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New report shows a UK smoker switches to vaping every four minutes

Posted by Matt Rowland on

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) in Great Britain has recently released an updated statistical bulletin on adult smoking habits in the UK.  According to the report, British smokers are switching to vaping at a rate of one every four minutes.

Additionally, those who continue to smoke are doing so at the lowest recorded rate since 1974 at only eleven cigarettes per day.  And the statistics just keep getting better and better.

The ONS report also indicates that nearly 56 percent of adult smokers in 2015 have successfully made the transition to former-smoker.  And unlike public health agencies in the United States, officials in Great Britain tend to promote electronic cigarettes as a healthy and effective way to quit smoking.  It is this policy position that the ONS largely attributes for the historic decline in smoking rates.

 “In the UK, they’ve looked at all the science that exists and say vapor products are 95 percent safer than combustible cigarettes, and argue for that reason our government needs to be promoting them, not restricting them.  That mindset, which is based upon science, is held across the board in England.”
-Tony Abboud of the Vapor Technology Association

According to the Washington, D.C. newspaper The Daily Caller, the United States could learn a great deal from Mother England.  Public health agencies in the United States like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) typically focus on harm reduction when compiling their related vaping research.  Conversely, UK public health officials focus their attention towards the potential success of vaping as a smoking cessation tool. 

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report on Dec. 8 condemning vaping as an unhealthy practice and warned vaping poses a significant risk to the youth. Localities across the U.S. are implementing regulations treating vaping the same way as traditional cigarettes, with some measures slapping the industry with taxes as high as 40 percent.”

And according to Mr. Abboud, the fact that the US scientific community and agencies like the FDA and CDC are refusing to acknowledge the reams of scientific data compiled in Europe is extremely disconcerting and blatantly misguided.

“Here in the U.S. we have a scientific community, or at least government agencies, that have pretended as if they don’t have enough information yet, despite one of the most esteemed medical bodies in the world, the Royal College of Physicians, coming to the conclusion they did.  Those two things cannot be true.”

Edinburgh:  The vape-friendliest city in the UK

The ONS study clearly indicates that more than 2.6 million Brits have turned to electronic cigarettes in 2016 alone, and over half of them made the switch specifically to kick their smoking addiction.  And for Americans heading across the pond for a vacation, be aware that the major metropolitan areas of the UK are considered very “vapor friendly,” in general.

Edinburgh is rated as the friendliest city for vapers, based on several factors including the number of local vape shops per capital.  London and Birmingham follow close behind. 

“There’s no question that the e-cigarette industry is forging its place within the British market.  The example set by London, Birmingham and Edinburgh proves there is an audience for electronic alternatives – particularly regarding those struggling with addiction. Each vaping outlet will offer consumers a way to cope and make a positive change and hopefully, over time many more cities across the UK will follow suit.” 

- Charles Bloom, director of Vapourlites

For American smokers trying to kick the habit via vaping, they might want to stay away from Scotland and Northern Ireland.  According to the ONS report, these areas of the UK have the highest numbers of active smokers.  The beautiful Orkney Islands, which strangely happen to be located in the Northern Isles of Scotland, have the lowest number of smokers per capital across the entire United Kingdom.


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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the viewpoints, policy or company position of Vapes.com, the rest of our staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.



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