VAPING MYTHS DEBUNKED TO HELP NEW CUSTOMERS MAKE THE SWITCH
You don’t need to tell us here at Dinner Lady about the benefits of vaping, and how making the switch away from cigarettes is the right choice for adult smokers.
But, at the same time, we can’t shy away from the misleading headlines which fail to demonstrate how vaping has supported millions of smokers in the UK alone, to find a less harmful alternative to cigarettes.
Disappointingly, those headlines are having an impact on many adult smokers who could be making that switch, leaving them asking ‘Is vaping safe?’ Recent figures from Public Health England show that 53% of smokers think vaping is as harmful or more harmful than cigarettes.
Adult smokers keen to make the switch from cigarettes to vape are bound to have questions – they’ve seen the stories about EVALI in the US, about so-called Popcorn Lung, about vapes exploding or catching fire.
The team here at Dinner Lady is always looking to support our retail partners, independent vape stores and e-liquid wholesale outlets, and this is the latest resource we’ve created to help you help your customers.
Here we’re looking at some of the issues raised in recent years, with one of Dinner Lady’s qualified Stop Smoking Practitioners Brian Watts, offering the facts to help our retail partners support adult smokers in making the switch.
“The myths and questions surrounding vape are frustrating for the team at Dinner Lady, and they persist because we are limited in who we can reach to correct the misinformation” Brian explained.
“But the support for vaping from the likes of Public Health England and the NHS is great, and there is so much research going on in the background that the general public doesn’t see. As more research is published, proving the harm reduction properties of vape, hopefully these messages will be more widely discussed – replacing the vape scaremongering we often see now.”
WHY DO I COUGH WHEN I VAPE?
An understandable question – for smokers switching to vape, they’d expect the “smoker’s cough” to clear up, not potentially increase. But the body needs time to adjust and heal from the damage of cigarettes.
Cigarette smoke kills the tiny cilia hairs in the throat, and one of the first changes when stopping smoking is these growing back, which causes a tickling-type of irritation. And as the body starts to clear tar from the lungs, those moving away from cigarettes can find themselves coughing up more phlegm, whichever method of tobacco harm reduction they choose.
There’s also a period of readjustment of inhaling vape instead of smoke. It’s best to take short, slow and gentle inhalations while you become accustomed to the new sensation and to develop the technique which is best for you, gradually increasing the intake as you adjust.
To help soothe and ease these sensations, drink regularly, which also helps combat the dehydration that the production of vapour can lead to. Also, experimenting with the device you’re using and the type and strength of e-liquid will help reduce any coughing you experience. Getting the right balance between the power of the device and the formulation and strength of liquid will help.
DOES E-LIQUID CONTAIN ANTI-FREEZE?
This question comes from the inclusion of propylene glycol – the PG of PG:VG – as one of the two main ingredients in e-liquids, alongside vegetable glycerine, plus flavourings and optional nicotine.
Anti-freeze typically contains the highly toxic ethylene glycol as the active ingredient, in reducing the freezing point of water.
But, propylene glycol (PG) replaces ethylene glycol as the active ingredient in non-toxic anti-freeze, used in places such as food processing systems or water pipes in homes, or for environmentally-friendly formulations.
Propylene glycol, as in the PG in e-liquids, is used in a wide variety of consumable and pharmaceutical products – and is deemed safe for human consumption. It is considerably less toxic than ethylene glycol. In e-liquids, it is used for its solvent properties and low vapour pressure.
PG is recognised by major authorities including the EU and the FDA in the USA as being safe for human consumption, and is often found in consumables including ice cream, to stop it becoming too icy, in margarine to retain its soft texture, or in cake mixtures as an anti-caking ingredient. Propylene glycol is one of the solvents included in the FDA inactive ingredients guide for various preparations including inhalations.
MY VAPE’S NEVER OUT OF MY HAND… WHY IS THAT?
Like any new thing – it’s a novelty. That shiny new smart phone, the latest streaming service, the box-fresh trainers; we bet you feel more attached to them than your previous ones. And it’s much the same thing when switching from cigarettes to vaping.
That newness will also make you more conscious of the habit – something unusual in your hand, the disposable vape pen or your refillable pod-mod, instead of the old familiar cardboard cigarette pack, lighter, or the cigarette itself. You’re so used to those items, you weren’t so aware of their ever-presence.
We remind new vapers adapting from cigarettes, that they’re not all that comparable. While e-liquids do an excellent job in delivering nicotine, especially in nic salts formulations, they don’t completely replicate the cigarette experience. We suggest new vapers replace their cigarette breaks with vape breaks and maintain that daily routine for familiarity and to reduce the feeling of “constantly” vaping. In addition, try taking a similar number of puffs during that break – try eight to 12 inhales per vape break, and to experiment with formulations to find the right strength and mix of e-liquid to best meet your personal needs.
AM I INCREASING MY NICOTINE ADDICTION BY VAPING?
