British Lung Foundation
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whats the medical view on e cigs

Hi guys

Ive been reading some posts about packing in smoking and we all know how important this is for us and for those of us who have smoked we know how hard it is.

We have our own tips and ideas on ways to deal with it but my doctor actually suggested i used it.

Most of us know its not packing in smoking thats the hard part its staying off them but does anyone know what the up to date medical view on these e cigs are for people with lung disease.


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24 Replies

Hi Mandy , I am a member on the quit support community, There are over 50% using the e.cig as a nicotine replacement. If go into that community and have a browse you will see how popular it is. As for using it if you have lung problems is a personal choice as there are still no up to date facts on the e.cig.

I am posting an article I found a while ago which may be of interest to you.

An article I found whilst browsing. :-

E-cigarette users have tripled to 2 million since 2012, study finds

Survey by Ash finds almost all users are current or ex-smokers using the devices to kick tobacco habit, not new smokers

Sarah Boseley, health editor

The Guardian, Monday 28 April 2014

An e-cigarette user

An e-cigarette user. According to the survey, in 2010, only 2.7% of smokers said they used electronic cigarettes on a regular basis, but now that is up to 17.7%. Photograph: Tim Ireland/PA

More than 2 million people are thought to use electronic cigarettes in Britain, but almost all are current smokers or ex-smokers who use the devices to stay off tobacco, according to a survey published on Monday.

The anti-tobacco charity Ash (Action on Smoking and Health) says the number of e-cigarette users has tripled from 700,000 in 2012. Nearly two-thirds of users are smokers and the other third are ex-smokers, Ash says, while use of the devices among non-smokers is negligible, at only 0.1%.

Ash's findings are released on the day that a consultation on e-cigarette advertising closes. The Advertising Standards Authority has been examining concerns, particularly among public health doctors, that marketing encourages non-smokers and particularly children to try them, and that they will graduate to ordinary cigarettes.

But Ash's survey, carried out by YouGov, suggests this is not happening and that people are using e-cigarettes to kick their tobacco habit instead.

"The dramatic rise in the use of electronic cigarettes over the past four years suggests that smokers are increasingly turning to these devices to help them cut down or quit smoking. Significantly, usage among non-smokers remains negligible," said Deborah Arnott, Ash's chief executive.


Hi, this is my first post here, so I apologise if I've not done it correctly.

I gave up the cigs 6 months ago now using ecigs & "hangseng" liquid (I would recommend only to use the genuine hangseng liquid), and it has been far easier than any nicotine replacement!

I can now at least have a conversation, whereas when I was smoking I couldn't have a conversation for coughing - don't get me wrong, the COPD will always be there, but hopefully no further damage will be done.

Also I'm better off in my pocket, and what with living on limited benefits due to my disabilities, means I won't have to worry as much about keeping warm during the winter, as we all know just how difficult winter is when we have COPD, there are times I just can't even have a window open, let alone go out when it's cold, so high bills obviously.

I would recommend ecigs to anyone wanting to give up, you can also reduce the level of nicotine, which I am hoping I will eventually be on zero nicotine.

Good luck.


thanks toadflax your post was great

Hi, I puff away on a tooting/ vapour pen and have menthol liquid as I smoked menthol fags, I don't know the full in and outs of them but I know the nicotine that's burns goes to ur brain and the smoke is water vapour so no crap to the lungs, I couldn't have done it with out it to be fair, cuz i enjoyed smoking now I feel I have the best of both worlds, I can smoke it indoors no unpleasant smells in the house, on clothes, breath, once the pen is bought it cost me £7.50 a week for the juice and pin, instead of £7.50 a day, my two eldest are on them aswel. I never liked the e cigs but the vapour pens are good, and there are different strengths aswel so u can reduce down over time then u can have 00 nicotine. Anyone that did it out right good on u, but this was the best way for me. X Sonia x

