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Vaping is the reason for massive decline in UK smoking

Vaping is the reason for massive decline in UK smoking

About the author
Oliver Kershaw

Oliver Kershaw

Founder of and co-founder of

New data released today in the UK show that smoking has declined from 20.2% of the British adult population in 2010 to 15.8% last year.

The rate of decline demonstrated in the ONS data is astonishing, especially between 2015 and 2016, which saw the second biggest annual drop in smoking in 40 years. Vaping is almost certainly responsible for this, with an estimated 1.5 million vapers in the UK according to ASH UK.

The UK Centre for Alcohol and Tobacco Studies press office said: “Today’s new figures indicate UK smoking is falling faster than would be expected from conventional tobacco control approaches. While all the policies put in place will have made a difference, the most likely explanation for the recent rapid decline is the increasing use by smokers of electronic cigarettes as a substitute for tobacco”

It’s worth noting that this 2015-16 period was one in which Public Health England and the Royal College of Physicians began to openly encourage smokers to transition to vaping products. It’s likely that this “official” sanctioning of vaping for smokers has had a transformative effect on smokers, especially those who had been misled by negative media stories.

Shamefully, not one single major health body in the US has taken the same brave stance and encouraged smokers to make the transition. The health community of America has instead constructed an extraordinary campaign of misinformation which continues to vilify one of the most promising public health interventions. Despite the misinformation, vaping has continued to grow with peer-to-peer education

The divergent course between the UK and the USA is starting to become clear. While the UK continues to see rapid declines in smoking under a relatively liberal vaping regulation, the FDA is embarking on a prohibitive rule which will profoundly disrupt access to the products that are currently available.

  • kddomingue

    You are correct about my government's stance on vaping. I'm going to sound like a conspiracy nut but I truly feel sometimes that Big Pharma, Big Tobacco​ and Monsanto are the powers that truly run this country. Vaping has proven, in my experience, to be a far superior smoking cessation product than anything else available. Two friends and I started using vaping devices within two weeks of each other almost five years ago. Between the three of us, we had smoked for a combined total of about 120 years. All three of us smoked about a pack and a half a day. All three of us tried various smoking cessation products. We always went back to the cigarettes. Since we started vaping, NONE of us has touched a cigarette. That's amazing. Our health has improved pretty dramatically. Dramatically fewer bouts with colds, flu, upper respiratory issues. That's wonderful! More energy so we all excersize a lot more. Fantastic! So, we can't figure out why our government seems hell bent on demonizing vaping. It's a sad state of affairs.

  • Paul Muad'Dib

    Anyone opposing vaping should be regarded as a mass murderer. Their irrational and unrealistic principles if upheld WILL kill millions of people.

  • Abhinav kr

    Vaping are not harmful to the human body like traditional cigarettes. It is a myth that E-Cigarettes contains cancer causing chemicals.

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