Guidance on e-cigarettes safety

Are e-cigarettes safe?

It’s estimated that 2.9 million UK adults are now using e-cigarettes (also sometimes known as vapes) either as an alternative to traditional cigarettes or to help them stop smoking entirely [1].

Some concerns have been raised about the harm that the nicotine and other chemicals contained in vapes could potentially cause – though Public Health England have confirmed they believe that e-cigarettes are around 95% safer than smoking.

But, health implications aside, e-cigarettes can pose other dangers: there have been a number of incidents involving faulty vape chargers, including numerous alarming reports of chargers that have exploding whilst in use, causing fires and even injury.

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How to charge your vape safely

Want to avoid the dangers of e-cigarettes? Then just follow this simple advice:

  • Follow the provided instructions carefully – battery capacities and charging voltages vary according to manufacturer so it’s important to check you are using the correct charger.
  • Pay close attention to any warnings supplied with the product. Over-tightening of the screwed connection to the rechargeable battery, for example, can cause mechanical damage which can in turn create heat problems, product failure or even injury.
  • Ensure that vapes are not left charging for long periods of time.
  • Never leave e-cigarettes plugged in overnight or whilst you are out of the house.
  • Look out for the CE mark that indicates chargers comply with European Safety standards.
  • Never keep loose e-cigarette batteries in your pocket, particularly next to keys or coins - they are more likely to cause fire.

Watch our video featuring Clueless Colin to see what could happen if you buy a cheap and unbranded e-cigarette charger.

A few facts about e-cigarettes

  • E-cigarettes date back to at least 1963, when Herbert A. Gilbert patented a non-tobacco cigarette that heated a nicotine solution and produced steam – but he wasn’t able to interest any investors in the idea at the time. [2]
  • E-cigarettes were first introduced to Europe in 2006.
  • In a survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics, over half of e-cigarette users said their main reason for using them was to stop smoking, and around one in five said it was because they thought they were less harmful than cigarettes. [3]
  • Most of those using e-cigarettes use a rechargeable product with either replaceable, pre-filled cartridges or a reservoir/tank.
  • More current smokers use a rechargeable kit with replaceable cartridges than ex-smokers (49% compared to 42%).
  • Ex-smokers favour a rechargeable product with a reservoir or tank (53% compared to only 35% of current smokers). [3]

E -cigarettes (1)(Image source)


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