Don’t hesitate to ask for help on what the best e-cig set up is for you.

If you are a smoker and really want to switch to using an electronic cigarette, where do you go for help? Head for an e-cig shop of course! As much as the NHS would love smokers to give up cigarettes, it is not giving enough practical guidance. Leaflets about the health risks and cigarettes are a waste of paper. Nicotine gum and patches have had limited success in helping smokers kick the tobacco habit. So what to do?

The most effective way to give up cigarettes is to replace smoking with vaping. This is because using an e-cigarette means that this is not a drastic lifestyle change like going cold turkey. The habit of inhaling vapour from an imitation cigarette satisfies more than just getting a nicotine hit. The physical action of ‘smoking’ plus the familiarity of having an e-cig in your hand is psychologically gratifying too. So it feels less of a sacrifice. Where nicotine gum and patches often fail, vaping is succeeding. Vaping is empowering. Electronic cigarettes have helped thousands of people and are here to stay. The industry is booming having grown out of a market-based, user driven, public health insurgency.

However, trying out an e-cig for the first time can be a hit or miss affair. You can buy an electronic cigarette at your local Tesco or petrol station and give it a try. But it’s much better to take a bit of time and walk in to a good vape shop. Experienced staff can give tailored advice to the novice. The Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) is enthusiastic about a new study, funded by Cancer Research UK, which recognises the role reputable vape shops and their employees play in helping smokers switch to vaping. Dr Emma Ward from the University of East Anglia conducted and published the study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. It advocated that vape shops provided good advice and behavioural support which could help people stop smoking and remain smoke free. The report also recommended the NHS should consider working with reputable vape shops to help smokers quit.

Vape shops are one of the few areas of positive growth on our high streets. There are estimated to be more than 1,700 individual vape shops in the UK. There is also a myriad of online vape shops for e-cigs, cartomizers, e-liquids and accessories once you know the ropes. The choice is yours and it’s huge.

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