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First time in history: ASH survey shows more Brits vape than smoke

For the first time in British history, current data shows that more than 2.9 million people vape compared to only 1.3 million who still smoke tobacco.  Oddly, this incredible news comes from recently publish statistics by an American-based anti-smoking group located in Washington, DC named the Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).  If the data is to be believed, then the pro-vaping stance of such notable UK public health agencies like the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) might be taken more seriously here in the United States.

The term “might” is somewhat argumentative.  Notoriously, U.S. institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have consistently demonized electronic cigarettes to the American people.  Meanwhile, the UK’s RCP has been boasting that vaping is 95 percent healthier and safer than smoking for well over a year now. 

Record breaking news from ASH hits E-cig Summit 2017

The May 8 press release published by ASH officials coincides with the commencement of the 2017 E-cig Summit also occurring – coincidentally- in Washington, DC.  In attendance is guest speaker Prof. Kenneth E. Warner, the rather well-known author of The Monitoring the Future Study (MTF) which has largely disproven previous assertions made by the CDC and the FDA that vaping is a gateway to teen smoking. 


According to a recent statement made by Warner today at the E-cig Summit, his research shows a dramatic decline in smoking rates right here in the USA, as well.  Between 2013 and 2015, cigarette smoking plummeted by greater than 25 percent.  While these numbers are not as impressive as Great Britain’s, they are significant enough to wonder why US government officials from the CDC and the FDA are not yet jumping on board the vaping bandwagon like British officials from the Royal College of Physicians.

The e-cig survey from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)

The May 8 press release regarding the Action on Smoking and Health vaping study shows that the smoking rates in Great Britain are at their lowest point in history.  The survey was conducted on ASH’s behalf by the group YouGov.  When the data was first published by ASH, Chief Executive Deborah Arnott Executive issued the following statement.

“It’s excellent news that the number of vapers who have quit smoking is continuing to grow, but there are still 9 million smokers compared to only 1.5 million vapers who don’t smoke at all.”
“The rapid growth in e-cigarette use has come to an end while over a third of smokers have still never tried e-cigarettes, saying the main reasons are concerns about the safety and addictiveness of e-cigarettes. It’s very important smokers realise that vaping is much, much less harmful than smoking.”

According to Arnott’s statement, more than one-third of smokers still have not even tried to quit smoking via vaping technology, and the primary reasons are “concerns about the safety and addictiveness of e-cigarettes.”  According to ASH, only about 13 percent of those surveyed consider e-cigs to be less harmful than combustible cigarettes.  26 percent believe them to be equally as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes.  And the larger portion of those surveyed seem to identify vaping as being even more hazardous to their health than smoking. 

In the words of the Brits, “What rubbish! What hogwash!  Not bloody likely!”

Feeble attempts at a British accent aside, these statistics come from the YouGov-conducted survey of some 12,696 adults between February 16, 2017 and March 19, 2017 – only a couple of short months ago.  The study also shows that in 2012, there were only about 700,000 vapers in the UK.  Today, there are 2.9 million, and that number is rising dramatically.

What is the number one reason given for Brits who vape?  They vape because they want to quit smoking, according to a report published in BBC News.  To that we say, “Well done, Great Britain.  Well done!”


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