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E-cigarettes: Case Study

"Could an e-cig help me stop smoking?" Zak, aged 18, Leicester, U.K

Zak smoked since he was 14. He started because his older brother smoked and let him join in with his mates. He started with just the occasional one or two and gradually increased. He ended up smoking a pack of 20 every day. Last year Zak’s smoking habit cost him about £2,873!

Apart from being broke, Zak found he couldn’t keep up at football and dropped out of a team he used to play with on Sunday mornings. He wants to make a change. He’s not ready to stop completely yet but is considering buying an e-cig to help him give up smoking real cigarettes.

What do the experts say?

  • If Zak switched to an e-cig he will not be inhaling all the harmful chemicals included in tobacco. This will reduce the risk of damaging his lungs and getting diseases such as heart disease and lung cancer. It will also help his lungs to recover so that he doesn’t get out of breath so easily
  • Zak will still be addicted to nicotine if he uses an e-cigarette, but that is relatively harmless compared to the tobacco in real cigarettes
  • Using an e-cig to replace his smoking would cost Zak about £250 per year, saving him about £2,623
  • Getting help from the Stop Smoking Service could help Zak to make the switch from cigarettes to e-cigs, and then to reduce his dependency to nicotine, if that’s what he wanted to do.
  • The Stop Smoking Service can provide a wide range of stop smoking medications to help people stop smoking, but they can’t supply e-cigs because they’re not licensed as a medication. However, they can advise people how to choose a good quality e-cig to buy and help them get off of tobacco and nicotine for good. This service is completely free.

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

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