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In the UK there are an estimate of 2.9 million e-cigarette users. According to the Annual Smokefree GB survey by Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), for the first time, more than half of vapers said they had quit smoking. Sadly however, many smokers remain sceptical about the benefits of the products, hence a slowdown in the number of people switching to vaping has been observed.

“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.” Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction, King’s College London

Despite the fact that thanks to the advent of e-cigarettes, the UK is experiencing the lowest number of smokers ever recorded, nine million people continue to smoke. “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,” said Ann McNeill, a professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London.

“This is encouraging news as we know that vapers who continue to smoke continue to be exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. The message for the 1.3 million vapers who still smoke is that they need to go further and switch completely.” she concluded.

Ann McNeill, a professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London. “This is encouraging news as we know that vapers who continue to smoke continue to be exposed to cancer-causing chemicals. The message for the 1.3 million vapers who still smoke is that they need to go further and switch completely.”Ann McNeill, Professor of Tobacco Addiction, King’s College London

However despite last year’s statement by Public Health England, saying that vaping was is at least 95% safer than smoking, over quarter of the respondents (26%), said that they believed vaping products were equally, if not more harmful than their combustible counterparts, with only 13% saying they were significantly safer.

Misconceptions about e-cigarettes may be costing many their lives

CEO of Ash, Deborah Arnott, said, “It’s excellent news that the number of vapers who have quit smoking is continuing to grow, but there are still 9 million smokers compared to only 1.5 million vapers who don’t smoke at all.” Adding, “The rapid growth in e-cigarette use has come to an end while over a third of smokers have still never tried e-cigarettes, saying the main reasons are concerns about the safety and addictiveness of e-cigarettes. It’s very important smokers realise that vaping is much, much less harmful than smoking.”

The findings were based on an online survey by YouGov of 12,969 adults, taken to represent the UK adult population.