British Smokers’ Trust in Vapes Eroding Amid Anti-Vaping Discourse

A recent study about vaping, done by One Poll for SMOORE, showed that many smokers aren’t sure about using vaping to quit smoking. Out of 2,000 smokers surveyed, 29% only kind of trust vaping as a way to quit smoking, while 13% don’t trust it at all. 

About 35% of the participants didn’t fully trust vaping because there isn’t enough long-term research to prove it’s safe. Meanwhile, 31% were worried because there isn’t much information about how different vape devices can harm you. 

Other reasons for not trusting vaping included bad news in the media, mixed messages from different countries, the strong opinion of the World Health Organization (WHO), and the illegal market for vaping products.

The Spread of Misinformation

The numbers confirm what health experts have been warning about: misinformation is dangerous. It’s especially sad to see these percentages in the UK, a country known for its forward-thinking approach to reducing harm from tobacco. 

A report from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), previously called Public Health England (PHE), in 2022 also showed that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking.

This new OHID report, based on evidence from 7 years, supports what was found in 2015. Dr. Debbie Robson from Queens College London presented the data in December at The E-Cigarette Summit. She emphasized that while vaping isn’t without risk, it exposes people to much fewer harmful substances compared to smoking.

The review looked at 413 studies since 2018. It found that vaping exposes people to significantly lower levels of harmful substances compared to smoking. 

Dr. Robson explained that vaping carries only a fraction of the health risks that smoking does in the short to medium term. She stressed that the impact of vaping depends on the individual’s history of smoking, medical background, reasons for vaping, health conditions, and even where they live and what they’re exposed to.

Vapes Over NRTs

Recent data from PHE in 2022 shows that more people trying to quit smoking are moving away from regular quitting aids like patches and gums. Instead, they’re using more effective options like vaping.

The number of smokers who tried to quit with traditional methods through the NHS Stop Smoking Services dropped a lot. This is a big decrease in just six years, according to PHE. Since fewer people are trying to quit this way, it suggests that more smokers are trying out new ways to quit using nicotine.

The data also tells us that only 1.8% of smokers who used the NHS service actually managed to quit after four weeks in 2019/20. This is a major decrease from the figures in 2013/14. 

Despite this, fewer people in England are smoking overall, with only 13.9% of the population smoking now. And interestingly, more people who used to smoke are now using vaping as an alternative, going from 11.7% to 12.3%.

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