E-cigarette use continues to rise in UK

VAPING has risen by 12.5 per cent with now 3.6 million users in the UK (7.1 per cent of the population) compared to 7.2 million smokers, according to statistics published by Action on Smoking and Health.

A survey of over 12,000 adults conducted online by YouGov found that 54 per cent of vapers have given up smoking and 39.8 per cent both smoke and vape. Only six per cent have never smoked.

The main reason given by current smokers for using e-cigarettes is to "cut down" (21 per cent), followed by to "save money compared to smoking" (16 per cent). Significant proportions say the main reason is to help them stop smoking (14 per cent) or to prevent relapse (12 per cent).

E-cigarette use is highest among 35-44 year olds, followed by 45-54 year olds and then 25-34 year olds.

Deborah Arnott, Chief Executive of ASH said: "Although e-cigarettes are now the most popular quitting aid, our survey finds that in 2019 over a third of smokers have still never tried vaping. As Stoptober kicks off we’d encourage smokers who haven’t done so yet, to give vaping a try. E-cigarettes have been shown to be a very effective aid for smokers trying to quit, either on their own or with help from stop smoking services."

She adds: "The outbreak of vaping illness in the US is obviously concerning, but it appears to be linked to the misuse of e-cigarettes for illicit drug delivery. Nothing like this has been seen in the UK to date, where a proper regulatory system is in place for nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, which is not yet the case in the US."

Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London, recently said in the Independent: "Vaping isn’t risk free, but it’s much less risky than smoking, which kills nearly 100,000 people a year in the UK".