As the number of vapers in England reach a plateau, false perceptions around vaping are discouraging smokers to switch to vaping. However, Public Health England’s (PHE) seventh independent report on vaping in England will shut the critics of vaping. Let us look into the details of the report.Key Findings
- 27.2% smokers used vaping products to quit smoking, making it the most popular aid in 2020.
- In 2017, over 50,000 smokers quit smoking using nicotine vaping products.
- 38% of smokers in 2020 believed that vaping is as harmful as smoking, and 15% believed it to be more harmful than smoking.
- Nicotine vaping products have the highest quit success rates in the range of 59.7% and 74% in 2019 and 2020.
- In England in 2020, vaping products were the most popular smoking aid (27.2%), followed by nicotine replacement therapies (18.2%) and the prescribed medicine Varenicline (4.4%).
- Only 0.8% of young people (aged 11 to 18 years) who had never smoked currently vape, which shows that vaping has not spread in the young population.
- In 2020, 6% of adults are current vapers, which equates to almost 2.7 million adult vapers in the country. Smoking prevalence and number of dual users continue to fall.
- There are still misconceptions about the risk of vaping products. It is unfortunate that 38% of smokers believe that vaping is as harmful and 15% believe it to be even more harmful.
Professor John Newton, Director of Health Improvement at PHE said:
“Smoking is still the leading preventable cause of premature death and disease – killing over 75,000 people in England in 2019. The best thing that a smoker can do is to stop smoking completely and the evidence shows that vaping is one of the most effective quit aids available, helping around 50,000 smokers quit a year.”
Deborah Arnett, Chief Executive of ASH said:
“As we strive to achieve a smokefree nation by 2030 more needs to be done to support adult smokers who could benefit from switching to do so, while eliminating loopholes in the laws, which could be used to promote products to teenagers.”
Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s Executive said:
“E-cigarettes are a still relatively new product – they aren’t risk-free as we don’t yet know their long-term impact. We strongly discourage people who have not smoked from using them, particularly young people. But research so far shows that vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco and, as this report emphasises, can help people to stop smoking. The long-term effects of e-cigarettes are unknown, but the long-term harms of tobacco are indisputable”Bottom Line
Based on several previous studies and this current report, PHE advises smokers to switch to vaping to help them quit smoking. At the same time, it reinstates its stand that non smokers should not take up vaping. Vaping products are not entirely risk free but as studies have proved they are 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes. Therefore, active smokers should try to make a switch to vaping.