Vaping Popularity & History

Vaping Popularity & History

Published: 16th November, 2020 in: News Smoking Harm Reduction

Vaping has become more and more popular, while smoking cigarettes has declined over the years due to the increased awareness around the negative health effects of smoking cigarettes.  According to the World Health Organization, they have observed a small yet steady decrease in the estimated number of cigarette smokers globally, to just over one billion. With the rise of vaping however, it is important to dissect the reasons for its popularity and increasing accessibility, along with its benefits, risks, and precautions. 

This guide discusses the history of vaping, the reasons why vaping is popular, and key facts about vaping. Read our other article for information on what is vaping and what is an e-cigarette

Why Is Vaping Popular? 

The number of vapers has been growing with a reported estimate of seven million in 2011 compared to 41 million in 2018. Euromonitor is a leading market research group; they estimate that the number of adults who vape will reach almost 55 million by 2021.

The e-cigarette industry is now estimated to be worth £15.5 billion compared to £5.5bn just five years ago. Vaping is most popular in the United Kingdom, United States and France. Vapers in these countries spent more than £8bn on smokeless tobacco and vaping products in 2018.

With the rising health concerns surrounding cigarette smoking, it appears that more people are opting for alternatives to kick the habit. The NHS has been very informative and  has put a lot of focus on spreading awareness of the health risks associated with cigarette smoking. The NHS has been working for years to inform people of the side effects of smoking cigarettes because of the severe negative impacts it can have on your health. Stopping smoking has multiple benefits including:

  • Breath more easily - People breathe more easily and cough less following their success in stopping smoking. This is because lung capacity improves by up to 10% within 9 months of stopping. Cigarettes affect lung capacity. This may not be noticeable when younger, in your 20s or 30s, but as you get older the effects will become more noticeable as lung capacity naturally diminishes with age. Smoking cigarettes could make it diminish more quickly making the difference between wheezing when walking and living an active life at an old age. 
  • Increased Energy Levels - It has been found that people who stop smoking see an improved blood circulation within 2 to 12 weeks. Having good blood circulation around your body makes it easier for people to walk and complete other physical activities improving their overall wellbeing. 
  • Better immune system - When you stop smoking, it helps improve the immune system making it easier to fight off common colds and flu. The increase in oxygen in the body as a result of not smoking cigarettes can also reduce tiredness and the possibility of headaches.
  • Less Stress - The withdrawal from nicotine between cigarettes can cause an initial increase in stress however, withdrawal symptoms stabilise. It has  been found through scientific studies that people's stress levels are lower after they stop smoking. 
  • Improved Sex Life - As the the body's blood flow improves when someone stops smoking cigarettes, in turn, sensitivity is enhanced. This means that men can have better erections and women may feel improved orgasms.

These are just some of the findings, and many of these have led to people not starting to smoke or quitting for the sake of their health and finances. Some people are instead opting for vaping, which has some risks but not necessarily as many as cigarette smoking.  E-cigarettes generally contain nicotine and allow the user to inhale this in a vapour rather than smoke, making it attractive to people trying to stop smoking. 


When did Vaping Start?

The first e-cigarette was developed by a Chinese inventor, Hon Lik, in 2003. There have been various inventors researching and trying out different ways of 'consuming' nicotine for many, many years before the birth of the e-cig. However, there are still people looking into alternative ways even today.

Where to find e-cigs and vaping accessories? 

E-cigs and vaping accessories are now widely available  at supermarkets and pharmacies. Nicocig was a popular brand for vaping products, but nicocig has been discontinued. There are many different brands available in the UK and it is important to ensure you go to a reliable place to order. If you are shopping online, you should make sure that the website is secure and is a registered pharmacy showing a ‘registered pharmacy’ icon on the page which links to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s register.  

Safety When Buying Vape Online 

There are various safety precautions you should follow when purchasing products online to make sure you are buying real products from reputable suppliers, or registered online pharmacies. Counterfeit cigarettes and vaping products do exist which makes it even more important to know how to identify a legitimate retailer or pharmacy, compared to a fake or illegal website who could just be scamming you for money or provide you with unsafe/unregulated counterfeit products.  

Vaping and E-cigarette Risks

In the UK, e-cigarettes are regulated for safety and quality, however, they are not completely risk-free. E-cigarettes generally do not contain tobacco and don't produce carbon monoxide. These two harmful substances are found in cigarette smoke making e-cigs less risky in comparison. Though this is true, the liquid and vapour do still contain some potentially harmful chemicals that are also found in cigarette smoke, but at much lower levels.

Leading health organisations agree that e-cigarettes are less harmful than cigarette smoking from the current evidence that is available to them, however, there are some things to consider before vaping:

  • Vape contains nicotine which is an addictive substance also found in cigarettes. It is seen as relatively harmless. Nicotine is found in a range of products and is also used in Nicotine replacement therapy which has been widely used for many years to help people to stop smoking and is considered a safe form of treatment.
  • It is recommended that pregnant women should not smoke cigarettes or vape. 
  • There have been previous incidents of e-cigarettes exploding or catching fire. It is therefore essential that you buy from a reputable seller to avoid counterfeit e-cigs and vaping accessories. Even so, there are still measures you should take to reduce fire risk including: 
    • always use the recommended charger for the device; check the box and leaflet for this information 
    • don’t leave your e-cigarette charging unattended or overnight
    • don’t carry an e-cigarette in your pocket next to coins or keys
    • always buy your e-cigarette products from a reputable retailer as these are compliant with UK safety regulations
  • E-cigarettes and vape products are not for use by under 18s or non-smokers as they do pose risks. The use of e-cigarettes is considered unsafe for kids, teens, and young adults. 
  • People who already suffer with existing conditions, such as heart conditions, diabetes, stomach problems, kidney/liver problems, lung disease, then e-cigarettes may not be suitable for you. You must speak with a medical professional before use. 


Buying E-cigarettes and Vape Accessories Online 

It is very important that you purchase your e-cigs and vape accessories from reputable shops and websites to ensure they have passed health and safety regulations set out to protect your wellbeing. Weldricks is a registered online pharmacy and official reseller of EDGE vaping products, check out our e-cig and vape products on our site today.