The survey notes a rapid increase of people vaping in the United Kingdom.
There is continually emerging evidence that both highlights the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation device, and the reduced-risk they pose to users compared with smoking. As such, hundreds of former smokers turn to vaping every day, noting massive cost savings compared to tobacco and notable improvement to their overall health.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) released results from a survey conducted in 2018. The anti-smoking charity had found a rapid increase of former smokers taking up vaping in attempts to reduce or quit their smoking addiction.
Members of the vaping community have praised the results for highlighting the change in attitudes toward vaping as more users see it as a viable alternative to smoking. Anti-vaping activists, on the other hand, criticized the organization and survey results for portraying vaping in a positive light.
The results come at a time of heated discussion surrounding vaping, both from a public health and legislative perspective. Despite the evidence showcasing the safety of vaping over smoking, anti-vaping activists attempt to portray vaping as just as harmful, and as such have it legislated the same.
A Safer Alternative
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) released 2018 survey results noting there are an estimated 3.2 million vapers throughout the country, compared to 7.4 million smokers. The survey found more than half of vapers switched over from tobacco, and that 40% of tobacco users are looking to quit themselves.
Health officials in Britain foresee massive public health benefits if they can further narrow that gap between vapers and smokers. They note massive savings in the public health system from reductions in treatments for smoking-related diseases and complications.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, noted the survey results show British smokers are “getting the message on e-cigarettes” and switching to vaping as a healthier alternative. Vaping has exploded in popularity in Britain over the last decade, from an estimated 700,000 active vapers in 2012 to the staggering 3.2 million today.
Internationally there is still some debate on using vaping as a nicotine replacement therapy despite evidence proving its efficacy. Vapor devices do not combust tobacco and instead vaporize a nicotine-containing liquid. This offers a much safer alternative to the combustible byproducts of smoking additive-containing cigarettes.
Vaping Over Smoking
Every day there is new evidence emerging proving vaping’s efficacy as a smoking cessation aid and reduced-harm alternative to tobacco. In a study by the University of Louisville, researchers had found vaping to be the most effective smoking cessation tool available, more effective than even prescription nicotine replacement therapies such as Chantix.
These kinds of studies help prove vaping to be a safer alternative to smoking. Independent studies conducted by Public Health England and the Roswell Park Cancer Center found vaping to be 95% safer and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.
Alongside this, research published by the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found that vapers have a 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer in comparison to smokers. The study also concluded particles produced by vapor present a reduced risk compared with the particles produced by tobacco combustion.
Despite such a large body of evidence proving the safety of vaping, the general public at large continues to have a skewed image of vaping. In a separate study conducted by Action on Smoking and Health, researchers found as little as 13% of surveyed adults believed vaping to be less harmful than smoking. Meanwhile, a staggering 26% believe they were just as, if not more harmful.
These survey results come during the height of a massive global public health and legal debate surrounding vaping and vapor products. This debate is often skewed by anti-vaping activists using fear-mongering tactics to spread flagrant misinformation.
With such a biased narrative surrounding vaping, it’s essential for research such as the study published by ASH to be highlighted and given a platform. While it’s important to have an unbiased discussion surrounding potential risks of anything you consume, more often than not stories like this are buried by mainstream outlets to help spread their own narrative.
Legislators and the public at large should be adequately informed using the full spectrum of evidence available. Reactions based on unfounded fear-mongering should be actively challenged and rejected rather than embraced.
The vaping community must remain committed in its vigilance to counter the biased narrative surrounding vaping. Sharing stories like these on social media channels is a simple way to help spread factual information to help better inform smokers looking for a reduced-harm alternative to tobacco.
Have you personally used vaping to help you quit smoking? Are you surprised by the rapid rise of vaping in the UK? Please let us know down below in the comments. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to receive all the latest vaping news!
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