Is vaping cheaper than smoking in the UK? See the figures.

is vaping cheaper than smoking uk

Could vaping save you thousands of pounds?

If you smoke 20 cigarettes a day, it could cost you over £3,500 a year. That’s a very nice all-inclusive family holiday in the Med with change for li-los and airport beers. But is vaping cheaper than smoking in the UK?

We’ve crunched the numbers for you, so you know exactly how vaping and smoking compare. There are other costs to consider (not all financial), which we’ve covered too.

Let’s look at the figures – smoking vs vaping.

These costs will give you a guide only as understandably they vary between cigarette brand and the type of vaping device and e-liquid you use. The example below is based on the Aspire PockeX Vape Kit.


  • 1pk/day = £10.00
  • Lighter/matches per week = £0.50
  • Cost in 1 week = £70.50
  • Cost per year = £3,666.00
  • Cost per 10 years = £36,660.00


  • Device set-up cost = £24.99
  • E-liquid (half a bottle per day) = £2.50
  • Coils (1 per week) = £3.00
  • Cost in 1 week = £45.49
  • Cost per year = £1,090.99
  • Cost per 10 years = £10,684.99

Savings if you vaped.

  • In 1 week = £25.01*
  • Every year = £2,575.01*
  • Every 10 years = £25,975.01*

It’s also worth noting that vaping hasn’t experienced the same levels of price rises cigarettes have in recent years. If this trend continues, there’s the potential for the savings to be even higher.

What would you do with the money vaping saves you?

The savings you make by vaping instead of smoking are pretty substantial. Just imagine what you could do with all the extra money. In the first year alone, you could get a new large flat-screen TV – and a very nice new sofa to sit on while you watch it. And after 10 years – what would you do with over £25k? A fancy new car? A deposit for a house? The possibilities are endless.

Smoking doesn’t just hurt your pocket.

Comprehensive studies carried out by well-known associations and bodies found that the health risks with vaping are massively reduced compared to smoking. This is primarily due to the two harmful toxins produced by cigarette smoke – tar and carbon monoxide.

Public Health England’s assessment concluded that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking: “Vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial benefits over continued smoking.”

The cost of smoking is also felt by the NHS. It’s estimated it spends £2 billion a year on treatments for smoking-related diseases.

So, vaping is cheaper and less harmful than smoking.

When you see how much money you could save by switching from cigarettes to vaping, it really gets you thinking. Even more so when you add in that the health risks are greatly reduced too.

Public Health England estimate 57,000 extra smokers quit because of vaping. If you are considering it, our article what is vaping? might help. You can also get in touch with one of our friendly advisors who can tell you more about it, including helping you choose your first e-cigarette starter kit.

* Savings based on Aspire PockeX Starter Kit. Nicotine absorption is the same. Puffing style does not affect nicotine absorption. Numbers rounded up for e-liquid prices.

What is nicotine salt? Even if you have tried it, learn more.

what is nicotine salt

Whether you’re new to vaping or not – find out if nicotine salt e-liquid is for you.

Nicotine salt, sometimes abbreviated to ‘nic salt’, has been used in e-liquid for a few years now. It’s growing in popularity, yet those new to vaping, and even seasoned vapers who use it, might not know what it is. Or how it compares to the form of nicotine commonly found in e-liquids.

Without getting too technical and sounding like a chemistry professor, this article gives you some background on nicotine salt, how it differs from the traditional type, the pluses and minuses, and whether it’s right for you.

Back to nicotine basics.

Nicotine is the addictive substance found in cigarettes. It is also in most e-liquids to help replicate the sensation of smoking, although you can get zero nicotine e-liquids. Despite being addictive, it’s not been found to increase the risk of serious health problems.

The level of nicotine in UK e-liquids ranges from 0 to 20mg/ml. Users can select a level that they are comfortable with, which is often reflective of how much they used to smoke (if they did). The type of nicotine found in most e-liquids is called ‘freebase nicotine’.

What is freebase nicotine?

Freebase nicotine goes through a process to change its naturally occurring ‘salt’ state into a ‘base’ pure form. This increases potency, without increasing the dose. However, this also makes it more alkaline. It was developed back in the 1960s by a cigarette company.  

Are there any downsides to freebase nicotine?

Due to it being more alkaline, it is very harsh in high doses. For most vapers, the throat hit from a high-strength freebase nicotine e-liquid is too severe to enjoy. As a result, some of those new to vaping drop the nicotine level to make it more palatable, but then they miss the nicotine hit they are used to. So they return to cigarettes to satisfy their craving.

What is nicotine salt?

Well, it’s got nothing to do with the salt you put on your chips. Nicotine salt forms naturally in leaf tobacco. However, in this natural state, it doesn’t travel easily to the nicotine receptors in our body (like the altered more potent ‘freebase nicotine’ does).

If pure nicotine salt is added straight to e-liquid, it would have to be vaped at an extremely high temperature for the nicotine to be effective. And even then, it wouldn’t do the same job as freebase nicotine.

So, the clever guys in white coats worked out, by increasing the acidity of nicotine salt, our bodies can absorb it more rapidly and it can vaporise at lower temperatures.   

The pluses and minuses of nicotine salt e-liquids?

Due to nicotine salt being less alkaline, you get a much smoother throat hit compared to freebase nicotine. It’s also absorbed into the bloodstream faster. Meaning you can use a higher concentration of nicotine to satisfy your craving, without the harshness.

But before you click the ‘buy now’ button or rush out to your local vape shop, there are a few other things to consider. Nicotine salt e-liquids can’t handle high flavour complexity or generate large clouds compared to freebase nicotine e-liquids.

Are nicotine salt e-liquids right for me?

As mentioned above, there are advantages and disadvantages to using them. It just depends on the style of vaping you prefer and where you are on your vaping journey. For example, if you are new to vaping and looking to quit smoking, then nicotine salt e-liquids could be for you. They’ll help relieve your nicotine craving but without a harsh hit.

Another thing to consider is the type of vape you use or are considering using. Nicotine salt e-liquids are better suited to pod vapes and lower power vape devices. High powered vapes and sub-ohm devices should be avoided.

If you would like more advice on nicotine salt, please get in touch with one of our advisers who will be more than happy to help you.