friends, you may just find that by the end of 28 days you’ve achieved your objective of becoming smoke-free. Converse, communicate and cry on each other’s shoulders if needed.

Looking to speak to someone about how you can use e-cigarette devices to help curb your cravings for tobacco this Stoptober? The customer care team at V2 Cigs UK are on hand, online and just a phone call away should you need any expert advice or help regarding any information surrounding e-cigarettes.

How to Stop Smoking – Pick the Right Devices for Stoptober

Ready to rid yourself of the smoke-chain shackles that keep weighing you down? Excited to lead a healthier lifestyle? Let’s take a look at how to stop smoking this Stoptober. Vaping may be the tool you need to overcome that hurdle-like habit that’s proved too difficult in the past.

Smoking Kills

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that smoking kills. In fact, smoking-related diseases account for a staggering 16% of all adult deaths in the UK among the one in seven adults who smoke. Responsible for numerous ailments and diseases including lung cancer, tuberculosis, stroke, heart attack, loss of vision, and more – even second-hand smoke will increase the risk of non-smokers suffering from smoking-related diseases. As a result, it’s not good for those loved ones of yours who regularly have to inhale your surplus smoke. By quitting smoking you’ll not only enhance your quality of life but those nearest and dearest to you too.

Did you know that research published by Public England shows that e-cigarettes are up to 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco products? More importantly, the same research also indicates that vaping can help smokers become smoke-free, and consequently lead a healthier lifestyle than the one which they have been used to.

A more recent study conducted by Queen Mary University London found that vaping e-cigarettes were up to twice as effective as nicotine patches and gums used by smokers trying to quit.

How to Stop Smoking and Get Rid of Cravings

By replacing cigarettes with a vaporizer and a nicotine-based e-juice, smokers can curb their cravings to light up and avoid all the nasty accompaniments that come with smoking. Because vaping heats the e-liquid as opposed to burning tobacco, all the carbon monoxide and tar that is released every time you smoke is removed from the equation. Free yourself from the odorous tobacco smoke that clings to your clothes, smell better and save the time and hassle of excusing yourself every time you need a ‘breath of fresh air’.

From traditional tobacco flavourings to sweet and fruity offerings, e-liquids are available in a range of flavours which provides vapers with an added extra when it comes to the taste of their vape. As well as flavours, you can also choose from a range of nicotine strengths, which means you can gradually reduce the strength of nicotine you use and become both smoke-free and nicotine-free. Win-win.

The Best Device for First-Time Vapers

For first-time vapers, the myriad of devices and accessories that lie in wait can seem dizzying. Quitting smoking is hard enough without having to sift through the assortment of options that are presented to you, right? Keeping your vaping equipment as straightforward as possible is the key to a successful switch from smoker to vaper.

Alternatives to Cigarettes

Many question how to stop smoking, which continues to prove a challenge worldwide. While there are numerous devices at your disposal, starting with a simple e-cigarette should be your first port of call. Devices with multiple functions such as high-end vape pens and box mods are great, but they can be tricky to work out for first-time vapers. Get to grips with the basics and sub-ohm box mods can be something to look forward to once you’ve become accustomed to vaping.

For a completely fuss-free experience, look for a simple V2 Vsavi Starter Pack that provides everything you need to get started. Enjoy a standard cigarette styled re-chargeable battery and USB charger, together with your choice of flavoured nicotine-based e-liquid cartridges. Prefilled, simply screw the cartridge onto the end of your fully charged and vape away. No buttons, no-refills – just happy vaping. The latest craze among new vapers and those seeking the easiest e-cigarette is the disposable option. Brands like GeekVape, SMOK and many more top brands produce some ready-made devices (disposables) set up before packaging. Just open up, inhale till empty and dispose of sensibly when finished.

How to Stop Smoking – Break the Habit

A far more environmentally friendly alternative to the aforementioned disposable screw-on cartridges, shisha style tanks like V2 Vsavi’s EX Blanks series produce great flavour and vapour and can be refilled up to 15 times before you’ll need to replace them. Fill your tank with e-liquid and screw onto V2 Vsavi’s standard e-cigarette battery and away you go. For those used to rolling their cigarettes, refilling your e-liquid tanks with a quality e-liquid is the next step. Examples such as V2 Vsavi’s Premium E-Liquid replicates the effort of rolling in an easier fashion.

Those with a serious smoking habit may be used to strong tobacco or cigarettes with a throat hit to match. A device that may be worth thinking about is a POD vape system to replicate that experience. PODS use a nicotine salt e-juice stored in a pod, rather than e-liquid in a tank. Nicotine salts offer an alternative form of nicotine that provides a similar throat hit to cigarettes. In addition, they offer that kick of nicotine that’ll leave you satisfied for some time. 

