Risks of vaping
The biggest risks of vaping are the unknown risks. Vaping hasn’t been around long enough to know the risks of long-term use, but we do know it’s less harmful than smoking.
Vaping – what the doctor says
What we know
Breathing any product into your lungs unnecessarily is not ideal, and that’s why non-smokers should not vape. However, for those who smoke, switching to vaping is likely to substantially reduce health risks.
[There is] general agreement that electronic cigarette use exposes the user to fewer toxicants and at lower levels than smoking cigarettes.Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation, Cochrane Review April 2021
In general, smokers who switch to vaping reduce their exposure to a wide range of toxic substances. For more information, check out:
- Electronic Cigarettes in Smoking Cessation, Cochrane Review April 2021
- The Evidence Review of E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products 2018, a report commissioned by Public Health England.
- Vaping in England: an evidence update including vaping for smoking cessation, February 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk)
- An updated overview of e-cigarette impact on human health 2021 | Respiratory Research | Full Text (biomedcentral.com).
There are safety risks to any electronic device.Learn about vaping safety
Risks are what might happen, but side effects are the direct results.Read the side effects of vaping
What we don’t know
The risks associated with long-term vaping are unknown. While vaping is less harmful than smoking it is unlikely to be totally harm free. Ideally, smokers who are vaping to quit should look to eventually stop vaping too.
Even though many of the long-term health effects of ENDS use are still unknown, there is growing evidence to demonstrate that these products are not harmless. For example… cardiovascular health, [and] respiratory health.WHO report on the global tobacco epidemic 2021: addressing new and emerging products
Scientists will not be certain for many years of any long-term health risks associated with vaping. The Ministry of Health has a role in continuing to monitor the risk.
The Ministry of Health has a role in continuing to monitor the risk. If you become aware of any adverse reactions to vaping please report to the New Zealand Pharmacovigilance Centre.
Comparative risks of cardiovascular disease and lung disease have not been quantified but are likely to be also substantially below the risks of smoking.Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation, Cochrane Review April 2021
Risk of cancer
The current estimate is, if vaping is found to be associated with cancer, the risk will only be a tiny fraction of the risks of smoking.Does vaping cause cancer? Read the research
Effect on others
There is currently no evidence that second-hand vapour is harmful to the health of by-standers. There is concern about youth taking up vaping.How does vaping affect others? Learn the impacts
Reputable e-liquid manufacturers no longer use diacetyl to create buttery flavours, after discovering its effect on popcorn factory workers.What is popcorn lung? Bust a myth