Vape Trade Welcomes The Good News
Trade organisation the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) has welcomed the “good news” contained within Action on Smoking and Health’s (ASH) latest YouGov survey findings. The annual study of vaping habits and behaviours has discovered record levels of people have managed to escape tobacco addiction by switching to vaping.
What is the ASH survey?
Each year ASH commissions YouGov to conduct the Smokefree GB survey and Smokefree GB analysis. Data is gathered about behaviour and attitudes towards vaping and e-cigarettes from adults over 18 years old during February and March.
Once the data has been analysed, ASH uses the findings to produce a report and a factsheet. This year ASH has also released a statement detailing its concerns about the growth in the levels of misunderstanding and has created a document addressing them – as well as pleading with the national media to take more care when reporting on vape matters and research.
What did the survey find?
- The highlights from the Smokefree GB survey are:
- 7 million adult adults in Great Britain now regularly vape
- 7 million of regular vapers are ex-smokers
- 7 million adult vapers are current smokers who are using ecigs to reduce the amount they smoke or are moving towards quitting smoking
- The number of people vaping who never smoked has fallen again this year, down from 8.1% to 6.7%. IBVTA says: “It does not appear that the recent boom in single use vapes is attracting adult never smokers”
- The most popular vape remains the refillable open tank system
- Fruit flavoured e-liquid is the most popular juice, used by 47% of adult vapers
- The second most popular refill flavour is menthol (17%), with tobacco flavour coming in third (12%)
IBVTA commented: “Very few [vapers] report using [eLiquid] products with no flavours, reiterating the vital role that flavours play in both adult smoking cessation, and preventing relapsing to smoking.”
IBVTA Points Out A Warning
The independent trade organisation agreed with ASH that the data also revels a problem.
“The most alarming statistic within the findings however, is that while 94% of smokers had heard of e-cigarettes or vapes,” it said. “40% incorrectly believe vaping is as or more harmful than smoking up from a third last year and one in five in 2019.
“This trend is completely at odds with the fact that research over that period consistently shows that vaping is at least 95% safer than smoking, and furthermore, that switching to vaping reduces exposure to some of the main cancer-causing chemicals by 97%.”
Where does the misunderstanding come from?
Professor Caitlin Notley, Professor of Addiction Sciences and the Norwich Medical School, points her finger at media organisations driving “inaccurate public perceptions” through misleading reporting.
Dr Sharon Cox, a Principal Research Fellow at University College London, added that poor quality studies are also to blame.
Professor Ann McNeill agreed with both points and added that concern about teen vaping is also driving attention away from the health benefits of switching from smoking to vaping.
IBVTA says it “fully concurs” with the three academics.
The Association said: “Since our founding in 2016, we have repeatedly demonstrated instances where bad science has led to alarmist media headlines and inaccurate reporting of the relative safety of vaping compared to smoking.”
IBVTA CEO Gillian Golden added: “The good news here is that there are 4.7 million adults in Britain who have taken a really positive step in improving their health by switching to vaping. The clear warning from this survey however, is that if the media, government and the independent industry don’t manage to get across the message that switching to vaping is safer that continuing to smoke, we risk costing lives.”