Number of vapers has quintupled in the last decade.
Good news for vaping in the UK! In its latest report, anti-smoking charityAction on Smoking and Health (ASH) revealed that the number of vapers in the UK have risen from 800,000 in 2012 to over 4.2 million. This means that around 8.3% of adults in the UK now use e-cigs.
The largest increase in vapers came from ‘dual-users’. Basically, people who are smoking as well as vaping. This shows an increase of around 400,000 people since 2021! Although the driving force behind e-cig use is to use it as a stop smoking tool. These dual-users are already on the path to improving their lives. As a study in the US found, around 28% of dual-users, who had no intention of quitting, naturally transitioned to using only an e-cig.
Part of this increase could be due to the focus of the government to promote e-cig use. In a recent report by charity executive Javed Khan, he outlined suggestions for making the UK smoke free by 2030. He suggested £125 million should be given to stop smoking services. 57% of vapers surveyed in the ASH report have said that they used vaping to completely quit smoking. This number could be much higher if the government embrace Javed Khan’s suggestions and help stop smoking services promote vaping as a safer alternative to smoking.
The ASH report revealed that the biggest concern for smokers not wanting to make the switch was users “not wanting to swap one addiction for another”. This highlights a concern for vaping in the UK. Governing bodies such as Public Health England (now OHID) and Cancer Research UK concluded that vaping is 95% healthier than smoking. This shows that smokers are not being provided with the information. When choosing between two addictions, why would you choose one that definitely killing you? As opposed to one that has proven to be much safer.
Another worrying statistic that was revealed by the ASH report was that people who have tried vaping return to smoking. 47% of current smokers have at least tried vaping, but returned to smoking. The majority of these smokers claimed that vaping was just not as satisfying as smoking. But you have to question whether or not these smokers were given the right guidance when attempting to quit. With the correct support, smokers stand a higher chance of quitting, especially with a vape. During 2020 around 27% of smokers who quit did so using an e-cigarette.
In conclusion, the ASH report has revealed that the number of vapers has increased a lot over the last decade. With so many vapers the government’s dream of being smoke free by 2030 is that much closer to being reality. But, it has also highlighted key areas that need addressing if this is to happen. The most important revelation is that more smokers need the right advice when it comes to quitting with an e-cig. Plenty of information is already available through reputable sources, they just need to know where to look.
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