Vaping is a way to help people quit smoking. It is not harmless, but it is less harmful than smoking. Vaping is not for people who do not smoke.

What vapes and e-liquids are

Vapes are devices that heat an e-liquid (vape juice) which produces an aerosol that you inhale or 'vape'. This gives you nicotine with less toxins than burning tobacco.

Vapes come in a range of styles, including:

  • devices that look like smokes
  • pod devices with a disposable cartridge
  • pen devices with a refillable tank, and replaceable coil that heats the vapour.

E-liquids usually contain:

  • propylene glycol which creates a 'throat sensation' like smoking
  • vegetable glycerol which produces thicker 'clouds' and a smoother vape
  • nicotine (optional)
  • flavours (optional).

Vape to quit smoking

The best thing you can do for your health is to quit smoking. Vaping may be an option for you if you have tried other ways to quit that did not work for you.

You should aim to stop vaping once you have quit smoking, and you feel sure you will not go back to smoking. It may take some time to become vape-free.

Tips to help switch to vaping

Your local stop smoking service and Quitline have qualified staff who can support you to quit smoking through vaping. This will give you a better chance of doing the quitting.

Vaping is different to smoking. It can take time to work out which vaping style, e-liquid and nicotine strength work best for you. Talk to your local stop smoking service, Quitline, or staff at specialist vape shops about the best way to vape when you are trying to quit.

Use an e-liquid with nicotine in it for a higher chance of success. You can reduce the amount of nicotine in your e-liquid over time.

Use quality products from a trusted source, like a specialist vape shop. It is important to have good equipment, advice and support. 

Risks of vaping

Vaping has not been around long enough to know the risks of long-term use. Vaping should only be used by people who want to quit smoking.

Avoid smoking and vaping around newborns and tamariki (children) to protect their health. Keep vape gear and e-liquid away from them. 

Vaping contains nicotine which can have some negative effects on brain development in adolescents. Being addicted to vaping can affect their relationships and behaviours. 

If you are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider, midwife, local stop smoking service, or Quitline about the best ways to quit during pregnancy.

Common side effects of vaping

Common side effects of vaping include:

  • coughing
  • dry mouth and throat
  • shortness of breath
  • throat irritation
  • headaches.