UK smoking rates have dropped below 14% for the first time in years, according to the latest figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The data also shows that vaping has hit its highest rates since records began, with 6.4% of the population reporting using vape devices in 2020.
The latest statistics come just months after the announcement that the e-cigarettes could soon be prescribed via the NHS. 6.4% or 3.3 million of the British population now vape, whilst the proportion of vapers who have never smoked remains very low, at just 1.2%. When data first started being collected in 2014, just 3.7% of the population reported using vape devices.
The report also showed that smoking rates in the UK population have dropped to 13.8% by the end of 2020, which is the lowest we’ve seen since at least 2015. This is a huge success considering the sharp rise in smoking uptake during the pandemic, reaching a peak of 16.3% in August 2020.
There are a number of possible reasons for the rise in smoking rates during lockdown last year, with increased stress, anxiety and lack of access to vape supplies and expert advice. The UKVIA, who led a campaign to keep specialty vape shops open throughout the pandemic, said that the latest statistics are cause for celebration.
“This is a hugely welcome announcement as everyone on the side of harm reduction knows that vaping is far less harmful than smoking – by as much as 95% according to the former health protection watchdog Public Health England,” said John Dunne, Director General of the UKVIA. He continued, “More people vaping and less smoking can only be cause for celebration.”
The ONS figures also showed that the percentage of ex-smokers who now vape had risen to 12.3% in 2020 from 11.7% in 2019, indicating that more smokers are successfully quitting for good with the help of vaping.
John Dunne commented, “What these figures tell me is that the powerful anti-vaping lobby’s best attempts to smear e-cigarettes’ effectiveness at helping people to quit smoking are simply not working." He added, “Vaping advocates, on the other hand, have the science, political will and, increasingly, the healthcare sector’s support for increased use of vaping to help smokers to give up their habits for good.”
It’s hoped that these new findings, coupled with the backing of the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England, will help cut through the misinformation surrounding vaping." Dunne went on to say, “This momentum is at long last cutting through the nonsense and misinformation about vaping to give consumers the confidence they need to take that crucial step towards transitioning away from smoking combustible tobacco.”
Vape retailers play an important role in helping ex-smokers quit for good by sharing their expert knowledge and own experiences with new customers. With January fast approaching, it’s likely that many more people will make an attempt to quit smoking in the New Year, so now’s the time to get stocked up! To find out more about our products and the range of manufacturing services we offer at Juice Sauz, contact our friendly sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 01522 581554.