E-Cigarette Vapor Reaches Record Levels In The UK
The data show that 8.3 percent of adults in England, Wales and Scotland smoke, up from 1.7 percent a decade ago, which equates to about 800,000 people. Action on Smoking and Health (Ash), which produced the report, said there has been a "vaping revolution" in the last decade.
Hazel Cheeseman, deputy chief executive of Ash, said the increase in the number of smokers switching to vaping was "good news." "They can be a life-saving tool for those who are struggling to quit smoking. At the same time, we can't rely on e-cigarettes to completely solve the problem of smoking. We must address the recent increase in teen smoking and make a broader effort to tackle smoking because it won't work for everyone. It's time for the government to take action," she said. Of the 4.3 million vapors, about 2.4 million are ex- Vapors, 1.5 million are current vapors and 350,000 have never smoked. cheeseman said Vapors in the last group tend to be "rare" and "experimental.
The report shows that e-cigarettes are becoming particularly popular among young people, with 18- to 24-year-olds being the largest consumers at 11 percent in 2022. That's an increase since 2021, when they had the lowest vaping rate at 5 percent. those 55 and older now have the lowest rate at 5.9 percent.
Cheeseman said she is concerned about this, especially after earlier studies showed that the rate of drug use among children ages 11 to 17 rose from 4 percent in 2020 to 7 percent in 2022, even though it is illegal to sell vaping to people under 18. However, the study also shows that smoking rates are declining as vaping increases.
The report, based on Ash's annual Smokefree GB survey of more than 13,000 adults across the UK, conducted by YouGov, found that 28% of current smokers had never tried an e-cigarette, and 21% said they did not want to replace one addiction with another. 23% did not think e-cigarettes were similar enough to smoking, and 10% said they were "concerned that e-cigarettes are not safe enough".
One-third of adults say they believe vaping e-cigarettes is more harmful or as harmful as smoking, which the report's authors say is not true. In 2022, 35 percent of current vapers also smoked. Within this group, daily vapers smoked fewer cigarettes than infrequent vapers.
One in five former smokers say they use a vape to help them quit, but more than half (56%) of former smokers say they have been using a vape for more than three years. Smokers say their main reason for using e-cigarettes is to quit and prevent them from smoking again, while 14% say they use e-cigarettes because they like them and 11% to save money.
Vaping is becoming increasingly unpopular in the UK. Data from the Annual Population Survey found that smoking rates among adults aged 18 and over in England fell from 20 percent to 14 percent between 2011 and 2019. the Ash report found that e-cigarettes were the cause of 69,930 new ex-smokers in England in 2017.