Vape Pods ideally suited to newbies are devices such as the RipTide RipStick, Voom Pod Kit or the iQ Air. Simply fill a blank pod with VSAVI’s range of flavoured nicotine salts; inhale, exhale and curb the craving for a cigarette. Alternatively, you can pick from a range of prefilled nic salt choices. They produce the smooth texture, multiple flavour options and stronger hit of nicotine to curb those cravings.

Save Money and Vape

Vaping isn’t just a healthier alternative to smoking – it’s more affordable too. You can opt for the simple e-cigarette style device. Alternatively, many go down the route of a Pod Vape – either for under £20 works for new vapers. While a bottle 10ml e-liquid or nic salts might cost £5.99, that one bottle will provide the equivalent of up to three packs of cigarettes.

Depending on how much you smoke, by switching from smoking to vaping, you could soon be making some significant savings. Whichever way you wish to spend your extra cash, the benefits of vaping mean that both your health and lifestyle will begin to reap the rewards.

Public Health England Insist that Vaping is Safer

As part of the Public Health England (PHE) Health Harms Campaign, a revealing video highlighting the effects of smoking tobacco compared to vapour from e-cigarettes.

If you vape, you will undoubtedly be aware of the advantages that e-cigarettes hold over their traditional tobacco-based counterparts – more money, an improved sense of health, less time spent out in the cold just to get your nicotine hit…the list goes on. Despite the tangible benefits on offer, of some six million smokers in the UK, almost half (44%) wrongly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or that they are unaware of the significantly lower risk that vaping has on their health (22%).

Public Health England Research Into Tobacco Risks

The statistics surrounding tobacco are shocking to say the least. Roughly eight million die each year from tobacco use, with 1.2 million from passive smoking alone. Sadly 65,000 of those are children who have no control over the issue whatsoever. From smoking tobacco products like cigarettes, you put yourself at risk of developing one of 20 different types of cancer. This includes those affecting the throat, respiratory system, bowel and kidneys. Roughly 1.3 billion use tobacco products worldwide, with the majority of those (80%) in low income and middle income households. You also have to think of the cost to fund the habit of smoking tobacco. At an average price of £9.91 per pack of cigarettes in the UK and on average ten cigarettes smoked a day, that’s money that could be used towards other costs such as utilities for housing or food.

As the video demonstrates, representing a month’s worth of smoking and vaping, scientists Dr Lion Shahab and Dr Rosemary Leonard compare the smoke of a cigarette versus the vapour produced from an e cigarette while using cotton wool buds to represent what might happen inside our bodies. We all know that smoking is bad and as we are sure you will, of course, concur, the evidence from the experiment is frightful, to say the least.

Expectedly, the chamber of cotton buds subjected to the tobacco smoke contains a lot of sticky black tar.

In comparison, the chamber of cotton wool buds covered with vapour from the e-cigs appeared free from any such stain. An area in the middle of cotton wool buds being damp at best as the only kind resulting consequence.

As well as the dangers of cancer, the video highlights the damage to your lungs and other body parts. Smoking tobacco additionally reduces fertility and significantly raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, eye disease and dementia.

Vaping is 95% Less Harmful than Smoking

While not completely risk-free, the video published by PHE is both a sobering and a startling visual representation. It backs up their declaration in 2015 that e cigarettes are up to 95% less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Conducting the experiment, smoking cessation academic Dr Lion Shahab commented:

“Research we and others have conducted shows that vaping is much less harmful than smoking and that using e cigarettes on a long-term basis is relatively safe, similar to using licensed nicotine products, like nicotine patches or gum. Using e cigarettes or nicotine replacement such as patches or gum will boost your chances of quitting successfully.”

Annually since then Public Health England have published reports the positive studies carried out to back up e-cigarettes. This is a positive step to remove tobacco use from society in the UK. In 2020 PHE looked to quash any misleading representations and negativities surrounding vaping, mainly stemming from the USA. They did this step by step, tackling several bias studies and reports via media outlets. Their latest report demonstrates the vaping industry still has much work ahead to help the UK government’s target to stop smoking by 2030.

More Education On E-Cigarettes Needed 

Despite an estimated 2.5 million vapers in England having successfully quit smoking with the help of e cigarettes, it is clear that more education and information is needed. Otherwise, the 44% of smokers will not understand that vaping is a much less harmful alternative to toxic smoking cigarettes.

Director of Health Improvement at PHE, Professor John Newton said:

“It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e cigarette are being put off due to false fears about safety. We need to reassure smokers that switching to an e cigarette would be much less harmful than smoking.”