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sonia...i packed in about 30 years ago then every few months after :)

i find it a constant battle even after a year off them still get days when i want one but the e cigs i used wernt the liquid vapour ones..some people say they are safe others say no but in our situation its the lesser of 2 evils

x x x x

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Tell u what mand with the depression side of this illness my vapour pen is a godsend without it I think I would just smoke again, so yes lesser of the two evils and it suits me cuz I still feel I can enjoy a puff without coughing my head off. X Sonia x

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well i have to say i agree with you there sonia x x x x

Hi Sonia, yes sorry, it's a vapour pen I use, I have a glass tank, so all I need to buy are replacement atmoisers, at £2.50 a month, and I used a bottle a week, we have an ecig shop that sells the hangseng liquid, 4 for £10, so it costs me around £3.10 a week now including the atomisers, as opposed to £40pw - I'm on the cotton candy, I do like the menthol, but it was like having permanently brushed teeth, so not good for drinking orange juice etc lol!

They have been a godsend to me, my COPD was crippling me, and even though I am still very short of breath, I at least am not coughing 24/7 like I once was, and hopefully I won't need oxygen for a long time to come.


Hi toadflax, I wouldn't be without mine now I'm no better for it but I'm certainly no worse which to me is good news, I can't drink because if the liver side of my illness I wasn't a big drinker just social occasions but I can't have that either so , non alcoholic wine, and my vapour pen I'm happy lol. X Sonia x

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until more is known then I think e cigs are the lesser of two evils :)

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Hi, l dont understand e.cigs or any other, but do no IF you on oxygen we were told NO WAY dont use any products smoking wise. Reason l think, is because anything can spark it, oxygen wise. Forgive me, but hubby on oxygen 24/7 and at10/14 lpm. So maybe that was why they told us that.

Hi rocket , ur right no naked flames near oxygen but the vapour pens are battery operated, they can be used in hospitals , well they did in the hospital I worked at, so I take it that's fine with these due to the amount of oxygen on the site, on my ward lots of the men had them after major surgery cause they couldn't go out but didn't like the patches that were offered. Hope ur well rocket. X Sonia x

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I am really, really glad that Ecigs were not around in my village when I was diagnosed and had to give up. I dreaded giving up because I really loved smoking and smoking was THE only pleasure in my life - I was widowed and too ill to work, socialise, or do anything else. Smoking was all I had. I also knew that I had tried many times before with nicotine from various sources - patches, gum etc. That I should give up was certain - I had been told I had very severe copd and at the time my prognosis was not good - and I had a daughter still in school. I also knew I could not tell my little family that I had copd and just how bad things were if I was still puffing away on the very things that were killing me. If I am very honest I suspect that had I been totally alone with no family, then my attitude at the time might well have been 'carry on smoking and go out with a bang'. Life had felt that hard and that bad for the previous year or so. Really.

So why am I glad E cigs weren't around? Because I would have turned to them, hoping it would be enough to stop me from feeling guilty for smoking and calm my family's fears. As it was I had heard about a drug called Champix, and how I could carry on smoking while I took the drug for the first couple of weeks and that by the time my 'stop' day arrived I would no longer have any desire to smoke. I still wasn't convinced it would work for me - being a devoted smoker - but I knew it was my best chance. The GP didn't want to prescribe it as it is a very expensive option, but I was adamant that I would not otherwise be able to stop and stood my ground. I got the tablets and yes - I felt a bit queasy now and then while my body got used to them over the first week - I had read that some people didn't bother to continue if they felt queasy and I couldn't help but chuckle at the irony - because let's face it many of us felt a bit queasy when we first started smoking but we didn't let that stop us! And then somehow after a week - ten days or so I wasn't that bothered about smoking any more. I found I was 'accidentally' smoking less. Even stranger, when I didn't really fancy one (a previously unheard of notion) I purposely lit up because it wasn't yet my stop date - but got no feeling of pleasure or satisfaction at all - there simply wasn't any desire there to satisfy - the addiction centre in my brain had been shut down - the craving killed - so there was no desire and no fulfillment. I just felt stupid puffing on this white stick that was killing me - just as stupid as if I was smoking a stick of celery or rubbing tobbacco through my hair. I stopped before my quit date arrived - held onto my baccy for a week or so 'just in case' as I still couldn't believe just how easy it all was - but never looked back.

