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Vaping and me

Vape awareness information and support for young people.

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‘Vaping and me’ is a vaping information and support page designed for young people aged 12+, provided by Redbridge Quits Smoking (RQS).


Disposable vape discarded on a pile of leaves

Vaping is safer than smoking but it’s not risk-free, which is why we strongly advise non-smokers to not start vaping. 

If you’re thinking about vaping, or already vape, here’s some information that can help you make up your own mind about it. 

I know adults who switched from smoking to vaping because it’s safer – so why are you telling me not to vape?

Nicotine vapes can help smokers quit, as they’re less harmful than traditional smoking because they lack toxic tar and carbon monoxide.  

However, vapes aren’t risk-free, with short-term effects including coughing, headaches, dizziness and sore throats.  

Nicotine in vapes can also affect brain development, attention span and learning – and the long-term effects of vaping are still uncertain.

It’s just a vape, it’s not like using alcohol or drugs.

Nicotine in vapes is highly addictive, even though it doesn’t alter your behaviour like alcohol or drugs can do. 

If you try to quit vaping, you can experience withdrawal symptoms such as restlessness,  difficulty concentrating or sleeping, irritability and anxiety.  

Nicotine cravings can make it harder to quit. If you have never smoked, it’s best to avoid vaping altogether so you don’t develop a nicotine addiction.

If you’ve struggled to reduce or quit vaping, it could be due to a physical addiction to nicotine, the habit of vaping, or both.

The law and vaping

Vaping products containing nicotine are age restricted. This means it is illegal to sell them to anyone under 18, or for adults to purchase them on behalf of under 18s.

Regulated vapes must keep to strict rules about strength, safety testing, and labelling regulations. Unregulated vapes are illegal. They usually have not been tested to meet safety standards, so you are taking more risks using them.

Illegal vapes usually don’t have proper labelling about the risks of vaping and can be stronger than legally allowed which increases how addictive they are.

Do vapes damage the environment?

Disposable vapes harm the environment, with over 1.3 million thrown away weekly in the UK. 

I vape and I would like help to stop

Our team works with anyone aged 12+ who lives or goes to school or college in Redbridge.  

We understand how to help people break free from both the addiction and the habit of vaping and can also support you if you have become addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes or shisha. 

We also work with our specialist young people service, Fusion, to help people who use drugs in their vape. 

It can help to let others know what your goals are, but we usually won’t need to tell your parents or anyone else that you are getting help if you would rather keep it confidential.  

We can also support you by phone or online if you find it easier to stay in touch with us.  You can find the ways to get in touch with us below:

Get in touch

Call us on: 0300 303 2715
Text: BREATHE to 82228

If you are a professional or caregiver who works with young people who vape or might vape, click here for more information.