Electronic cigarette users are ditching traditional tobacco in droves for vaping, which roughly 1.5 million people have used to quit smoking in the United Kingdom.
A new study from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) reveals of the roughly 3 million users of e-cigarette devices in the U.K., more than half have given up tobacco entirely. The survey looked at vapers’ habits, asked how often they use traditional tobacco products and what their primary motives are for using e-cigarettes. The findings reveal 1.5 million people have successfully quit smoking with the help of a vaping device, reports CNBC.
Researchers say the results prove vaping is a tremendous benefit to public health, reducing risks to the individual and eliminating second hand smoke.
“This year’s ASH survey finds that around 1.5 million vapers are ex-smokers, for the first time a larger number than those who continue to smoke,” Ann McNeill, professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London, said in a statement, according to CNBC. “This is encouraging news as we know that vapers who continue to smoke continue to be exposed to cancer-causing substances. The message for the 1.3 million vapers who still smoke is that they need to go further and switch completely.”
Deborah Arnott, the chief executive of ASH echoed those sentiments, telling CNBC, “it’s very important smokers realize that vaping is much, much less harmful than smoking.”
Despite the encouraging progress in the U.K., where the government promotes the use of e-cigarettes as a harm reduction tool, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continue their efforts to tax and regulate vaping like cigarettes. Alarmists claim vaping companies deliberately sell flavors that appeal to kids in order to hook them on nicotine early.
Health officials are pushing local lawmakers to amend the laws governing traditional cigarettes to include vaping devices, despite evidence e-cigarettes eliminate 95 percent of the dangers associated with smoking, because the majority of cancer-causing chemicals are inhaled through smoke.
“The vast majority of scientific studies in fact point to substantial harm reduction benefits of these products compared to combustible cigarettes,” Patricia Kovacevic, general counsel and chief compliance officer of Nicopure Labs LLC, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “A comprehensive review of all the science to date point to immense benefits to the individual and to the community.”
Kovacevic notes statements from researchers linking e-cigarettes to smoking will often misrepresent what the actual data shows. In one recent example from the Virginia Commonwealth University, researchers studying 3,757 freshmen based their analysis off the metric of vaping “at least one puff in the past six months.”
They claimed the data suggested a gateway effect to smoking, when it actually proved the exact opposite. Only six students from the body of thousands that participated switched from vaping to smoking cigarettes, while 20 students who began the study as smokers transitioned to vaping.
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