There is the odd time when I 'fancy' a smoke - or at least the idea of one - after Xmas dinner a couple of years ago was the last time - but I would never risk even one now.

As for E cigs - the jury is out for now - but I am glad I feel so free of relying on any type of 'cig'. I am not judgemental about it - I agree that it is probably better than smoking tobacco - but they still worry me - particularly for those with COPD. Why? Because we don't have 'normal' lungs with normal protection - if we did have then we would be like all the other smokers who smoke but don't get COPD. Our aiways are vulnerable - not just to cigarette smoke but all smoke, fumes, dust, moulds etc etc. So no - I would not want to inhale anything intentionally - I believe it would still have some bad affect on my lungs and I want to live. I also don't like that the cigarette companies are investing in E cigs now - they are rubbing their hands together with glee because they were facing the possibility of smoking gradually dying out all together. Diversifying into the realm of E cigs is going to save them - they just need to keep us hooked enough to remain nicotine dependent.

I suspect some of you are not so severly affected by COPD just yet to really believe that you may die prematurely - I don't mean that cruelly - it is just that at the time I was diagnosed my mouth and fingers were blue black from lack of oxygen. That really spelled it out for me. Please don't settle for E cigs - use them as a stepping stone if you must - I agree it's far better than tobacco - I do not, however, believe they are 'safe' for us, or that the life and lung damaging inflammation eating away at our lungs will die down until we stop purposely inhaling anything. Keep in mind that in countries where people rarely smoke they are still dying of COPD from fire smoke, dusts, fumes etc. Take care of you, take care of your lungs and choose life.


Hi Parvati, thank u for ur response and although I do smoke a vapour pen I also agree with ur comments but....... Like u say life throws many things our way, car fumes, cleaning products, pet hair but I wouldn't get rid of my pets, but I'm not selfish either I want to live as long as poss for my hubby and kids, but life is also to be lived to the fullest and if I constantly have to think of everything I'm breathing in then I'm not living, I'm existing with an illness. I'm sure I haven't put this the right way but it makes sense to me, we all have our own thoughts and beliefs and I'm sure there is a million and one other ways I could die before this illness kills me , like I said I not putting this right, but what's ment to be will be. X Sonia x

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I think you put it beautifully.

Thank u eyes it sounds right in my head but harder to write down oh well glad u understood what I mean lol. Hope ur well and keep up with the pics they're stunning. Love x Sonia x

Hi I don't think the medical world knows as they haven't tested it yet as far as I know. The Govt. don't like it because they are not getting the taxes from them. I think though that whatever the official version is it is far better than smoking so on that basis I would use it. x


Hi Mandy,the main point in stopping smoking is stopping the tar getting into the body.So if you set fire to anything and inhale the fumes you will get the damage.I,ve never tried the e.cigs as I get addicted to easy .The problem is the lack of research into the affects of whatever you are actually breathing in.I now look on these things as just some nasty people(like tobacco companies) making a mint out our addiction.Be good to yourself and try and avoid breathing in strange gasses would be my advice.Take care! D.

