Disposable vapes should be banned to prevent children from becoming addicted to brightly colored, sweet-tasting e-cigarettes.
Officials are expected to unveil proposals next week specifying that the devices will be scrapped amid concerns they are “almost entirely aimed at children.”
Doctors have spent years warning about the side effects of vaping, ranging from mild throat and mouth irritation to potentially fatal lung and heart diseases.
But with millions of Brits now expected to ditch disposable vapes, doctors have revealed what happens to your body after you quit and their best tips for kicking the addiction.
Here, a doctor tells MailOnline how, just after a week, the risks of heart disease and high blood pressure can return to pre-vaping levels just after a few months.
Tests of e-cigarettes confiscated from young people have found them to contain dangerous levels of lead, nickel and chromium. Some exceeded safety limits almost 10 times. Exposure to lead can harm brain development, while the other two metals can trigger blood clotting.
WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR BODY AFTER YOU STOP VAPING?
Vaping can have serious and even fatal side effects on the body.
Dr Semiya Aziz, a GP and TV doctor practicing in north London, noted that there are links between vaping and chronic lung disease, cardiovascular disease and conditions such as asthma and pop- pulmonic corn, a condition that damages the smallest airways in the lungs.
Although the body can recover from the effects of vaping, it can take weeks, sometimes months, she said. It depends on the intensity and duration of vaping.
A few weeks after stopping e-cigarettes, the lungs can regenerate damaged tissues, reducing the risk of diseases that cause breathing difficulties.
But the recovery rate is highly dependent on exposure levels.
“If the damage to the lungs is significant, this may not be possible and there may be permanent damage leading to long-term chronic effects,” she added.
Heart health may also improve as blood vessels return to normal rhythm and size, returning the risk of stroke to pre-vaping levels.
Dr Aziz said: “As a result of vaping, the heart rate often becomes abnormal and there is dilation of blood vessels, which can increase the risk of heart attack or sudden death in people with or without known heart disease .”
In addition to a healthier heart, blood circulation is likely to improve after just a few weeks, reducing the risk of life-threatening heart diseases.
Dry mouth and diminished taste buds — a side effect of vaping — will also return to normal after a few weeks, she says.
Dr Aziz added: “We also know that vaping can cause other organ damage.
“In addition to your lungs, nicotine and other substances in vapes can affect brain development and mood and lead to addiction.”
GOOD ADVICE TO STOP VAPING
Getting rid of an addiction or habit can be an exhausting process for most, especially when the government is supposed to announce that the country is going turkey.
But Dr Aziz has revealed his top five tips for quitting vaping for good.
The NHS doctor suggests becoming physically active, as she says exercising or playing sports can ease the urge.
Another way to curb addiction is to develop a distraction technique.
Dr Aziz said: “Cravings often disappear after one to two minutes. This can be done by performing various tasks, using your hands, or listening to music. Some patients I know have used straws to help them quit.
It is said that the journey to quitting smoking is much easier if you also surround yourself with supportive family and friends who understand the struggles.
Many people develop a vaping habit to manage stress, but this habit can be replaced with a different, healthier lifestyle choice.
Meditation, journaling and spending time outdoors are just some of the alternative activities recommended by the GP.
And don’t forget to celebrate milestones, no matter how small, Dr. Aziz said.
She said: “You may want to track the number of vape-free days that have been achieved and reward yourself for this achievement. »
Many unwanted side effects can occur during the first weeks after quitting smoking.
Symptoms may include headaches, chills, feeling irritable, and irregular mood swings accompanied by episodes of anxiety.
Dr Aziz said: “Nicotine is an addictive substance and it generally takes 72 hours for nicotine to be cleared from the body system. »
Disposable vapes are set to be phased out under new government plans.
The goal is to prevent children from becoming dependent on these devices. The latest data suggests that 11.6 per cent of 11 to 17 year olds in the UK have already tried vaping.
Activists have long called for much stricter regulations on marketing to children and a tax on disposable vapes, which are most popular among teenagers.
Data from NHS Digital, based on a survey of smoking, drinking and drug use among young people in England for 2021, showed that 30% of children in Yorkshire and the Humber have used a vape .
But concerns have recently increased, with ministers urged to ban predatory companies from selling vapes in brightly colored packaging and child-friendly gifts like bubblegum.
The proposals – which follow in the footsteps of countries including France and New Zealand – could be unveiled as early as next week, reports suggest.
Last week, the French government pledged to continue plans to ban disposable e-cigarettes because they claim to encourage smoking among young people.
Germany and Ireland have presented their proposals to impose restrictions on vapes, with the German government currently considering an outright ban on disposable e-cigarettes.
In addition, Australia has put in place measures to make vapes accessible only to people with a prescription.
Meanwhile, New Zealand also imposed restrictions banning vape shops from being within 300 meters of a school and ensuring all vapes must have removable batteries.
Colorful displays of gadgets, selling for as little as £5, currently litter the UK’s high streets.
Predatory manufacturers lure children with flavors such as bubblegum and cotton candy and some stores even sell these devices alongside candy.
Experts had already demanded a total ban on disposable vapes like Elf bars, popular with teenagers.
Everything you need to know about electronic cigarettes
How much nicotine does an e-cigarette contain?
There are many brands of electronic cigarettes, containing different levels of nicotine.
The legal amount of nicotine in e-liquid in the UK is 20 mg/ml, which equates to between 600 and 800 puffs.
The Elf Bar 600, one of Britain’s most popular vapes, is advertised as being available in 0mg, 10mg and 20mg nicotine strengths.
How many cigarettes are in an e-cigarette?
The Elf Bar 600 contains the equivalent of 48 cigarettes, according to analysts.
It delivers 600 puffs before needing to be discarded, meaning that in theory every 12.5 puffs is equivalent to one cigarette.
Experts say that for many e-cigarettes, 100 puffs are equivalent to ten regular cigarettes.
Elf Bars is a brand of e-cigarettes often sold in bright colors and with kid-friendly names and flavors, like Razz Blue Lemonade and Green Gummy Bear.
Is vaping better for your health than smoking?
Vaping products are considered better than cigarettes because users are exposed to fewer toxins and at lower levels, according to the NHS.
The health department adds that vaping instead of smoking cigarettes reduces your exposure to toxins that can cause cancer, lung disease, and heart and circulation diseases, such as strokes and heart attacks.
The now-defunct Public Health England published an independent expert study in 2015 concluding that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than cigarettes.
However, vaping is not without risks, because even though the levels in tobacco products are much higher, e-cigarettes still contain harmful toxins, according to a study led by researchers at the Medical University of Silesia in Poland .
And Dr Onkar Mudhar, a London dentist who posts videos on TikTok, said Elf bars can cause inflammation, swelling and bleeding of the gums.
He explained that this was because nicotine dries the mouth and reduces saliva, causing irritation from a buildup of bacteria and food that cannot be removed.
Nearly 350 hospitalizations due to vaping were recorded in England in 2022, likely mainly due to respiratory problems, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, inflammation of the lungs and, in severe cases, respiratory failure.