From contracting ‘popcorn lung’ to vaporisers pulverising homes, myths and false rumours surrounding e-cigs are tough to stop. Various advertising limitations imposed on the e cigarette industry mean that it can be difficult to convey the positive impact of e-cigarettes. This in turn can make it difficult to convince the naysayers otherwise that vaping is a far less harmful habit.

Know someone that smokes? Forward them this blog and show the video. Give them the low down on all things e cigs and e-liquids – they’ll thank you later when they’re a vaper.

Voom Pod Kit Review

Woman Holding Voom Pod Kit

The reason behind this blog is to provide a source of informative content that helps people quit smoking, by using vaping as a safer cessation tool without combustible tobacco or the buildup of tar in the lungs. While we know that the motive is often there for smokers to give up cigarettes, the actual task is much harder unless you have the right kit. A large number of factors make a huge difference when you start; getting the right e-liquid, understanding coil technology, getting a similar throat hit to cigarettes and much more. The list goes on and the challenge is difficult to quit smoking if you don’t have the right vape in place. It needs to mimic smoking and remove all the nasty toxic chemicals (up to 7000 unknown chemicals in each cigarette). Today we look at the Voom pod kit to see if it’s hit the nail on the head as a vape kit for smokers looking to quit.

Voom Pod Kit Key Features

  • Compatible with Voom nic salt pods or can be prefilled with any e-liquid
  • Auto-inhale meaning no buttons or complications!
  • Unique coil technology
  • Two USB charger types – one with a cable and another that slots straight into your laptop or USB port without a cable
  • Charges fully in less than an hour

Voom Pod Kit Performance and Design

This is one of the closest pod vape systems you will use that mirrors the familiarity of a cigarette. Sleek and thin with a sturdy plastic casing, it resembles a larger handheld USB stick that fits comfortably in the hand. With a 320mAh battery, this explains the compact size of the vape pod. How long it lasts depends on how often you vape. It can last up to a day without charging if you use it less frequently.

Factor in the handy portable Voom charger case which houses the battery to charge when you place the Voom inside highlights its practicality as a kit alongside the charger. This device will perform well for anyone looking to quit smoking because of the reasonably restrictive mouth to lung draw which resembles a cigarette but gives a smooth intake and exhales, thanks to the 20mg nic salt pods. You get the right delivery of nicotine, more than enough per hit to satisfy any cravings and certainly smoother than traditional nicotine you’ll find in most devices. 

The flavour is fantastic, with nine options to choose from including traditional flavours such as tobacco and mint. In terms of colour, you are a little more limited with gold and grey to choose from. Nonetheless, both look great in the hand while out and about.

How to Use the Device

Unlike more advanced vape mods with adjustable settings such as power, wattage, voltage or temperature, the Voom is straightforward and set up for beginner vapers. All you do is take the device out of the packing, which should have a pod preinstalled, with the intricate coil technology already designed inside so you don’t need to concern yourself with that. It’s auto-draw so all you have to do is inhale on the mouthpiece like you would a cigarette. The pod once empty removes with ease thanks to the magnetic attachment. Once you click the new pod back in, the LED indicator will light up.

Technical Details

  • Dimensions – 110mm x 75mm x 21mm
  • Weight – 16.2g
  • 1.2ml pod capacity
  • 320mAh battery
  • Short-circuit protection
  • Overcharge protection
  • Overtime protection for smoking
  • Low-voltage protection
  • Blowback protection

 

Verdict

This is a fantastic little device. An ideal kit for any beginner vaper or even a smart backup for someone with more experience behind the vape. You’ve got a generously tight draw when you vape, as well as a 320mAh battery that can easily charge. Whether that’s with the case on the go or under an hour with the cable. You also have heavily protected safety functions listed above, for peace of mind. In addition, it’s lightweight for a portable option – whatever your level. With so many flavours to choose from and it offering magnetic nic salt pods or a refillable choice for vapers, the Voom delivers on multiple counts.

A Guide to Mixing E-Liquids to Create Bespoke Flavours

Mixing E-Liquids

Every vaper’s experience will be different, as will their journey to finding the right equipment and accessories. Some start off with a clear idea of which device they want to use and which e-liquid they like the taste of, while it takes others a longer period of experimenting with different options. Whether this process is long or short, the beauty of it is that it’s completely personal to the user and will result in them fine-tuning their vaping experience to their own preferences.

There are no rules when it comes to which device you should use or which e-liquid you should vape, which makes experimenting all the more fun. With vape juice, there are so many different options and flavours to choose from, you could probably have a different one for each day of the year! But, if you’ve tried a lot of different flavours, you’re likely on the search for something new and exciting. If that’s the case, have you ever considered mixing e-liquids?

