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According to data from N.C. State Center for Health Statistics, adult smoking rates have dropped to 17.9% in 2016. This means that 1.41 million out of 7.9 million adults in the Southeastern state are still smokers, a number  that is slightly above the national rate of 17.1%.

Vaping is also on the decline

A PATH study released last June, clearly indicated that vapers are less dependent on their electronic devices, than smokers are on cigarettes.
On the other hand, it seems like the advent of electronic cigarettes has led to a significant decrease in smoking amongst youth. According to the state’s Youth Tobacco Survey smoking amongst high school students dropped from 9.3% in 2015 to 8% in 2016, and these figures include non-regular smokers, therefore anyone who had at least 1 cigarette over a 30-day period. Interestingly, the survey also found that in 2015, 16.8% of North Carolina’s high schoolers had used an e-cigarette, and this percentage dropped to 11.3% by 2016.

These figures support what many public health experts have been pointing out, that not only is vaping not a gateway to smoking, but more importantly that the products hold a lot of potential in helping people quit.

E-cigarettes are less addictive than regular cigarettes

Additionally, the fact that vaping is also on the decline was reflected in a recent publication, which indicated that e-cigarettes are less addictive than their combustible counterparts. The PATH study which was released last June by researchers from Penn State College of Medicine, clearly indicated that vapers are less dependent on their electronic devices, than smokers are on cigarettes.

“There are still large disparities in smoking rates across populations, and half of the people who continue to smoke will die of a smoking-related disease,” said Dr. Susan Kansagra, chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section in the N.C. Division of Public Health, in a statement.

“We need to provide smoking cessation opportunities and support to those who want to quit, especially people in the populations and communities where we find higher smoking rates.”Dr. Susan Kansagra, Chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section, N.C. Division of Public Health

“We need to provide smoking cessation opportunities and support to those who want to quit, especially people in the populations and communities where we find higher smoking rates,” she added, whilst  failing to suggest e-cigarettes as smoking cessation or harm reduction tools. In the UK, where the devices have been fully endorsed as such, and have even been included in the country’s latest Tobacco Plan, smoking rates have reached a record low, leading to the UK boasting the second lowest smoking rates in Europe.

Read Further : Winston-Salem Journal

Five UK surveys suggest that e-cig use remains low amongst teens

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