Is vaping causing the decline of smokers?

Is the Decline in UK Smokers Thanks to Vaping?

The number of British smokers is at its lowest levels than at any other time since 1974 while UK vapers are increasing at the fastest rate in Europe. 

Research carried out by Ernst and Young earlier this year, claims that every four minutes one person in the UK is making the switch to ecigarettes, while recent figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) showed that in 2015 17.2% of adults smoked.  The rate was 20.1% in 2010.

In comparison smoking levels in Scotland were 19.1% followed by Northern Ireland at 19% and Wales at 18.1%.  Slightly more than 50% of ecigarette users in the UK are using them as a means to quit smoking.

British vapers currently make up about 4.2% of the population, with just under 71% of people using them every day. In France, the country with the second highest levels of vaping, the percentage of the population that are vapers is around 3%.

According to ONS around 2.3 million people were using ecigarettes in England Scotland and Wales.  A further 4 million people said they were former ecigarette users.  2.6 million people claim to have tried them but don’t use them on a regular basis.

And vaping’s success in the UK is regarded as being due to the nation’s progressive laws which have a positive effect on the uptake of vaping in the UK.

In a report last year, the Royal College of Physicians said “Large-scale substitution of e-cigarettes, or other non-tobacco nicotine products, for tobacco smoking has the potential to prevent almost all the harm from smoking in society.

“Promoting e-cigarettes…and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible, as a substitute for smoking, is therefore likely to generate significant health gains in the UK.”

Vaping is Getting More Accepted

Public Health England have actively encouraged the use of vaping as a means to quit smoking saying that vaping is 95% safer than smoking.

Neither are the range of flavours a huge draw for vapers.  According to the ONS study, with just 1% of respondents claiming that the range of flavours available was their reason for using ecigarettes.

That vaping is getting more accepted is clear in more and more ways.  Many a national publication’s tone appears to have changed towards vaping, if anything since a long-term (as far as it can be in vaping) study published by Cancer Research that showed vaping was far less harmful. 

But also recently etiquette experts Debretts published a guide to vaping etiquette, which suggests that vaping is becoming normalised enough to have such a guide published.

Will vaping be the cause of the when, not if, for smoking?