Combining two different flavours of vape juice to create a unique and bespoke flavour is the next step in experimentation. You may not be able to find that perfect pre-existing flavour or feel like something is missing from tastes you’ve tried before. That’s where mixing comes in, opening up a whole new world of taste combinations to reignite your passion for juicy flavours!

What to Consider When Mixing E-Liquids

Mixing e-liquids to create new flavours has become popular amongst vapers looking to further customise their experience. Experimenting with different combinations allows vapers to find a custom flavour that they otherwise would not have been able to try. This can help bring back the excitement of trying new flavours and for those who can’t find a liquid which they like, a combo may just deliver that perfect taste. However, when it comes to mixing flavours, you can’t jump in blind without considering a few things first.

One of the things which you have to take into account is the balance of the liquids you’re mixing. This requires some careful thought into the e-liquids that you mix, and adapting your ratios depending on which flavours you’re using. Getting the balance right is key, as different flavours have different strengths and, depending on the volume of flavours you’re adding, certain e-liquids could overpower your other flavours. Doing some research into the ingredients in different juices and exploring how various flavours can complement each other is a good place to start.

E-Liquid Dropper

Another important factor to consider is the PG (Propylene Glycol) and VG (Vegetable Glycerine) ratio and the volume of each e-liquid you choose to mix. The PG/VG ratio of the liquid you use will differ depending on which style of vaping you opt for. For example, if you’re a sub-ohm vaper,  you are likely to be vaping a high VG e-liquid with low nicotine content. If you were to then mix this with a high PG e-liquid that had a higher nicotine content but continued to use your low resistance vaping device, you could produce an unpleasant throat hit, and hamper your ability to create large clouds of vapour. This is why it’s crucial to know the properties of each liquid you’re mixing and how they will react with the type of device you use.

How to Mix E-Liquids

It’s best to start small and work your way up to larger quantities once you get the hang of it. Make sure to keep a record of which juices you’ve used and the quantities that you’ve added, as this will allow you to adapt your recipe and recreate it. When choosing your liquids, check their PG/VG ratios before you begin mixing otherwise you risk contaminating batches and creating a poor match. Next up is choosing your flavours and deciding on the best combos for mixing.

Once you’ve picked your different e-liquids and mixed them, give the bottle or container a shake to make sure they’re mixed properly. When the combination is fully mixed, it’s time for the taste test. To begin, only insert a small amount into your tank to make sure you like it, the last thing you want is a full tank coated with a liquid which you hate the taste of. Once it’s in the tank, take a few puffs to see if you like it. If so, fill the rest of your tank up or if not, you get the opportunity to explore more flavours.

Mixing the Right Flavour Combinations

The key to combining e-liquids is choosing flavours that complement each other. Here’s some vape juice recipes we would recommend:

Chocolate & sweets – Chocolate goes well with zesty, fruity flavours when creating food, so have a go at translating this across. Typically chocolate and orange, strawberry or raspberry all make a great combination.

Vanilla & coffee – Vanilla is a great base flavour due to its subtle but sweet flavour, it does a great job at accentuating other stronger flavours. For example, it’s the base flavour of most ice cream, so it’s a great one to build upon. By choosing a coffee flavour to pair with vanilla, you get a much sweeter version of that bitter coffee bite.

Banana & caramel – Some of the best e-liquid mixes are ones that recreate delicious desserts and take advantage of a range of flavours. By mixing banana and caramel you can recreate banoffee pie! Or, swap the caramel flavour for a nutty-tasting juice, to recreate the flavour of banana bread.

Tobacco & cherry – Using the classic tobacco flavour as a base and pairing it with various sweet fruits such as cherry can create a very nice tasting liquid. Make sure to use sweeter fruit flavours though, as tangy fruits such as lemon or lime won’t balance out the bitterness of the tobacco flavour.

Peach & green tea – By pairing green tea flavours with various fruity tastes, you can recreate various flavours of tea. By mixing peach with green tea you can create a refreshing summer flavour that resembles peach tea.

Mint & chocolate – Mixing minty and chocolatey flavours is a classic and has been a favourite combination of many for years. Mint choc chip ice cream is a popular choice, so why not attempt recreating it in vape juice form?

Fruit & fruit – There are no strict rules to mixing juices, just rough guides that can point you in the right direction. While you can choose flavours that subtly enhance one another, there is also the option to go all out and create a fruit smoothie. Combining rich, fruity flavours could be a one-way ticket to a taste sensation and a pure explosion of flavours, but you won’t know until you try.

Strawberry & lemon – Some of the best flavour combinations are the ones that produce a pleasant, refreshing taste and what’s more refreshing than strawberry lemonade? By mixing these two, you could have a juice which becomes your brand new summer favourite!