Only you the consumer can answer that, but the purpose of vaping is to take an adult smoker on a tobacco harm reduction journey by supporting their nicotine withdrawal symptoms’. But, it is up to the consumer to manage that journey, with support and education from their vape supplier, to help them make informed choices about the e-liquids they buy to reduce the strength.
By offering adult smokers a wide range of e-liquid formulations, they have the option of nicotine strengths and ratios, to find the one which best matches their need. Retailers must have the product knowledge to support their customers in matching their cigarette habit to a similar vape experience – for example to offer nic salts to the heavy smoker or 50:50 to a lighter smoker. A retailer needs to know how many cigarettes a customer smokes daily, how and when smoking fits into their routine, what access they have to vaping during the course of a day, and how they plan to introduce vaping into their current rituals.
Armed with that knowledge, a retailer can then advise a customer about the vape journey and how to reduce nicotine strengths, which in turn reduces the addiction. The end goal being for an adult smoker to become cigarette-free and ultimately nicotine-free.
WHAT ABOUT SECOND-HAND VAPOUR – IS SECOND-HAND VAPOUR HARMFUL?
It’s understandable to ask this question, when the effects of second-hand smoke have been reported for years now, and that many of the health risks from smoking translate directly to those inhaling second-hand smoke. The risk of heart disease, lung cancer and strokes are all increased by inhaling second-hand smoke – the same smoke proven to contain thousands of chemicals and tens of cancer-causing ingredients.
However with vaping, the nicotine is inhaled through a vapour. While studies on the impact of second-hand vapour are rare, the current evidence shows there is no significant risk. Alongside this, and backing up the evidence, it has been proven that vapour produced by e-cigarettes breaks down in seconds, compared to the 30 to 45 minutes it takes for cigarette smoke exhalation to dissipate. With vape exhalation disappearing so quickly, there’s no time for it to sink into clothing, furnishings and even walls over time in the way cigarette smoke does.
It is important for vapers to remember that although the levels will be minimal, nicotine can still be present in second-hand vapour. While nicotine in itself is not damaging to health, it is addictive and some people would rather avoid second-hand vapour for this reason. The key here – be polite when vaping around others.
I HEARD THAT E-LIQUIDS WERE KILLING PEOPLE IN AMERICA…
In 2019, there was an outbreak of a lung injury dubbed EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping use-associated lung injury) in the USA. News of these cases went round the world – and the vaping industry took a massive hit.
It soon became apparent that these cases were linked to people using homemade or black-market THC (psychoactive cannabis compound) e-liquids which contained vitamin E acetate. Vitamin E acetate was never found in any vape products in the US, nor the UK. It is a banned ingredient in the UK under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016 – the legislation which saw the EU’s TDP rulings adopted into UK laws.
Because of this prohibition on the use of vitamin E acetate, the risk of getting EVALI after using a UK-manufactured and regulated e-liquid, such as Dinner Lady, is low.
E-CIGS CAN EXPLODE OR CATCH FIRE
Like any electric device – there’s always a very slight chance of a manufacturing defect and / or user error, including poor maintenance. And most reports of e-cigs exploding in people’s pockets or catching fire are connected to the latter.
Vapers are advised to always use the correct charger for their e-cig, which means the one supplied with it, and to not carry loose batteries in your pocket, where keys or cash can create a circuit and spark. Replace batteries regularly and do not over charge your device.
VAPING TARGETS TEENAGERS
Natural teenage curiosity will never be wiped out – and as part of that, they are drawn to the forbidden, hence why experimenting with cigarettes has long been had an appeal among this age group.
Vaping is often criticised as a gateway to cigarettes, yet research in the UK has found no strong link between the two, with regular vaping among young people at very low levels. In a survey of 11 to 18-year-olds published in February 2021, out of nearly 2,000 never smokers – not a single one reported vaping daily.
Many critics have pointed fingers at the vape industry for appealing to youngsters, and it’s fair to say some companies have gone too far with their marketing campaigns. However, there are many, many more responsible vape companies out there, whose sole aim is to support adult smokers looking for a less harmful alternative – many vape companies have been created by ex-smokers who have experienced this for themselves.
From a Dinner Lady perspective, we’re founded on the idea of nostalgia – taking adult smokers ‘back to a time where things just didn’t matter’. Our brand imagery has always been more mature than many of our competitors in the market – no cartoon-like characters or youth-style graphics. Our softer colour palette and typography has been carefully crafted to stand out, but without drawing in minors who would likely be more enticed by edgy brand designs.
We believe these combined factors, as well as the fact that we have firmly positioned ourselves as a premium e-liquid manufacturer, with the associated higher-end price point, is likely to serve as a deterrent to potential underage consumers.
The more we talk about these myths, share the facts and answer the questions, the more adult smokers will be encouraged to make the switch to a less harmful alternative. There are huge amounts of research being carried out on a regular basis to find out more about how effective vaping can be, and it’s our duty as a premium e-liquid supplier to support this.
Drop us a message using the form below if you have a question about vaping that you’d like us to look into. Alternatively, get in touch for more information about Dinner Lady’s TDP compliant e-liquids and our new disposable Vape Pen.