IBVTA responds to ASH survey showing vaping among adults is at record levels in Great Britain.
New data published by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) show vaping is now at record levels across Great Britain.
The proportion of the adult population using e-cigarettes has increased this year to the highest rate ever, amounting to 4.3 million vapers. This shows the staggering success of vaping to date, given that just ten years ago there were only ~800,000 vapers.
The majority of the growth is among adults aged 18-34, and with disposable e-cigarettes. The fact that vapers are still predominantly smokers or ex-smokers firmly mitigates any concerns this might bring. Only 1.3% of people that have never smoked currently vape.
The data are taken from an annual survey, Smokefree GB, carried out for ASH by YouGov in Spring each year. The survey first started asking about e-cigarette use in 2010 and this update includes the results of the 2022 survey carried out in February and March 2022.
Current vapers who have switched completely away from smoking cite their main reasons for vaping as to help them quit (29%); as an aid to keep them off tobacco (19%); because they enjoy it (14%); and to save money (12%).
The importance of flavours in e-cigarettes and is clearly confirmed in the survey results, with fruit flavours now the most popular at 41%, followed by menthol at 19%. Tobacco flavour has fallen to third most popular at 15% and very few vapers reporting using products with no flavours.
There are however some more concerning results, especially around the misperceptions of the relative safety of vaping among adults who currently smoke. Vaping has been shown to be at least 95% safer than smoking, however almost a third of smokers (32%) believe vaping is as harmful as, or more harmful than smoking, and more than one in five (22%) said they don’t know.
28% of current smokers have never tried an e-cigarette. 10% say safety concerns are putting them off, 13% say they don’t know enough about them, and 8.2% say they don’t think e-cigarettes could help them to cut down or quit. A larger proportion (21%) say they don’t want to swap one addiction for another. This is presumably because no one has told them that one of those addictions will probably kill them, and the other is incredibly unlikely to harm them at all. Adding all these numbers together leads to around a million smokers that have yet to try an e-cigarette due to spurious concerns.
Given that e-cigarettes have been demonstrated to be a more effective quit tool than NRT, especially when combined with behavioural support, more needs to be done to correct these misperceptions.
IBVTA CEO, Gillian Golden said, “It is a moment of pride for the independent vape industry to see how the vaping revolution led by the early vaping entrepreneurs has delivered this success. We now have more people than ever switching to a far safer alternative.
Vaping is still a huge potential public health win, and with the right policies and supports in place, the independent vape industry can help even more smokers become smoke free.”