E-cigarettes are great for getting people off tobacco, but not everyone knows it.
There's so much information coming out now about vaping and how it's so much better than smoking, and a real and workable solution for anyone who's trying to give up cigarettes and get healthy, that you'd think most of us would be aware of it.
After all, such leading health institutions as the NHS, Public Health England (PHE), the Royal College of Surgeons and others have been telling us for several years now that, based on their in-depth research, e-cigarettes such as vape pens
pose little risk to human health compared to the serious — and deadly — effects of smoking, which kills around 100,000 people
annually across the UK.
But it turns out the message is not exactly getting through to the public. This month, we commissioned a survey to find out what, if anything, people around Britain know of our health bodies' studies into vaping and their subsequent advice that smokers should switch to e-cigarettes. Most people (47% of those who responded to the poll), it emerged, didn't know anything about it — at least PHE's finding that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking and, therefore, has substantial benefits for smokers who decide to vape instead.
A Growing Awareness of Vaping’s Benefits
That's not to say that everyone who took part in our poll — carried out online via Google Surveys — was completely unaware of PHE's advisory on vaping, which was reissued last year to update a previous study and results on e-cigarettes. A total of 23.5% of respondents said they had heard about it, while 15.6% were not sure and 13.6% thought they had heard of the advice. Indeed, PHE itself acknowledges that there still exists a great deal of misinformation about vaping, saying
"many thousands of smokers incorrectly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking; around 40% of smokers have not even tried an e-cigarette;
"there is much public misunderstanding about nicotine (less than 10% of adults understand that most of the harms to health from smoking are not caused by nicotine)."
The top health body in England says that if more smokers tried e-cigarettes, there could be at least 20,000 successful new quits every year — conveying a substantial public health benefit as people manage to get off tobacco. Did our respondents know what PHE — an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care — was? The majority (58%) did, while 27.3% had "no idea" and 14.7% were not sure what the institution founded in 2013 and tasked with improving the nation's health was.
NHS Vaping Recognition
Perhaps as a more public-facing organisation, there's more public recognition of the NHS' efforts in trying to convince smokers to change to e-cigarettes. Each year, the health service runs its Stoptober campaign to help people to give up smoking, and increasingly, it's pinning its hopes on vaping. "Thousands of people in England have already stopped smoking with the help of an e-cigarette," last year's campaign said
. "Plus, those who combine an e-cigarette with help from their local Stop Smoking Service have a high chance of success. In 2017-18, two-thirds of smokers who did so managed to stop smoking."
Most of those who answered our survey questions (38.8%) said they knew about the NHS's backing of vaping as an effective smoking-cessation method and that it has been advising smokers to switch to e-cigarettes. But 30% didn't know anything about it, while 17.8% were somewhat confused and 12.4% said they may have heard about it but weren't altogether sure.
And asked if overall, e-cigarettes were a force for good, helping to get people off tobacco cigarettes, which kill at least 8 million people
around the world a year, the majority were undecided, with 28.8% saying they were not sure. This shows that a lot more public awareness is needed in this country — along the lines of the annual VApril
education and awareness programme, now in its second year. Some good news, though: almost a similar number of respondents (28%) said they thought vaping was good for public health and 16.6% agreed that vaping was definitely a force for good.
If you're a smoker and thinking of switching to e-cigarettes as a way to quit tobacco, we have just what you need. Get one of our great vape kits that have everything you need to get vaping quickly and easily, at great prices — and we'll deliver in a flash, and for free on orders over £10.