43% of Brits think vaping is better—no ifs, ands or butts

January 24, 2018

Fully 43% of adults in the United Kingdom believe that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than traditional butts—and that vaping, overall, is much better for people’s health, based on results of a survey released by online vaping retailer Electric Tobacconist on January 22.

In a poll conducted on behalf of Electric Tobacconist by YouGov among 2,134 Britons, perceptions about e-cigarettes were elicited. Respondents were advised that “smoking” included all products that use burning tobacco, such as cigarettes, pipes and cigars; while vaping meant inhaling vapor from electronic cigarettes and other devices, including vaporizers.

Just 5% of respondents said that they believed that vaping would be worse for your health than smoking, while 31% thought that vaping would have the same impact on people’s health as smoking. A total of 21% of respondents did not know whether vaping was better or worse than smoking.

As tobacco continues to take a heavy toll on the UK population—claiming more than 100,000 lives in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland annually—this year, for the first time, the National Health Service (NHS) advised people to take up vaping as an effective way to stop smoking, during its annual Stoptober campaign last October.

“E-cigarettes are particularly effective when combined with support from local stop-smoking services. People who choose this route have some of the highest quitting success rates,” the NHS said in its Stoptober advice.

Cancer Research UK carried out a long-term study into vaping, and last year published results that advised that electronic cigarettes were safer than smoking.

The YouGov survey into attitudes on vaping found that slightly more men than women (46% versus 41%) agreed that e-cigarettes were better for your health than smoking.

Roughly half of those who had been active on the various social media channels in the past month said vaping was better for your health than smoking (46% on Facebook, 49% on Twitter and 52% on LinkedIn)—suggesting they may be more informed about health and vaping matters as they follow their newsfeeds. This compares to under 30% who believed vaping has the same impact as smoking (29% on Facebook, 25% on Twitter and 26% on LinkedIn) and 3-6% who think vaping is worse.

The UK is will sponsor its first vaping awareness month in April. Organized by the UK Vaping Industry Association, “VApril” will give smokers an “opportunity to take the vape challenge by trying a vape product instead of smoking cigarettes during April and having the health impact of doing so monitored during the campaign period”, the vaping representative body said.

Research contact: pascal@electrictobacconist.co.uk

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