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quit smoking


This is partly because we know deep down that all of our other features on finding your perfect skincare routine, drinking lots of water and investing in a decent SPF this summer just won’t have the same effect if you’re still nursing a serious addiction to cigarettes.

Clearly, quitting can be hard and  people can feel pressured into going cold turkey, rather than using an alternative to smoking such as vaping, to ease their cravings.

If you’ve been putting off quitting because vaping is ‘just as bad’ as smoking, the latest research from Public Health England indicates that the evidence isn’t on your side.

The main findings of Public Health England’s recent review are that:

  • vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking and switching completely from smoking to vaping conveys substantial health benefits
  • e-cigarettes could be contributing to at least 20,000 successful new quits per year and possibly many more
  • e-cigarette use is associated with improved quit success rates over the last year and an accelerated drop in smoking rates across the country
  • 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 (fewer than 10% of adults understand that most of the harm to health from smoking is not caused by nicotine)
  • the use of e-cigarettes in the UK has plateaued over the last few years at just under 3 million
  • the evidence does not support the concern that e-cigarettes are a route into smoking among young people (youth smoking rates in the UK continue to decline, regular use is rare and is almost entirely confined to those who have smoked)

PHE’s evidence review comes just a few weeks after a US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on e-cigarettes. Their conclusion on e-cigarette safety also finds that based on the available evidence ‘e-cigarettes are likely to be far less harmful than combustible tobacco cigarettes.’

Professor John Newton, Director for Health Improvement at PHE said:

Every minute someone is admitted to hospital from smoking, with around 79,000 deaths a year in England alone.

Our new review reinforces the finding that vaping is a fraction of the risk of smoking, at least 95% less harmful, and of negligible risk to bystanders. Yet over half of smokers either falsely believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking or just don’t know.

It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about their safety.

Professor Ann McNeill, lead author and Professor of Tobacco Addiction at King’s College London said:

It’s of great concern that smokers still have such a poor understanding about what causes the harm from smoking. When people smoke tobacco cigarettes, they inhale a lethal mix of 7,000 smoke constituents, 70 of which are known to cause cancer.

People smoke for the nicotine, but contrary to what the vast majority believe, nicotine causes little if any of the harm. The toxic smoke is the culprit and is the overwhelming cause of all the tobacco-related disease and death. There are now a greater variety of alternative ways of getting nicotine than ever before, including nicotine gum, nasal spray, lozenges and e-cigarettes.

Professor Linda Bauld, author and Professor of Health Policy, University of Stirling and Chair in Behavioural Research for Cancer Prevention, Cancer Research UK said:

Concern has been expressed that e-cigarette use will lead young people into smoking. But in the UK, research clearly shows that regular use of e-cigarettes among young people who have never smoked remains negligible, less than 1%, and youth smoking continues to decline at an encouraging rate. We need to keep closely monitoring these trends, but so far the data suggest that e-cigarettes are not acting as a route into regular smoking amongst young people.

PHE is calling on smokers and a number of bodies to act on the evidence.


Anyone who has struggled to quit should try switching to an e-cigarette and get professional help. The greatest success in quitting is found among those who combine using an e-cigarette with support from a local stop smoking service.

If you are determined to pursue vaping as a step towards becoming healthier, pick up your first vape pen from among the finest choices at https://e-cigaretteuk.org.uk/best-vape-pens/

We’ve brought you this feature based on the latest research from Public Health England and in association with e-cigarette UK. Although the research findings are not our own, the nagging is all ours! And if you’ve recently given up smoking or are in the process of quitting, we’d love to hear about what has worked for you in the comments section or via our social media channels.

Image courtesy of: The Canadian Business Journal.

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