Could e-cigarettes ever be a true escape from the smoking addiction?

We’ve seen promotions, petitions and all sorts of campaigns about e-cigarette, yet its health effect remains to be controversial. One thing that is never missed in the debate is whether e-cigars could truly lead to a smoking-free community.

The use of e-cigarettes, or vapes, might no longer be a rare sighting in the UK now. In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, four per cent of the Great Britain’s population were using vapes in 2014, while 53 per cent of the smokers were using them as an aid to quit smoking. But the addiction might be more than strictly physical but mental as well. InterCardiff hopped over to the streets of Cardiff, and asked if pedestrians think using vape is an effective mean for smokers to quit the habit.

Scott Miller, 48, Hairdresser

Regular smoker for 30 years

“They can prevent me from smoking real cigarettes. It will take a while to get used to vapes but you will gradually stop smoking the real ones.”
“Vapes are just as addictive. But you can slowly cut down the amount of nicotine and maybe eventually you can quit.”

Hannah Weaver, 22, Psychology Student


“It’s a more positive strategy than raising tax of cigarettes, because smokers will still buy no matter what and that will only put some of them in debts.”
“I think we’re heading to the right direction.”

 Saif Al-Maqatish, 20, Civil Engineering Student

Regular smoker for 5 years

“It will only help if you are determined to quit.”
“The feeling of holding a real cigar in hand is different from holding a vape. And this vibe makes me want to use the real ones than the electronic ones.”

Lesley Rogers, 43, Waitress


“It’s effective in terms of giving up smoking real cigarettes. I have two friends who used to smoke real tobacco, but they only use e-cigarettes altogether now.”
“Vapes could be effective in quitting since users can tune the strength of nicotine.”
“They never quitted the nicotine – they just don’t use real cigarettes anymore.”

Nicholas Yun Zhong Zhang, 22, International Business Student

Regular smoker for 6 years

“Smoking sometimes is about peer pressure. When your friends around you are using real cigars, you’ll be tempted. Vaping just isn’t the same.”
“I think vapes can’t help me quit. It’s not healthy either and I prefer real cigarettes more anyway.”

(Left) Carolanne Gilfill, 35, Unemployed; (Right) Carol Lewis, 65, Retired

(Left) Regular smoker for 16 years; (Right) Regular smoker for 30 years (stopped for 12 years but picked up the habit again later)


“Those who want to quit would think that it’s really effective.”
“It’s not effective since it’s not well-established enough for me to rely on it and stick with it. The research on vape’s long-term health impact is far from adequate. At least for real cigarettes I know its harm.”


“Vapes have no tar but still there’s nicotine.”
“With vapes, you tend to even smoke more because you can’t measure how much you smoke daily, whereas for real cigarettes at least you can count the number (of cigarettes).”
“I stick with real cigars because I enjoy this practice. The prominence of vapes makes no difference.”