UK Report: The Number of Vapers is on The Rise Again

Published by Paul Larter on 3rd Feb 2020

Recently, a UK report by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) indicated that the numbers of smokers who were switching to vaping are consistently on the increase despite the numerous negative publicity surrounding vaping.

Right from its inception in 2012, the ASH does release an annual survey. The last survey this body released showed that the number of vapers in the UK keep increasing by the day – from 3.2 million last year to 3.6 million this year. The survey also indicated that out of the 3.6 million vapers, 1.9 million of them switched from smoking to vaping exclusively.

The main points of the survey are summarized below – courtesy of the New Nicotine Alliance (NNA)

“The e-cigarette community keeps growing, with an estimated amount of 7.1% of the adult population (about 3.6 million people) in the UK presently using e-cigs.

More than 50% of the vapers are ex-smokers, with the number continually growing. The number of individuals who vapes and also smoke (dual users) has also been reported to have reduced to 39.8% in 2019.

From 2010-2014, the proportion of adult smokers who have never tried e-cigs for once has drastically reduced and still reducing. In 2019, it was 34.1%.

The proportion of people who have never smoked but are vapers is only about 0.8% of the population. That is about 6.1% of vapers.

The charity also stated that based on the increasing sentiments opposing the use of the devices, in 2018, which was actually the first time since 2015, more than 50% of the population agreed that e-cigs are much less harmful compared to smoking. However, this improvement seems to still be hanging in a balance as only 45% agreed in 2019 that this was the case.

Nevertheless, one note-worthy study about this issue is the study funded by Cancer Research Institute UK, which showed that the average cigarette consumption in the UK between 2011 and 2018 has reduced by nearly a quarter, totaling to approximately 118m fewer cigarettes being consumed every month.

Study: Smokers are smoking fewer cigarettes

A study was recently published in the journal Jama Network Open, and was titled “Comparison of Trends in Self-reported Cigarette Consumption and Sales in England, 2011 to 2018”. This study found that smokers in England are consuming about 1.5bn fewer cigarettes every year and that the average consumption has tremendously reduced by approximately 15% between 2011 and 2018.

The research team from the University College London (UCL) also looked into the cigarette sales data, including the monthly self-reported cigarette consumption from more than 135,000 people in the Smoking Toolkit Study. This data revealed that the number of self-reported cigarettes consumed every month reduced by 24.4% and this rightly supported by the sales reports that were showing a decrease of 24.1% in sales.

In this study, the authors found that the number of smokers during that same period reduced by 15% which means those individuals who kept smoking now consume less. According to the lead author, Dr. Sarah Jackson from UCL’s alcohol and tobacco research group, “it is really interesting that more than a billion fewer cigarettes and tobacco products are being sold and smoked in England. Such studies like this are helpful in giving an accurate picture of cigarette use so it will be easier for us to know the point at which we are and what are the things that still need to be done.”