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Blog / Is Vaping Classed as Smoking?
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Is Vaping Classed as Smoking?

People who are considering switching from smoking cigarettes to better alternatives often wonder, is vaping quitting smoking?

While vaping is certainly a better choice than continuing to smoke, vape products in the UK cannot be marketed as smoking cessation products unless they are authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Vaping involves heating liquids known as e-juice or e-liquid to create vapour. Heated tobacco products are an alternative to smoking, which heat tobacco - instead of burning it - to release vapour instead of smoke. IQOS is the leading heated tobacco brand in the UK.

When it comes to the differences between vaping and smoking, people may be unsure about whether the same smoking rules and restrictions apply to reduced risk alternatives such as vaping and heated tobacco. Read below to find out more.

Is vaping classed as smoking?

No, vaping is not classed as smoking. E-cigarettes aren't the same as conventional cigarettes because they don't contain tobacco, and they aren't burned to produce smoke.

Heated tobacco also isn't classed as smoking because although it contains tobacco, it isn't burned to produce smoke either. With IQOS heated tobacco, the tobacco is heated to produce a vapour, which emits 95% fewer harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.*

Do smoking laws and restrictions apply to vaping?

Smoking laws and restrictions do not officially apply to e-cigarettes or heated tobacco. For example, the recent Menthol Ban in May 2020 did not apply to vapes or heated tobacco.

It should be noted, however, there can still be restrictions in place. For instance, although the smoking ban of 2007 did not affect e-cigarettes or heated tobacco, many indoor public places still restrict vaping for the comfort of others.

What are the differences between vapes, heated tobacco and cigarettes?

Features

Vapes

IQOS

Cigarettes

Contains nicotine

Yes. (Nicotine-free options are available)

Yes

Yes

Contains real tobacco

No. (Tobacco-flavoured options available)

Yes

Yes

Burns to create smoke

No

No

Yes

Heats to produce vapour

Yes

Yes

No

Uses an electronic device

Yes

Yes

No

Lingering smell

No

No

Yes

Various flavours available

Yes

Yes. (Menthol and Tobacco flavours available)

No

Available to buy online and in store

Yes

Yes

Yes

Affected by the menthol ban

No

No

Yes. Flavoured cigarettes are now banned

Risk free

No

No

No

Addictive

Yes. Nicotine-free options available

Yes

Yes

If you'd like to learn more about heated tobacco and IQOS, you can explore our website. IQOS is available to buy online and in many tobacco retailers. You can also try IQOS with a 14-day trial for just £10.**

*Average reductions in levels of a broad range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette (3R4F). It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk.

**Pay £10 to start your trial. At the end of your trial, decide whether to buy the device or return it for free. T&Cs apply.
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