Trying to quit smoking and save money can be hard for anyone trying to kick the habit. One way to do both is to switch to e-cigarettes. Having risen in popularity in the last few years e-cigs, vape or vaping, have become a way of life for current and former smokers.

These products contain nicotine which is an addictive drug and can cause health problems. At no point do we intend to endorse the use of any nicotine or smoking based products. 

Just smoking two cigarettes a day will cost £363 a year – that includes £3 for lighters (based on £10 rrp of Benson and Hedges Gold 20 pack). If we looked at the national average of 12 cigarettes smoked per day (based on Office of National Statistics 2013 figures), that cost goes up to £2193. So it’s easy to see why some smokers consider making the change.

If you’re thinking of switching to e-cigs, you may need to know about some new changes that come into force from May this year.

What’s changing with e-cigs and vaping?

The main changes you need to know about concern refills for current e-cig and pen devices:

  • Maximum size of e-cig refill containers, containing nicotine, will be limited to 10ml.
  • The maximum nicotine strength of an e-liquid will be 20mg. Previously you could get up to 36mg of nicotine per millilitre in a refill. Meaning that you could be burning through more liquid to get your nicotine hit – though it could be cheaper than a cigarette.
  • New e-cig and vape cartridges will need to be child and tamper proof – meaning that you may have to buy a new device or refill type to accommodate this.

These changes were announced in 2016, but manufacturers will have up to a year to sell and replace existing stock before the new regulations start in May 2017.

Packaging for e-cigs and Vaping products

You’ll be seeing a lot more warnings on electronic products that feature nicotine. Previously this wasn’t the case.

Types of e-cig devices

The current market is flooded with different brands to choose from. But the main types of device are:

  • E-cigs – these look like traditional cigarettes. Prices start from around £15
  • Vape pens – look slightly larger than e-cigs and, as the name suggests, look like pens. You’re more likely to see these being used by smokers/ vapers.  Prices start from around £20
  • Box Mods (known as Sub-Ohm vaping) – the larger variety of vaping devices that also produce big clouds when you use them. Prices start from around £30.

Other running costs to consider with vaping – do e-cigs save money?

Charging – as the devices are electronic you’ll need to charge them – how frequently depends on battery life and usage.

Replacement battery – from what we’ve read, the 18650 type of batteries are common in a lot of vape pen and box mods. These will normally last for around 300 charges and cost around £10-15.

Refills – this is what contains the nicotine you’ll be inhaling and the lifetime will vary depending on how frequently you vape. These vary in price and start from around £5 a bottle.

Replacement parts – depending on what you use, there are various consumable parts that may need to be replaced such as heating coils which help to create the vapour.

Can I get an e-cig on prescription or the NHS?

As e-cigarettes can help you stop smoking there are obvious health benefits. Brands such as Vype, E-lites, Blu, Aspire and VIP are now commonplace on the high street. But can you get one on the NHS?

“E-cigarettes are not currently available from the NHS on prescription. Once medicinally licensed e-cigarette products come onto the market, GPs and stop smoking services will be able to prescribe them alongside other stop smoking medicines.”


There’s no doubt that quitting smoking would be good for you. But if you switch to vaping it could be a cheaper and safer alternative.

“Public Health England’s independent review of the latest evidence found that using an e-cigarette (known as ‘vaping’) is around 95% safer than smoking”