That is a statement that many did not expect to see the NHS making - a public body encouraging smokers to take up vaping.
So, with 6 months of the year left to go, what vape predictions lie ahead for the rest of 2019, and beyond?
1. A more positive attitude towards vaping.
At present, vapers are treated like smokers, and are publicly shunned, however, according to Louise Ross of Stop Smoking Service, attitudes towards to vaping are shifting, and this year could see a reversal in the vape bans in public places.
Because why should vaping be banned in public? It's not as if the risks of vaping near bystanders are even in the same realms as that of passive smoking. In fact, there are no current proven risks to bystanders if you were to vape next to them.
They might be annoyed to be a consumed by a fruity scented cloud, but vape clouds dissipate within seconds. And the vape cloud doesn’t contain any smoke, because there is no combustion happening in a vape device, there is no carbon monoxide or tar.
Plus, unlike cigarettes, there is no constant stream of smoke; vape clouds are only released when the vaper exhales, not all the time, like if you have a lit cigarette.
The dangers of second hand vaping are so low that Public Health England’s 264-page review of available evidence of vaping risks concluded that “to date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to bystanders.”
2. Increased studies on effects of vaping.
Vaping as a habit has only been around for about a decade, as such, there are very few studies, and even fewer long term studies looking at the effects of vaping, as they have done on the effects of smoking.
Now, there are a plethora of ongoing studies to help make vaping more acceptable, with some experts even predicting that with the growing number of studies highlighting the increased benefits to health of reducing tobacco consumption, it will become apparent that this public aversion to vaping is based on a false understanding of vaping, not science.
3. Devices will get simpler.
There is plenty of evidence afoot already that vapers are opting for simpler vaping devices over the complicated contraptions that are readily available.
And we can expect to see much more simple devices entering the market to make vaping more accessible to those who might be put off by a clunky, bulky vaping device.
4. Technology and vaping will combine.
2019 is the year we could see mobile phones and other mobile technology being integrated with vaping devices to make the experience a shared one. Other predictions include faster charging and safer devices.
5. More awareness of the health benefits of vaping.
Recent studies have shown that 44% of the 6 million smokers in England aren't aware of the health benefits that switching to e-cigarettes holds for them.
This video by Public Health England clearly shows the differences between smoking cigarettes and vaping. If you hadn’t quit before, you will after watching this.
As more research is carried out into the effects of vaping, expect to see more public acknowledgements that vaping isn’t all that bad, and to have myths surrounding vaping busted as barriers are broken down.
In November 2018, the Advertising Standards Agency amended the advertising rules for vaping, allowing companies, who were previously banned from advertising the health benefits of vaping over tobacco, to promote the positive health benefits of vaping.
6 An increase in the number of vapers.
With the decline in smokers and the steadily increasing numbers of vapers in recent years, 2019 looks set to continue this trend. In 2018 alone, the number of vapers in the UK increased from 2.9 million to 3.2 million - up 10% in a year.
If the above predictions come true and vaping gets a better rap and is more socially accepted, thus increasing the freedoms to vape in more public places, we can expect to see more vapers switching from cigarettes to e-cigarettes.
And if you’re wondering how to start vaping, why not check out our easy guide to switching.