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.
Risks are what might happen, but side effects are the direct results.
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
How does it affect other people?
Be aware that some people may not like being around others who are vaping. Some people may find the vapour unpleasant, or are sensitive to it.
Be considerate about where you are vaping, especially when there are children present or in public spaces that are Smokefree. Respect other people when they request that you do not vape.
Vaping at work
Vaping is not permitted in all Smokefree indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Business owners can make their own decisions about vaping in the outdoor areas of their workplace.
The most important thing we can do is to be inclusive and aware of people's needs. If someone at work is vaping to quit, find ways to support them while still being considerate to other people who may be sensitive to vapour.