The IBVTA is once again backing the Public Health England (PHE) Stoptober initiative this October.
Since its inception in 2012, Stoptober has driven over 1 million 'quit attempts' to date and is the biggest mass quit attempt in the country. It is based on research that shows that if you can stop smoking for 28-days, you are five times more likely to stay smoke-free for good.
Through independent research, Public Health England (PHE) and the Royal College of Physicians have concluded that vaping is at least 95 per cent less harmful than smoking.
A survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) published last week found that there are now 3.2 million vapers in the UK. This is excellent news and something everyone with a genuine interest in public health should be celebrating. However, the percentage of smokers who incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful or more harmful than smoking is not falling as fast as it should be.
It is the opinion of the IBVTA that as a direct result of misinformation about vaping, including sensational and inaccurate press coverage or over interpreted studies, the public’s perception of the risks posed by vaping is being warped, deterring smokers from switching.
At the IBVTA, we believe that if awareness around vaping was increased more smokers would choose to switch. Our message to those in government and public health has consistently been that smokers and vapers need ‘action and not just words’. When PHE first asked to partner with the IBVTA on last year's campaign, we saw this an an opportunity to get the right information about vaping to smokers.
This year, the Stoptober online tool guides smokers through some questions about their smoking habit, and then suggests a number of support options. We are delighted that our store-finder tool is a feature of the campaign.
Chief Executive of the IBVTA, Gillian Golden said ‘’Independent vape shops provide front-line support to smokers, so we are very pleased to be supporting Stoptober again this year. Recent figures show that although improved slightly since last year, there are still far too many smokers who believe that vaping is as harmful or more harmful than smoking. Campaigns such as Stoptober can go a long way in helping to counter those incorrect messages.’’
Helen Seward, owner of The Puffin Hut and an IBVTA member said ‘’At our shops we all know that quitting smoking is an extremely hard thing to do, we’ve all been there ourselves. The support and information provided by Stoptober gives smokers who come into our stores the confidence to try vaping, where we can then help them find the right device, liquid and flavour for them to succeed.’’