Choosing the Right E-Liquids to Mix

There really are endless flavour combinations when it comes to mixing e-liquids and there are a variety of flavours to experiment with when searching for that perfect blend. Taking separate standalone flavours and using them to create a juice with an exciting flavour profile is one of the best parts of the vaping experience for lots of users. Trying everything from minty flavours to dessert flavours and various other options in between allows you to work your way through a long list of potential flavour combinations.

Refilling a Vape Tank

However, you must always remember, while giving your taste buds a treat is ticking one box, the liquid must work with your device and the nicotine strength can’t be too strong if you have a low resistance coil. If these other factors aren’t considered or your measurements are incorrect it can result in an extremely unpleasant vaping experience. It’s also important to note that this isn’t a green light to create a DIY e-liquid as this can be very dangerous. You should always use vape juice that has been created by a reputable brand in line with safety guidelines. Because of these safety measures being so important, be sure to use only high-quality e-liquids.

If you’re using vaping as a tool to quit smoking, the more enjoyable the experience is, the more likely you are to kick the habit for good. You need to look at finding the right device, the right e-liquid strength to match your current nicotine intake, and flavours that you will enjoy. These are all key factors to your own successful vaping journey. Mixing e-liquid flavours allows you to create the flavour profiles you will enjoy the most. Whether it’s chocolate with a kick of mint, or fruits and caramel, you can experiment to match your tastes as you need. You could also try using different amounts to add subtle hints of flavours rather than just having a 50/50 blend. Make sure to keep a note of your favourite mixes so you know how to create them again.

If you’re looking for the latest advice to help you quit smoking for good, be sure to check out our Stop Smoking Blog.

How Nic Salts Can Help You Quit Smoking

Woman Vaping Nic Salts

When an innovation arrives on the vaping scene, it’s easy to be sceptical. After all, it isn’t always easy to tell which refinements will meaningfully improve vaping and which changes will… well, prove to be mere fads. However, it looks like nic salts could be here for the long haul. What exactly are nic salts?

Alternatively known by its full name “nicotine salts”, they aren’t – unlike what the name might have led you to believe – crystals. Instead, they represent a change to the familiar nicotine formula and could provide you with your smoothest vaping yet.

How Nic Salts Differ From Freebase Nicotine

If you are familiar with smoking, you probably also know about nicotine… or so you think! You might not have realised that the pure, freebase nicotine in standard cigarettes does not grow in tobacco leaves, which instead harbour only nicotine salts, as Vaping Daily explains.

In those leaves, the nicotine bonds with particular acids, resulting in a significantly more stable molecule: a nicotine salt. Nic salts come in various forms, depending on the type of acid to which the nicotine bonds – whether that acid is citric, lactic, malic or something else.

None of those salts appear in either conventional cigarettes or standard vape juice. Freebase nicotine is formed through the addition of ammonia to the nicotine to make it more addictive – a recipe upon which tobacco companies stumbled as long ago as the 1960s.

How it Emerged in the Vaping Industry

The re-emergence of nic salts into the mainstream can ultimately be attributed to PAX. This is the company responsible for conceiving the JUUL pod vaping system. In 2015, PAX was marketing JUUL pods to people seeking to quit smoking. The firm had an interest in replicating the smoking experience.

Therefore, PAX bonded nicotine to benzoic acid to produce a nic salt that. As confirmed by research, rivalled freebase nicotine in its ability to maximise nicotine’s concentration in blood plasma.

Interestingly, this form of nicotine also had the side effect of lowering the vapour’s PH value. It therefore enables a significantly smoother vape. This meant that vapers of this nic salt could enjoy a strong e-liquid that wouldn’t leave them with coughing fits.

How should you vape nic salts?

Nic salts in their vape-ready form give vapers a strong nicotine hit while they used small, portable devices. Indeed, the JUUL system is such a device. Nevertheless, you don’t strictly need a JUUL to effectively use these nic salts. Any lower-power device and tank setup will suffice.

If you are an avid smoker looking to quit, the 20MG limit is just what you need. After giving up cigarettes. you need convenience. Nic salts act faster than freebase to enjoy nicotine. Even flavoured nic salts are available!

Taken from the tobacco leaves like traditional nicotine, nic salts plus a variety of organic components enters the bloodstream at a quicker rate. Merging with other chemicals, adding benzoic acid makes the difference. It drops the PH level, meaning it’s not as harsh on the throat, leaving you feeling satisfied when vaping.

Is Life Insurance for Vapers the Same as for Smokers?

People Looking at Life Insurance on the Laptop

Taking up vaping has become a popular means to help quit smoking. From a 2020 study, research suggests the UK had roughly 2.7 adult million vapers. It’s widely seen by health professionals as a safer way to reduce your nicotine and stop inhaling cigarette smoke. However, the sceptics still remain while further research is carried out to highlight its use. Is life insurance for vapers as high as it is for smokers?

