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2.4 million smokers in the UK turn to vape to quit

VAPING debate is heating up again. While the World Health Organisation has just released a statement pouring cold water on the use of vape in helping to reduce tobacco consumption, evidence in the United Kingdom (UK) continues to show that it is very effective in helping smokers to quit traditional cigarettes.

A recently published survey by a tobacco control advocate in the UK, has found nearly two-thirds (64.6%) of its vaping population comprising adults are ex-smokers who have quit smoking with vape, with the proportion growing year-on-year. This figure translates to approximately 2.4 million vapers who are ex-smokers.

In addition, the proportion of never smokers remain low at 4.9% or approximately 200,000 adults.

According to the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), there are 3.6 million vapers in the UK in 2021 which is approximately 7.1% of its total population.

Based on the survey, most of the current e-cigarette users who are ex-smokers say they vape to help them quit (36%) and to keep them off tobacco (20%), strengthening the claim that that vaping is helping smokers to quit traditional cigarettes.

According to UK’s Annual Population Survey, smoking prevalence among adults aged 18 and over in England has declined significantly. In 2011, 19.8% of adults smoked, falling to 13.9% in 2019, equivalent to a drop from 7.7 million smokers in 2011 to 5.7 million in 2019.

In fact, reports over the years by Public Health England (PHE) found that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking conventional cigarettes and was helping 20,000 people quit a year. PHE also claim that that e-cigarettes are the most popular aid used in quit attempts for smokers in UK.

In 2020, 27.2% of people used a vaping product in a quit attempt in the previous 12 months, compared with 15.5% who used nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

It also said that concern about e-cigarette use as a gateway to smoking among young people wasn’t supported by evidence in the UK, where regular vaping among young people who’ve never smoked is less than 1%.

In addition, evidence from a randomised controlled trial found that vaping was nearly twice as effective as NRT in helping smokers quit in a Stop Smoking Service setting in England, and a systematic review of the evidence has concluded that there is moderate-certainty evidence that e-cigarettes with nicotine increase quit rates compared to e-cigarettes without nicotine and compared to NRT.

In Malaysia, a survey commissioned by Malaysian Vape Industry Advocacy (MVIA) found that 88% of Malaysian vapers who used to smoke cigarettes have successfully quit smoking with the aid of vape.

The same poll also found that 79%, who currently vape and also smoke traditional cigarettes at the same time, have reduced smoking since taking up vape.

Clearly, the role of vaping in helping smokers to quit traditional cigarettes for good cannot be ignored.

READ THE ARTICLE HERE

Switching From Smoking To Vaping Could Save Thousands Of Lives, Report Finds

Report claims over half a million Malaysians smokers would switch if vaping is promoted as a harm reduced alternative.

An international consumer group has called for a “rethink” of approaches to vaping, saying regulations that facilitate it as a means to help people quit smoking could save thousands of lives.

The Consumer Choice Center (CCC) made this call in a report it published with the World Vaping Alliance (WVA) titled “From Smoking to Vaping – Lives Saved”.

The report analysed data on smoking and vaping from 61 countries and assessed how many smokers could potentially switch to vaping if the regulations encouraged vaping as a means to quit smoking.

The researchers looked to the United Kingdom to establish a “switching rate” because of the rate at which smoking decreased while vaping increased in the UK.

In the UK, people are “actively” encouraged to switch to vaping, and the country has seen a 25% reduction in smokers since 2013 when vaping became a key asset for the UK health agencies to urge smokers to quit smoking.

In the same period, Australia, which has one of the toughest vaping regulations saw a decline in smoking of only 8%.

The report estimates that if the right regulations were in place, around 196 million smokers in the 61 countries could switch to vaping, an alternative the two organisations say is 95% less harmful than cigarettes.

In the case of Malaysia, the report cited that the country could see well over half a million smokers in this country would make the switch if vaping is promoted as a harm reduced alternative for smokers.

A growing number of studies are pointing to the effectiveness of tobacco harm reduction (THR) measures including safer alternatives to cigarettes, to help smokers kick the habit.

A recent review of studies by Public Health England, an executive agency of the UK’s Health and Social Care Department found “stronger evidence” that nicotine vaping products are effective for smoking cessation and reduction.

This was in comparison to its 2018 review of studies which found that “tens of thousands” stopped smoking as a result of vaping in 2017 alone.

In “From Smoking To Vaping – Lives Saved”, the report notes that vaping has been recognised as one of the most effective tools to help smokers quit and this has been endorsed by health authorities in several countries including the UK, France, Canada, and New Zealand.

CCC Managing Director Fred Roeder said about the report, “Smart rules on advertising e-cigarettes to smokers, displaying e-cigarettes at the point of sale for cigarettes, lower rates of taxation for e-cigarettes, and public health bodies endorsing the evidence of vaping being at least 95% less harmful than traditional smoking, everything that the UK has done right, can help save the lives of thousands of smokers by helping them switch to vaping.”

WVA Director Michael Landl meanwhile said the report highlights the significant potential of the benefits of switching from smoking to vaping.

While the benefits of vaping as an alternative to smoking have been known for some time, the research shows just how significant the potential is: almost 200 million lives saved. If COVID has shown us anything, it’s that our health is paramount and regulators that want people to quit smoking need to be led by science and ensure that ideology takes a back seat to pragmatism.

World Vapers Association (WVADirectorMichael Landl

READ THE ARTICLE HERE

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