Director of the World Vapers’s Alliance (WVA), Michael Landl, said that those who continue to vilify vaping are simply refuting scientific data. “Today’s report from Public Health England is great news for vapers. We have further confirmation vaping is a way out of smoking. Those who continue to claim that vaping is a gateway to smoking should take the time to read the science. ‘Listen to the science’ is something we’ve heard a lot lately with COVID but hopefully those that continually criticise vaping will this time. They cannot continue to pick and choose the science that suits them.”
The WVA said that the report highlights the following points:
- “Vaping is the most popular aid (27.2%) used by smokers trying to quit in England in 2020
- More than 50,000 smokers stopped smoking in 2017 with the aid of vaping
- 38% of smokers believed that vaping is as harmful as smoking while 15% believed that vaping is more harmful”
The level of misinformation amongst smokers is alarming
Landl added that the misinformation amongst current smokers is very worrying. “More than half of smokers believe that vaping is more harmful or as harmful as smoking. That is a huge concern. Misinformation about vaping plays a huge role in this misunderstanding and we all need to do whatever we can to prevent it.”
He then went on to refer to the recently launched European Commission’s proposal for Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, which sadly sets out to curb vaping, in the same way as smoking. “To date, the EU Commission has ignored the science on vaping in their Beating Cancer Plan. I hope that today’s report from Public Health England will be the wake up call needed for them to drop the ideological approach in favour of one based on evidence.”
This document may be considered a defining moment for the industry
Inline with Landl’s arguments, the UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) said that the release of the PHE report may be considered a defining moment for the vaping industry. “This a defining moment for the vaping sector and truly shows the considerable progress it has made against a backdrop of significant misinformation around the industry, with Public Health England once again stating that perceptions of the harm caused by vaping compared with smoking are increasingly out of line with the evidence,” UKVIA Director General, John Dunne.
“This latest data, which the review is based upon, provides incontrovertible evidence as to the importance of vaping to successful smoking cessation and the nation’s public health. Dunne also pointed to a number of challenges that need addressing by the industry and policy makers.”
The report highlights the great success in reducing smoking cessation rates tied to vaping
The UKVIA pointed out that as vaping enters one of the most pivotal periods in the industry’s history, due to the impending review of the Tobacco & Related Products Regulations following Brexit, the timely report shows the great successes in harm-reduction, and reductions in smoking cessation rates, linked to vaping products.
The report confirmed, that in every region of the country, smoking quit rates among adult smokers were higher with the use of vaping than other products, ranging from 49% success in the South West to 78% in Yorkshire and the Humber. “Citing data from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), the review highlights that the most common reasons given for vaping were to quit combustible cigarettes (29.7%), stay off cigarettes after quitting (19.4%) and to reduce tobacco consumption (11.2%),” said the UKVIA.