If you have recently followed their example, you might have expected to see lower premiums on your life insurance. However, a close look at the facts paints a sobering picture. It suggests many insurers remain in the dark about the health implications of vaping compared to smoking.

Have You Recently Quit Smoking Thanks to Vaping?

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the UK’s proportion of cigarette smokers fell from 15.8% in 2016 to 14.1% in 2019, with that figure likely decreasing further during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the fear of contracting the lung disease.

Although it’s good those figures have seen an increase which is positive for the government’s plan to stop smoking by 2030, smokers need a suitable alternative that increases the chances of making that switch a permanent one. In the past, people have turned to nicotine replacement therapies such as gum or patches. 

However, in more recent times, e-cigarettes have provided the answer. In life it’s natural people want to cover themselves adequately with life insurance. As we know smokers have always had higher premiums due to the risks it carries, but what about vaping? Although nicotine is the only substance from cigarettes in a vape, what do insurance firms say about the industry?

Do Insurers Look Kindly on Vapers?

Generally, the answer is no. Most vapers will struggle to get lower premiums when seeking insurance. It’s all based on the insurance provider, who believe vaping is just as dangerous as smoking. Therefore, it’s worth doing your research to get the best offer possible. 

The likes of Aegon, AIG, Aviva and Zurich are all life insurers that have admitted to taking this stance. With more positive research about vaping, life insurance for vapers will reduce and not match smokers insurance prices. Sadly, there remain several life insurers that don’t appear to distinguish between vaping and smoking when calculating premiums – but why?

One such insurer, Vitality, has called vaping “a relatively new activity compared to smoking tobacco”, adding that it “does not have an entirely clear risk-benefit profile; there are multiple perspectives on how vaping affects current, ex- and never-smokers.”

The insurer explains: “We do not presently incentivise vaping and are keenly following the debate as the evidence base for the impact of vaping grows”.

L&G is another insurer taking a similar view, insisting that there are not “any studies which show the long-term effects of e-cigarettes.” L&G concedes that “recent studies suggest vaping is better for health compared to smoking cigarettes, but it appears clear they are still worse for you than not smoking at all.”

Could This Change in the Future for Vapers?

While several insurers are reluctant to meaningfully differentiate between smoking and vaping, there remains hope for vapers left despondent by these insurers’ stances.

Robert West, a health professor at University College London, has argued: “Nicotine is not what kills you when you smoke tobacco. Vaping is probably about as safe as drinking coffee.”

Hence, it might not be long before you can enjoy the best e-liquid without impacting your wallet via life insurance.

Public Health England E-Cigarettes 2021 Update

Public Health England Report on the Desk

We are soon seeing the end of Public Health England (PHE), with a rebrand to the ‘National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP)’. For now, all the talk is about the Coronavirus pandemic, which is a large reason for the change in direction. However, that hasn’t stopped the current government agency, whose mission is a responsibility to ‘protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities’ from releasing their latest findings on e-cigarettes in 2021. This is the seventh update about vaping, dating back to 2015 with the now-famous report in the industry highlighting its importance in the fight against tobacco. Will we see the end of Public Health England E-Cigarettes updates?

PHE has over the years focused on many areas of improving UK health, vaping has quickly become a much-debated topic. This is despite many medical experts understanding how it can reduce nicotine levels, leading thousands to stop smoking cigarettes. Plenty of respectable government agencies and health organisations have backed vaping as a cessation tool. But the jury is still out on its worth as a way to give up smoking, typically sensationalised as negative by the British and in particular US media.

What the seventh extensive report in 2021 by the PHE researchers and medical professionals highlights is vaping remains a gateway to prevent smoking and not a gateway that leads to smoking.

What Does the PHE 2021 Report Claim?

Due to the impact of Covid-19, the 2021 report didn’t have the same amount of research compared to previous years. Nevertheless, the results still proved it was worth the effort. For instance, like a nicotine replacement therapy, there is a much higher percentage of vaping products users. This is in comparison with other methods such as Varenicline, a medicine you take orally. In 2020, 27.2% of people used vape products such as pods, mods and vape pens to quit. Only 4.4% used Varenicline at the other end of the scale.

