The facts of vaping

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 now general agreement that electronic cigarette use exposes the user to fewer toxicants than smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation, Cochrane review 2016

In general, smokers who switch to vaping reduce their exposure to a wide range of toxic substances. For more detail, view the Evidence Review of E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products 2018, a report commissioned by Public Health England.

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.

Scientists will not be certain for many years of any health risks associated with vaping. The Ministry of Health has a role in continuing to monitor the risk.

We don’t know what is in all vaping e-liquids, as there are no safety standards in New Zealand yet for vaping products.

Comparative risks of cardiovascular disease and lung disease have not been quantified but are likely to be also substantially below the risks of smoking.

Evidence Review of E-cigarettes and Heated Tobacco Products 2018, a report commissioned by Public Health England

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

Popcorn lung

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