There are over seven million smokers in the UK, which is still a significantly high number for a population of roughly 67 million. With the government’s roadmap to make the UK smoke-free by 2030, smokers need assistance to help in their quitting journey.
In the past, nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine gum and nicotine patches have proved mildly effective, but in recent years it’s vaping that’s emerged as the key alternative, acting as a similar yet safer option.
Smoking vs Vaping - Why Quit?
Currently, more than three million people vape compared to seven million smokers in the UK. As technology and the vaping industry have evolved, has the awareness of vaping as a tool to help people quit smoking? Below, we explain some of the key questions and statistics around vaping that highlight its benefits as a cessation choice but also demonstrate why there is still work ahead to reduce the fear and misinformation surrounding e-cigarettes.
However, there is still a lot of fiction spread by media outlets and tobacco companies about the dangers of vaping, instead of sticking to the facts.
Despite the positive press e-cigarettes get from health organisations like the NHS and Cancer Research UK, it’s recently been up to campaigns such as Stoptober and VApril, the largest educational campaign in the UK, to share advice and knowledge from experts on why smokers should switch to vaping.
We have listed the key reasons why you should quit cigarettes for good.
1. Twice as Effective as Other Nicotine Replacement Therapies
E-cigarettes are the advised choice for smokers - not just because of how they improve your bodily functions but because vaping follows a familiar habit.
If you remove the technical differences such as the coil, e-liquid, tank, heating via electrical battery power and the mouthpiece, the action of vaping is the closest you’ll get to smoking, without inhaling combustible tobacco, containing multiple dangerous toxins.
Plus, there are so many vape kits in various sizes boasting different power outputs, designs and features, vapers have so many choices to never feel bored or repetitive in the action.
It’s no wonder millions are using e-cigarettes to quit smoking for good and local stop-smoking services are reporting it's twice as effective a method, compared to other nicotine replacement therapies!
2. Better Alternative for Your Health
Most vapers pick up a kit to improve their health and there is little doubt that it does, ranging from better lung capacity to blood pressure slowly returning to normal. In addition to that, benefits include lowering spending costs, offering vapers a wide range of flavours compared to tobacco-filled cigarettes and the opportunity to finally cut down your nicotine, giving you greater control over what you select in terms of strengths.
A wealth of studies and scientific medical research points toward the positive impact giving up smoking for vaping can have on the body, mind and health of those around you. It’s noted that in just one month, blood vessel health improves and we can also see there is minimal risk in vaping around others.
It’s cheaper than smoking in the UK (which is estimated at 3.5 times more expensive). Especially when you consider the tobacco duty rise in the latest UK budget.
Smoking costs the NHS billions of pounds a year, so it’s important to back campaigns like VApril to help everyone understand the power of vaping when you switch. Because the UK is potentially becoming the first country in the world to prescribe e-cigarettes, this demonstrates the effort put in place to not just spread positivity about vaping as an alternative but again demonstrate the dangers of continuing to smoke.
From the evidence so far, we can see there are very few side effects to vaping in comparison to smoking, despite the two products in most cases both containing nicotine. Although side effects can occur such as a dry throat or coughing, this is usually following the withdrawal of inhaling tobacco from your system.
However, according to Public Health England, misinformation around this subject in the media still exists.
5. You Can Go At Your Own Pace
The good thing about vaping when you switch from smoking is you have greater control over the amount you inhale. By this, we mean you can alter the nicotine level to as much or as little, depending on your habits.
You don’t have to quit smoking with a nicotine addiction and go cold turkey (which is never the advised way to go). Instead, you can slowly reduce your nicotine levels if required.
For some smokers, they just want to prevent the constant inhalation of thousands of unknown dangerous toxins only found in cigarettes. As advised by many health professionals, to date vaping e-cigarettes is seen as a better alternative, which is still a risk but not including combustible tobacco which turns into tar in the lungs.
With more choice and control, you can carry on vaping high nicotine levels if you wish, lowering the amount slowly or vaping nicotine free to keep the habit of inhalation going without any dangerous or addictive chemicals.
The choice is completely your own and not dictated by whatever they put in cigarettes.
Unfortunately, although the evidence is clear about the benefits of vaping for your overall health, perceptions among smokers remain that vaping is harmful.
VApril statistics back this up with One Poll research done in 2019 suggesting 68% of vapers didn’t believe they would quit smoking once they pick up a vape. And only 34% of adults believe that vaping is a less harmful alternative to smoking.
This kind of evidence and the strict regulations in place for e-cig use under the Tobacco & Related Products Regulations 2016 takes the shine off of a positive nicotine replacement therapy.
We've listed some useful resources below, offering tips, advice and support, which can help you on your journey to quit cigarettes for good:
If you seek further information about vaping to help you quit, we have our vaping 101 content hub, which highlights everything needed to get started, including picking the best e-liquids and vape kits. Alternatively, our customer service team will be happy to chat for additional support and advice. We look forward to speaking with you soon and wish you good luck during VApril as you make the switch!