Findings from a new survey from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) published in last month show that more and more British smokers are getting to know that switching to vaping can do good to their body health.
By surveying over 12,000 adults and with a further analysis by King’s College London, it is estimated that there are 3.2 million vapers and 7.4 million smokers in Britain currently. Among these vapers, more than half of them have quit smoking and 40% of them are trying to quit.
In the past few years, the number of vapers has increased rapidly. There were about 700,000 vapers in 2012. In 2018, it has soared up to more than 4 times of that number. However, there are still a group of smokers who are unwilling to accept e-cigarette. About 1/3 smokers have never even tried an e-cigarette. Worrying about addiction is one of the top reasons on their rejection to e-cigarette.
Before 2015, the proportion of smokers who have tried e-cigarette increased rapidly. But since 2015, it has become relatively stable. In 2015, there was also an increase of smokers who wrongly believed e-cigarette is as harmful or more harmful than traditional cigarettes, with the percentage increasing from 10% to 16% in 2015. Since then, false perception of e-cigarette has grown, with the percentage at 22% currently. But comfortingly, the percentage of smokers who correctly believe vaping is less harmful than smoking has increased from 22% in 2017 to 27% in 2018.
Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said:“UK policy is on the right track with thousands of smokers making the switch to vaping and improving their health and little sign of non-sokers taking up vaping. But even more smokers could benefit if e-cigarettes were licensed as medicines and available on prescription. ”
Dr Leonie Brose, King’s College London, said: “The continued false belief among some smokers that vaping is as bad as smoking is worrying. Campaigns from Public Health England and others to challenge these views are important and must continue.”
Note: Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use.