More vapers in the UK as smoking rates fall

It’s good news for the health of the United Kingdom, as the amount of people who smoke cigarettes has fallen while those who used to smoke have instead taken up e-cigarettes and managed to kick their unhealthy habit.

That’s according to new figures from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), a British charity with a mission to try and get people off tobacco and lead healthier lives. It says there are now an approximate 3.6 million people across the four-nation country who vape, while the number of people who continue to smoke is around 7.2 million, or double the amount of those using e-cigs. 

Is smoking rate decreasing?

Data in recent years shows that smokers have declined while vapers have risen, due to the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, which use a battery to heat a solution containing various flavours and nicotine. This avoids the toxic mix of chemicals generated by burning tobacco, at least 70 of which are known to cause various cancers in the human body.

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Expert vaping opinions

Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London, Ann McNeill — who leads vaping reviews for Public Health England, which backs e-cigarettes — said the new figures showed that more people than ever are realising there is a real alternative to smoking, and that e-cigarettes are an effective way to quit. 

“The ASH Smokefree GB survey is the longest-running survey of e-cig use, providing the most up-to-date evidence available on how vaping is evolving in Britain,” she said. 

“More than half of current vapers are ex-smokers, compared with only a third in 2014. However, it’s important that all vapers stop smoking completely, as otherwise they are still exposing themselves to the serious risks of disease and disability caused by smoking.”

Stoptober: stopping smoking in October

The head of ASH, Deborah Arnott, said now that the National Health Service’s annual Stoptober stop-smoking campaign was underway, it was a chance for more smokers to get the message that vaping is far better, and make the change.

“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,” she said. “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.”

For the third year running, Stoptober has advised smokers to vape instead, saying “they can help you quit smoking for good.” It adds: “Thousands of people in England have already stopped smoking with the help of an e-cigarette. Plus, those who combine an e-cigarette with help from their local Stop Smoking Service have a high chance of success. In 2018-19, two-thirds of smokers who did so managed to stop smoking.”

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How to switch from smoking to vaping?

Many smokers who have successfully made the transition from tobacco cigarettes to vapes have done so by staring out with vape kits. They get everything they need to begin vaping quickly and easily, and a good vape store will usually include free e-liquids in the vape kits. Typically, vape kits will be based around vape pens — a type of e-cigarette that resembles the shape of a tobacco cigarette, so you get the same tactile feel you’re used to, while also being simple to use. 

As for the e-liquid in vape kits, it can come in different levels of nicotine, including 0% nicotine which is just various fruity and other flavours that some people like to vape, without the addition of nicotine. To ensure you don’t go back to smoking, it’s recommended that you choose a level of nicotine in your e-liquid that will keep you satisfied. This is usually high for heavy smokers or medium to low for more casual smokers. In time, you can gradually lower the amount you use, so that you’re just vaping for the flavours alone and then you simply need to stop vaping and smoking will be over for you altogether.

With the rise of vapes, it may one day spell the end of smoking!

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