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E-Cigarettes

What are e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes (or electronic nicotine devices) are devices which allow the user to inhale a vapour containing a mixture of propylene glycol / glycerine and may or may not also contain nicotine or flavourings. Because the liquid is heated and not burned and contains no tobacco, the nicotine is delivered without many of the thousands of chemicals which cause the significant harm and damage to the body.

E-Cigarettes are continually evolving. Most early models (First Generation) resemble cigarettes in shape and size and sometimes referred to as 'cigalikes'. Many later models (second and third generation) are larger, at about the size of a conventional fountain pen and usually do not resemble cigarettes. 

Image Source: Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eri_merkkisia_sahkotupakoita.jpg

Are e-cigarettes safe?

E-cigarettes are currently unlicensed, but both the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) and the Medicines Healthcare Regulatory Association (MHRA) acknowledge that their use is safer than continued smoking.

Because these products are relatively new, there is very little evidence on the quality, safety or effectiveness of electronic cigarettes. However, current expert opinion on the evidence which is available suggests that they are likely to be much less harmful than smoking tobacco.

Can I get e-cigarettes through the NHS?

Because e-cigarettes are not yet a licensed product, they cannot be prescribed by the NHS. Products like Nicotine Replacement Therapy (e.g. patches, gum, lozenges etc) and Champix® are available from the NHS as they are licensed to help people stop smoking.

Although we cannot supply e-cigarettes, we understand that many smokers are using them to cut down or stop smoking altogether. We want to help those who are using e-cigs to stop smoking the benefit from the additional support our services can offer.

All local Smokefree Community Services* offer support to anyone using an e-cigarette across Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Give them a call to find out more about support available in your area. Click here to find your local service.

  *Note: This does not include our Smokefree Pharmacy Service.

Safety Advice

  • Store nicotine solution away from children & pets, as you would with any medicine

  • It is safe to use an e-cigarette with NRT. If you feel sick or dizzy, stop using the e-cigarette / use less frequently / move to an e-liquid with lower level of nicotine

  • Ensure you thoroughly wash hands if handling e-liquids

  • Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer carefully

  • Heed any warnings supplied with the product

  • Ensure that e-cigarettes are not left charging for long periods of time

  • Do not leave e-cigarettes plugged in overnight or whilst out of the house

  • Look out for the CE mark that indicates chargers comply with European Safety Standards