The 2021 study highlighted similarities between the past seven yearly updates from PHE. This essentially details the best method for quitting smoking – medicine and a vaping product together, one after the other. In most of the studies conducted, the researchers offered older vaping products and mainly tobacco e-liquids to understand the impact. The 2021 PHE report noted that:

  1. Further research is needed into the barriers and enablers to using vaping products as part of a supported quit attempt to stop smoking services.
  2. Local authorities should continue to fund and provide stop smoking services and all stop smoking services should have a consistent approach to the use of vaping products.
  3. Further research is needed to assess whether smokers who use stop smoking services and vaping products differ from smokers who use the services and other smoking cessation aids.
  4. More studies are needed which include newer types of vaping products that have better nicotine delivery.

How the Vaping Industry Can Continue to Evolve

Even in the 2017 report alone, more than 50,000 people in the UK stopped smoking thanks to vaping. With less nicotine, thanks to greater control via vaping, smokers have a fighting chance of ending their addiction. The research from the report also demonstrated how multiple Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) creates a better opportunity to remove tobacco. As we know, millions die each year from a variety of illnesses associated with tobacco combustion. For this reason, the UK has already set a target of 2030 to eradicate this issue.

Even though the PHE agency will cease to exist, it’s vital vaping receives positive media attention. Spreading the word about this increasingly used cessation tool is more important than ever. The UK needs continued Public Health England e-cigarettes reports to inform the general public about the benefits of vaping. Organisations such as the NHS, Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation back this movement. Why shouldn’t the government continue to do so?

Hopefully, with Covid-19 showing promising signs of slowing down thanks to increased vaccinations, we will see an increase and not a decrease in research. The yearly reports highlight the importance of government-funded research to reduce smoking habits. We look forward to the 2022 report at Let’s Stop Smoking.

What Does the USPS Shipping ‘Vape Mail’ Ban Mean For Vapers?

USPS Delivery Van

Time and time again, we’re seeing the narrative change in a negative way in the USA regarding the vaping industry. In comparison to Europe and Asia, where e-cigarettes are hugely popular, the United States of America is imposing as much legislation and media coverage as possible to create a negative light around vaping. This now extends to shipping, in particular focusing heavily on the USPS (United States Postal Service).

Since the EVALI outbreak and the bad press JUUL received, with both hyped up by the US media to scandalise the vaping industry, the US government has clamped down on vaping use, in particular among the youth of society. The latest step – the US ban on mail shipments of vaping products to a country of more than 330 million people. What does this landmark passing in congress mean for the people of the USA? How will it affect small vaping businesses based outside of the USA that send products over there? Let’s assess the next steps once this change comes into effect.

The Omnibus Spending Bill Explained

One of Donald Trump’s final significant acts as president towards the end of December 2020 involved his signature, passing a very important law in the USA. A mere 5,500 pages of content heavily related to Coronavirus relief, signed by the 45th President, included a key passage ‘Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act’. It’s very carefully worded because although it points out something which is a necessity, it goes much deeper in terms of meaning for the vaping industry. While it’s great that the US is putting a stop to children vaping, it also reduces choice for adult vapers.

What it essentially creates is a dilemma for the vaping industry in the USA and further afield. When the bill was passed through Congress on the 27th of December, despite opposition to the bill from vaping lead authorities and advocates, it changed everything. From March 2021, the US Postal Service (USPS) will cease all shipments and mailing of vaping products. 

What Does the USPS Ban Mean For Vapers?

It’s a huge deal for those using vaping products, as well as business making and distributing them to the United States. With over 600,000 employees, the USPS currently has a huge responsibility to deliver all types of vaping-related products to customers across the USA. It will require paying extra for shipping in all likelihood, ordering for delivery through independent courier companies to make deliveries. Considering some areas are out of delivery zones, and the follow-up announcement of FedEx also not making vaping product delivery, it leaves a massive issue for vapers. 

Where will they get their products from? How much extra will it cost? Will new president Joe Biden reverse the decision through congress or support it? These are the kind of questions that will cause serious concern for vapers in the coming months and years ahead. When you factor in many turn to e-cigarettes as a nicotine alternative to smoking, often used as a cessation tool to quit and improve health, many may struggle with the new enforced legislations.

Any businesses wishing to proceed with shipments of nicotine and even non-nicotine vaping products will have to pass strict measures. These set out by the ‘Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, itself a part of the Jenkins Act. Penalties include up to a three-year prison sentence for any business that doesn’t follow the strict rules of PACT. This doesn’t just stop with products surrounding the vaping industry. It includes CBD and vaping THC too, which is a blow to the emerging and evolving Cannabidiol (CBD) industry.

How Will USPS Ban Impact Vaping Business

The PACT agreement features a long list of rules. Vaping businesses must adhere to these if they wish to stay successful and at the very least operational. Fines are just the beginning if a vaping business does not follow strict regulations in place. We all know the tobacco business has massively profited during the Coronavirus pandemic, leaving the vaping industry in a predicament. Because the US government continues to impose these rules against vapers using the cessation tool, the ripple effect only increases.

