words Alexa Wang
Vaping has become an increasingly popular pastime among people in the UK. More and more people, and in particular, smokers and ex-smokers, are taking up vaping as an alternative to the more traditional practice of smoking cigarettes.
E-cigarettes, e-liquids and vaping devices are now widely available in the UK, both through online retailers and high-street shops, and the sight of a person using a vape is now a common one in public places throughout the nation.
There are numerous reasons for the rise and subsequent popularity of vaping as a practice; from legislature-induced ones (such as the ban on smoking in enclosed public places, which came into force in 2007), to economic and cultural ones and of course health. Here are some of the most important reasons why people are choosing to vape.
The health reasons
One of the most important reasons that vaping is now so popular is that it is significantly less harmful to your health than smoking cigarettes. The carcinogens produced by burning and inhaling tobacco are incredibly damaging to the lungs and heart, causing the destruction of the metabolic processes of the cells in the human body.
While by no means entirely safe, a recent found that vaping and e-cigarettes have ‘much less carcinogenic potency’ than the smoke from tobacco. Another recent study looking at vaping vs smoking, funded by Cancer Research, showed that the carcinogen levels of tobacco smokers who switched to vaping had dropped considerably.
Another compelling reason for people choosing vaping over smoking is the fact that vaping can work out to be significantly cheaper. Although a vaping kit and e-liquids will require a significant initial outlay, the costs are likely to be less when spread over time when compared to a tobacco smoking habit of roughly the same regularity and intensity. And with tobacco prices rising considerably year on year over the past decade or so, this makes vaping and e-cigarettes seem like an attractive and viable alternative.
Vaping is often much more convenient for people when out and about, as many places in the UK have chosen not to ban vaping indoors in their premises. Whereas a traditional smoker is now forced to step outside when they want to smoke a cigarette and make use of a specially-designated smoking area, very often vapers can simply use their device inside, without having the annoyance and inconvenience of having to leave the building.
Social attitudes to smoking have hardened considerably over the last few years, to the point where tobacco smokers are almost frowned upon if they light a cigarette in the vicinity of another person, especially a non-smoker, or a family with small children. Vaping, on the other hand, is becoming increasingly socially acceptable; partly due to the fact that many people recognise that vapers are often making a conscious effort to avoid smoking tobacco.
Flavours of e-liquids
Finally, whereas tobacco cigarettes have generally been sold in one of two formats; regular tobacco flavour or menthol flavour, the prevalence of e-liquids means that there is now a whole range of different flavours to be enjoyed. Although tobacco was occasionally flavoured and scented, this was comparatively quite difficult to come by. Vaping, on the other hand, can be enjoyed in a plethora of readily-available flavours such as coffee, vanilla, hazelnut, blueberry, strawberry and so on! This added feature of e-liquids makes for increased novelty and increased enjoyment of vaping as a practice, and can add an extremely enjoyable social aspect to the pastime as well.