More than half of all UK vapers have stopped smoking completely since taking up vaping, a new study has revealed.

The study, conducted by YouGov on behalf of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), shows that an estimated 2. 9 million adults in Great Britain currently use electronic cigarettes. It also revealed that the most common reason vapers give for using e-cigarettes is to stop smoking. In addition, for the first time ever, the survey found that more ex-smokers (1. 5 million) who use e-cigarettes than there current smokers in the UK.

Around 1. 5 million UK vapers have given up smoking entirely while there are around 1, 3 million adults who still use tobacco. The survey questioned more than 12, 000 adults as part of ASH's annual Smokefree GB survey into the use of electronic cigarettes and vapourisers in Great Britain. While the numbers of vapers who have quit smoking is seen as a huge positive, there are still many people who 'dual use'e-cigarettes and combustible cigarettes which still exposes them to the toxic, cancer-causing substances in tobacco smoke.

Professor Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King's College London, said she was encouraged by the survey's findings. "This year's ASH survey finds that around 1. 5 million vapers are ex-smokers, for the first time a larger number than those who continue to smoke,"shesaid."The message for the 1. 3 million vapers who still smoke is that they need to go further and switch completely.

There has been a fourfold increase in the the number of UK vapers since 2012 when the figure was 700, 000 ASH Chief Executive Deborah Arnott said the growing number of vapers who had quit smoking was 'excellent news.'

She said : “It's excellent news that the number of vapers who have quit smoking is continuing to grow... It is very important that smokers realise that vaping is much, much less harmful than smoking.”

Worryingly, the survey also showed that only 13% of respondents recognised that e-cigarettes were considerably less harmful than smoking, while 26% thought they were more or equally harmful. ash said : "This is a communications challenge that needs to be met in order to reduce the harm caused by tobacco to smokers and those around them.

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