There are over 6.9 million smokers in the UK. That’s 6.9 million people putting their health at risk from the harmful effects of smoking tobacco. There are over 78,000 deaths every year in the UK from smoking-related causes. The Tobacco Products Directive requires cigarette packaging to include stark warnings and graphic images, so the risks are well-known among the general public. At nzo, we are passionate about supporting smokers to make the switch from cigarettes to vaping. To quit smoking for good, try one of our starter kits today and take that one step closer to a tobacco-free life. But you may be wondering, does vaping actually help with quitting cigarettes? Discover how e-cigarettes can assist you in ditching tobacco permanently.
How Vaping Helps Smokers QuitReliable research shows the clear benefits of vapes in comparison to cigarettes. For example, Public Health England (PHE) advocates the use of e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking and envisages a smoke-free generation within ten years. Their evidence-driven review, undertaken by leading independent tobacco experts, found:
- - Switching completely to vaping from smoking has substantial health benefits.
- - Vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking.
- - E-cigarettes contribute to 20,000 successful quits each year.
- - Quit success rates are continually growing.
- - Thousands incorrectly believe that vaping is harmful when around 40% of tobacco smokers have not yet tried an e-cigarette.
Public Misunderstandings About E-CigarettesThere is a significant public misunderstanding about nicotine. Many smokers have incorrect beliefs about quitting smoking and the benefits of vapes as a quitting aid. Less than 10% of adults understand that most of the health risks from smoking are not caused by nicotine. In 2019, there was a lot of alarm in the media surrounding the “mysterious vaping illness” that occurred almost exclusively in the USA. By 2020, a total of 60 deaths had occurred, many of which were mainly linked to people using vape devices with illicit substances (such as THC), not vaping itself.
Youth Smoking Rates Are DecliningThe evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a slippery slope to smoking among young people. In fact, youth smoking rates in the UK have plateaued, whereas adult smoking rates continue to decline. According to Professor John Newton, Director for Health Improvement at PHE, this decline could be accelerated if more smokers switched to vaping, which more than doubles the chances of quitting. Professor Newton also commented: “Every minute someone is admitted to hospital from smoking, with around 79,000 deaths a year in England alone. Our new review reinforces the finding that vaping is at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders.” He added: “It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about their safety.” One of the greatest concerns to bodies such as PHE is still the significant lack of understanding amongst smokers as to what actually causes the harm from smoking cigarettes. Tobacco cigarettes contain a lethal mix of 7,000 smoke constituents when inhaled, 70 of which are known to cause cancer. It’s the nicotine hit smokers crave, though contrary to popular belief, this chemical causes little if any of the harm tobacco does. With far more alternative ways of getting nicotine than ever before, the thousands of lethal toxins in tobacco products are avoided much more easily.
What is the NHS doing?PHE firmly believes that there is compelling evidence that e-cigarettes should be made available to NHS patients as a method of smoking cessation. With this in mind, they have suggested the following measures be taken by NHS Trusts as we work towards a smoke-free future:
- - Vaping policies should support smokers to quit and stay smoke-free.
- - E-cigarettes should be available for sale alongside nicotine replacement therapies in hospital shops.
- - Smoking shelters should be removed.
- - Frontline staff need to encourage and support patients to quit.
Quitting cigarettes is easier said than done. If you want to make the switch, take a look at everything you need to know about vaping as an alternative.