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E-cigarette revolution: 4.3 million Brits now use e-cigarettes, up five-fold in 10 years

Aug. 29-- A record 4.3 million people in the U.K. are actively using e-cigarettes after a five-fold increase in a decade, according to a report, according to a report by Foreign Service SKY.

Around 8.3% of adults in England, Wales and Scotland are now believed to regularly use e-cigarettes, compared to 1.7% (around 800,000 people) 10 years ago.

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), which produced the report, says a revolution has taken place.

E-cigarettes allow people to inhale nicotine instead of smoking.

NHS England says that because e-cigarettes do not produce tar or carbon monoxide, they have only a fraction of the risks of cigarettes.

Liquids and vapors contain some potentially harmful chemicals, but at much lower levels. However, the potential long-term effects of e-cigarettes are not known.

The ASH reports that around 2.4 million UK e-cigarette users are former smokers, 1.5 million are still smoking and 350,000 have never smoked.

However, 28% of smokers said they had never tried an e-cigarette - and one in ten of them feared they weren't safe enough.

One in five former smokers say that smoking e-cigarettes helped them kick the habit. This seems to be consistent with the growing body of evidence that e-cigarettes can be effective in helping people quit smoking.

Most e-cigarette users report using refillable open e-cigarette systems, but there appears to be an increase in disposable e-cigarettes - from 2.3% last year to 15% today.

Young people appear to be driving this growth, with nearly half of 18- to 24-year-olds saying they have used these devices.

Fruit flavors followed by menthol are the most popular e-cigarette choice, says report - YouGov survey of more than 13,000 adults

ASH says the government now needs an improved strategy to reduce the use of cigarettes.

There are now five times as many e-cigarette users as there were in 2012, and millions of people are using them as part of their quit, said ASH Deputy Director Hazel Cheeseman.

"However, they don't work for everyone. Less than half of smokers who tried them stopped using them, while 28% didn't try them at all."

"The government says the e-cigarette revolution will help them achieve their ambition to be a smoke-free country by 2030, but that's not enough - we need a comprehensive plan to help all smokers."