British Lung Foundation
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Are e-cigarettes safe

I am 65 and was diagnosed with COPD last Ocyober, I gave up smoking when addmitted to hospital with respiratory failure at that time, I was given two inhalers to use daily and am on a machine 3 nights a week, I still get very breathless on doing certain jobs like hoovering or making the beds, but my question is, I am using an electronic cigarette to help me cope, is this ok to use or should I not use anything (which will be hard) I will definitely not smoke a real one ever again.

11 Replies

Hi, well done for giving up the real ciggies. The e-cigarette is obviously better but I am not convinced that it is as safe as some claim. Check out wikipedia.


I am not totally sure but was told no proper tests have been done in the uk .


I tried one when I stopped last year, I found it helpful to start with but then figured it wasn't helping with the hand to mouth habit, plus I don't know about the safety aspect. I found the patches worked for me but a friend uses the gum. Keep on keeping on and you will get there. :)


hi cj,

from the write-ups in the papers the so called e-cigarette, is not as safe as it seem, as they release a nicotine vapour. Also using these devices has been found to cause the body to absorb less oxygen - this effect can last for several minute, thus raising resistance in the lungs / airways.

I think the done a report on this and was being dealt with by the EU.

Unfortunately i dont think there is any safe way of quitting apart from willpower

Take Care



I have been using an Ecig For about ayear now. They are deffinatly not affecting my breathing like real ciggys do. I buy them from Totally Wicked they are brilliant.


From a personal point of view I don't like the things. They are not regulated and are still keeping the 'smoker' hooked on nicotine. The vapour still contains toxins. Latest research shows that they can cause breathing issues and there's always the cost to consider. Is your money still going up in smoke?

If someone has lung problems then they should not be breathing in anything that could cause problems. To me, giving up meant giving up, and I did. Years ago the adverts for normal cigs didn't mention any dangers, but over the years they've found many problems that we now know about. Thye've only just started looking at these electronic vapour things, and I don't like what I'm hearing already.

If you want to give up smoking then please do. With willpower you don't need a substitute. I smoked for over 35 years and was able to cut back for a couple of weeks as the Champix did their stuff, then just stopped. Talk to NHS Smokefree if you need help, that's what I did.


wow ,noticed you stopped with the champix ,i tried them and ive smoked over 35yrs too, i guess its more down to will power, (and for health reason of course,)rather than trying everything that aint gonna work, i also find its boredum having copd, emphasema, osteoporosis,bla bla bla, limits what can do, so hopefully joining on here today i will be more occupied and will also help me, ;)



I would agree with Gordon - contact Smokefree NHS 0800 022 4 332 - or your local smoking cessation service. Speak to them - and most importantly get some support from them - you stand a much better cahnce of succeeding with support.

Good Luck



Ecig’s were suggested by a friend who had seen a guy puffing on one in a pub and had asked him about it, I ordered my first one last February and haven’t looked back to be honest.

I was a very heavy smoker, my chest in the morning was awful when I was still smoking and I would have prolonged coughing attacks that often made me throw up and left my chest and ribs feeling sore for the rest of the day, this made it really difficult to stand long enough to wait for the kettle to make a coffee first thing and doing anything as strenuous as getting washed and dressed really difficult, I needed a couple of hours sitting to get my breathing and coughing under control, that was on a good’ish day on a bad one I could lose half the day.

I was awfully addicted to smoking not just the nicotine but the act of doing it and just couldn’t kick the habit, I did manage 4 months on tablets but using patches, gum etc mange 3-4 weeks was the best I could do, after many soul destroying attempts I had all but given up on quitting fags.

Since I went onto ecig’s my chest is much improved the morning ritual of coughing my guts up has gone, my sense of taste returned and I feel so much better in myself, my GP is very happy with the improvements I have made and is happy for me to continue to use a ecig, so long as it stops me going back to smoking.

I view it as a harm reduction rather than an alternative to quitting altogether and I would recommend to anyone that they would be better quitting if they can, but that is the important bit “if they can” if you can’t it is better than smoking in my experience.


hi shaun, my mum has smoked for over 40 years and she is finding it very difficult to stop smoking, thanks for the advice on the e cig, I think we will give it a try.


Hi, there was a blog on this at the beginning of September.


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