Number of vapers in Great Britain has quadrupled since 2012
The number of vapers in Great Britain has reached an estimated 3.2 million in 2018, compared with 700,000 in 2012, .
Of this number of vapers, approximately 1.4 million (44%) are smokers who also vape, 1.7 million (52%) are ex-smokers and 100,000 (4%) are ‘never tobacco’ smokers.
According to the report, which collates the results of the ASH Smokefree survey on the use of e-cigarettes among adults in Great Britain, smoking cessation is the main reason given by current vapers for use of e-cigarettes, followed by trying to cut down the amount of cigarettes smoked and trying to save money.
The proportion of ex-smokers who vape has risen year-on-year from 1% in 2012 to 10% in 2018.
“UK policy is on the right track, with thousands of smokers making the switch to vaping and improving their health, and little sign of non-smokers taking up vaping,” said Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH.
“But even more smokers could benefit if e-cigarettes were licensed as medicines and available on prescription.”
The report highlights that awareness of e-cigarettes is now widespread among adults — 94% of tobacco smokers and 93% of the general population had heard of e-cigarettes, according to the 2018 survey. This contrasts with 2012, when 49% of adults responding to the same question said they had never heard of e-cigarettes.
But, according to ASH, public perceptions of harm from e-cigarettes remain inaccurate, with just 17% of respondents correctly stating that e-cigarettes are a lot less harmful than smoking. The proportion of the adult population who believe that e-cigarettes are as harmful, or more harmful, than smoking nearly quadrupled, increasing from 7% in 2013 to 26% in 2018.
Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205466
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