Public Health England releases new vaping research amid praise by advocacy groups
The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) is openly praising Public Health England's (PHE) recently published evidence review which strongly supports the vaping as a smoking cessation aid. Due to this newly updated data by the PHE, the UKVIA is now publicly demanding that mainstream media and anti-vaping lobbyists immediately stop spreading disinformation about vaping. The PHE study entitled, Vaping in England: 2020 Evidence Update Summary explains how "false fears" about e-cigs and vapor products are preventing many people from making the switch to vaping to stop smoking - something that the PHE itself has publicly endorsed for years.
This study is the sixth independent e-cigarette report published in recent years by Public Health England, the UK’s equivalent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The research was compiled by scientists at King's College London whose report indicates that - regardless of the multitude of alarmist media headlines and the surge in unfounded public fears - vaping is primarily occurring among adult smokers looking to quit. Additionally, it indicates that teen vaping rates remain fairly low.
“Perceptions of harm from vaping among smokers are increasingly out of line with the evidence. The proportion who thought vaping was less harmful than cigarettes declined from 45% in 2014 to 34% in 2019. These misperceptions are particularly common among smokers who do not vape,” says the PHE report. Furthermore, they continue, less than one percent of teens who have never smoked a combustible tobacco cigarette are currently active vapers.
Other essential findings of the PHE evaluation include the following:
- Current vaping pervasiveness among adult former smokers continued to increase in 2019 from 12% to 13% while adult smoking rates simultaneously continue to plummet.
- Adult smoking rates in England are continuing to decline sharply over the past 10 years to historic lows in 2019 of around 15%.
- Most adults utilize vaping items to help them quit smoking cigarettes.
- Vaping remains most popular among both current and former cigarette smokers with less than 1% of never smokers being active, daily vapers.
- Between 2018 and 2019, about 37% of current daily smokers admit to never having even tried vapor products as a smoking cessation aid.
- Regular vapers report that the banning of flavored vapor products would only discourage them trying vaping as a safer alternative to smoking, thus potentially driving them back into the arms of Big Tobacco.
- Flavored vaping bans could also push current former-smokers-turned-vapers towards illicit or black market products.
- Less than 1% of young people who are never smokers are current vapers.
- There is an absence of evidence in England on the frequency and consequences of vaping during pregnancy and on the potential impacts of vaping on maternal health.
- “Perceptions of harm from vaping among smokers are increasingly out of line with the evidence. The proportion who thought vaping was less harmful than cigarettes declined from 45% in 2014 to 34% in 2019. These misperceptions are particularly common among smokers who do not vape.”
Upon the publication of the new data, John Dunne, Director of the UKVIA, issued a press release praising the integrity and courage of the PHE for issuing such a scathing rebuke against the disinformation campaigns of the mainstream media. “It is crucial that we put a stop to all of the misinformation on vaping out there.” Dunne stated. “As PHE concluded in their review, increasingly incorrect perceptions among the public about the harms of vaping could prevent some smokers using vaping products to quit smoking. The fact, as highlighted in their report, that the proportion of current smokers who have not tried vaping products has remained at 37%, supports this view.”
Public Health England is one of the foremost public health agencies on the planet that specializes in vaping research. In 2015 – just days before the publication of the FDA deeming regulations in the United States which reclassified vapor products as tobacco products – the PHE released a first-of-its-kind report claiming that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking.
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