The USPS ban will certainly prove a challenge for consumers too. Where will they go to get their products? Will it involve risking their health during a pandemic to visit a local store for vaping supplies? With delivery limited, it may cause a greater risk short and long term to the US public. For years the USPS have provided a vital service to the vaping community. Now during the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, vapers will need to find another way.

Next Steps

During the next few months of 2021, we will all see how the vaping industry deals with this latest blow. As they continue to innovate products and e-liquids, surely they will do the same with distribution processes. The Omnibus Bill is the latest hurdle – one the vaping industry will wish to clear. In terms of ‘next steps’, outsourcing to independent couriers is even more vital now. Using solely services like UPS to meet customer demands appears to be the only way right now. Otherwise, they face losing potential customers. Or run the risk of creating a situation where people, especially the younger generation, will simply revert to smoking. 

‘Leaving No Smoker Behind’ – A Study and its Results

Homeless Man Smoking

Smoking has been prominent in society for decades, taking the lives of millions a year through a variety of illnesses. This can range from lung disease to cancer. The issue is being tackled, with smoking declining year on year based on recent statistics and the Covid-19 pandemic. The latter is a predominantly a lung-related risk, hence the need/desire for more to give up smoking cigarettes.

A variety of health authorities such as Cancer UK, the NHS and Public Health England are continuing to do all in their power to raise awareness. They’re doing this by attempting to address all groups affected. Examples include groups such as younger smokers (teenagers) and those passing of second-hand smoke to children. One group that does not get the same attention and should do is the homeless, and this was a key focus for the recent Leaving No Smoker Behind presentation held online in January 2021.

There are obvious reasons why the homeless do not have access to the same resources as the general public do to give up smoking. Common cessation tools such as nicotine patches and gum have been suggested in the past as useful aids to help smokers give up cigarettes, with mixed success. However, in recent times, we have seen a surge in the popularity of e-cigarettes as an improvement on traditional methods, with a 2019 study suggesting it’s twice as effective.

The Aim of the ‘Leaving No Smoker Behind’ Study

To help an often overlooked group get more help to give up smoking, a group of medical professionals presented their findings on how e-cigarettes helped the homeless reduce their cigarette smoking. This panel was led by the head of Public Health Tobacco Control Martin Dockrell, with presentations by Dr Deborah Robson, Louise Ross and Professor Lynne Dawkins, who found some interesting studies on how vaping helped the homeless combat smoking. 

As Dockrell enthusiastically opened the presentation, he reflected on his past experiences working with people who have HIV. In addition to welcoming all who joined the study online as well as introducing the keynote speakers. He explained how most of his work involved the ‘most disenfranchised of the public’ – including drug users and gay men. Dockrell added the same applied to the smoking population, with ‘much of the smoking burden similarly falls most heavily on the most disadvantaged and excluded’.

Discussed above, you can see why 80% of the adult homeless smoke tobacco. Often overlooked, they get little assistance from the public, typically inhaling combustible cigarettes because they’re more accessible. Also, the habit is harder to reduce when around other homeless that follow a similar habit. Therefore, Dockrell was enthused to introduce speakers such as Dawkins, who has ‘done really interesting work’ on e-cigarettes. Noted by the NHS as a potential treatment that can help people give up smoking.

Homeless Smoking Study Results

What Professor Dawkins compiled based on 52 different studies highlighted the key issue among the homeless – cost. It reduced their chances of cessation through e-cigarettes was the price of a starter kit. She highlighted that only one study took place in the UK, with more done in the US. The study highlighted that the kit was difficult to keep hold of for the homeless. Those keeping hold of the devices reduced in a 12 week period of the study, with:

  • 13 people no longer having the e-cigarette after 24 weeks
  • Six after 12 weeks
  • Six people lost or misplaced the e-cigarette after four weeks

However, the study offered positives, according to Dawkins. The London South Bank University professor claimed it did not lead to the homeless using the devices to vape drugs. Neither did they turn to different drugs after vaping. Plus, after 24 weeks, 27 people continued to use the e-cigarette after the study ended, while only seven did not.

Vaping e-cigarettes among the homeless ended up being three times more successful than traditional Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) methods used. Adding centres for the homeless around the UK. Providing useful facts and tips about how to vape using an Aspire Pocke-X Kit. Helping those struggling with cigarette addiction choose which e-liquids piqued the interest of the homeless involved in the studies. The study often featured those smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day. 

Key Takeaway From the Presentation

Smoking is still a widespread problem, not just upon the general population but among overlooked groups. Like the vapers who require even more assistance to reduce and hopefully stop this habit. Studies like the one done by Professor Hawkins need to increase to assist the homeless in any way possible.