Hadn't read your comment FarmerD, but you do not "set fire" to an e-cig - there is absolutely no smoke without fire; this is just vapour. There is no lack of research, there's tons of it; and when you're doing the sums just remember that the loss to Pharmaceutical Companies is going to be astronomical as the health of the nation improves - not just the Nicotine Replacement Therapies which have cost the NHS (taxpayer) £1 billion over the last decade with about a 6% success rate, but all the COPD medications and the mother-lode of them all, lung cancer. They would welcome the demise of the electronic cigarette,one would suspect, even more than Big Tobacco (who find conventional fags easier to produce and far more addictive). Not to mention the loss of Tobacco Revenue to the government - deary me, everyone's threatened by us poor old vapers. Which is why there are so many unfounded scare stories around. My concern is that people who really must stop smoking, those who have been stressed out by a recent COPD diagnosis for example - there was someone on here yesterday - and have failed in previous quit attempts, are being needlessly put off what could be a painless "switch" to a product that is orders of magnitude safer than smoking. Leicestershire Stop Smoking Services have no problem with their customers using e-cigs, so what's the problem for the rest of us? Of course inhaling only pure fresh air is best - but that's just not possible these days!

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I have made my endorsement of e-cigs clear many times - it was the only thing that worked for me. It contains fewer nasties than mists and sprays by a long way; and before embarking on drug therapies read the link. It may not happen in every case, some people are not affected, but the point is that it should not happen at all, especially now that there is an alternative which has killed no-one in the time it has been on the market, which is almost a decade. I would stress proper use is imperative - don't use cheap chargers, don't use anything which could ignite free oxygen. I have experienced nothing but improvement in my lung conditions which included asthma requiring constant use of steroid inhalations etc - you all know the picture. Down to just 2 puffs at bedtime now, which I don't think I really need. That speaks for itself. When I started vaping there was not a great deal of information available, but I thought it was a better option than smoking myself to death - which I very nearly did; since then there has been a huge amount of research by eminent and respected scientists, including psychologists who deal with dependence/addiction etc. - please examine the science and if you have any questions just p.m me.

The point Parvati made about the Tobacco Companies is a common misconception; they had no part in the pioneering of the electronic cigarette, this was done by small companies who saw the possibilities - many were passionate vapers who wanted others to share the benefits. The result was that the industry grew by word of mouth recommendation (advertising was not possible then) until it became so huge that it threatened the sales of conventional ciggies. Now they want the market to themselves for their cigalikes - which I personally have found to be useless - and are being helped by the E.U and the F.D.A who want to bring in measures which could hand it to them on a plate. I use 2nd/3rd generation e-cigs and there is no way I would ever smoke again - can't even use tobacco flavoured juice.

As many will know, I have been a member of H.U for some time and while I am passionate about e-cigs I am also interested in all aspects of health and contribute on many threads, so it must be fairly apparent that I have no axe to grind.

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I think you misunderstood my post Dragonmum,having re read it it is a bit vague.i am an alcoholic and have been addicted to many drugs both prescribed and social and of course nicotine.I know how e.cigs work.Replacing one addiction for another is seldom a good idea although in this case cutting out the tar is beneficial,which was my original point.The problem I have is with the companies that supply these e.cigs,most of them connected to the tobacco industry whose profits are going down the drain rapidly.They are very powerful companies,because they contribute to the likes of the Tory party and are not there to benefit mankind/womankind but purely to make profits for greedy shareholders.There is not enough research into the products offered by these companies which is why I council caution.I have found to my cost how important it is to protect our lungs by breathing the best air we can.I wish you well. D.

Hi Mandy my old man brought these e-cigs they were ok he smokes blueberry but he works all over the world and every time he had them in his hand luggage something would happen to them and every time he used them after a flight they would make a gurgling sound it drove him and me mad.

I gave up with champix 10 years ago I was scared to death didn't think I could do it but I did and now if I'm behind anyone with a cig I have a coughing fit.

I do believe if you give up smoking using champix, patches or anything you are less likely to smoke again rather than cold turkey.

Hi I have been using the vape pens and both times i have been on a plane they have leaked, been useless when i arrived on holiday.

E-cig seems working on me so I continue using it instead of going back to my old traditional cigarette smoking. Right now I'm using Blu from I enjoyed it the most because it has different flavours to choose from and I'll get the right satisfaction I want. Some would not recommended it but I just gave my own opinion base from my situation.

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