Advocates of vaping claim it has helped in reducing the rate of smoking however they were left outraged when claims of smoking reduction made no mention of vapour products. Groups like ASH and Cancer Research gave all the credit to their own measures in smoking reduction and omitted the effect of vaping in the overall statistics.
This month, the smoking ban reached its 10th anniversary here in the UK and anti-smoking lobbyists provided statistics on how this ban helped to reduce smoking, from approximately 21% in 2006 to just over 16% today. ASH credited the decline to the implementation of plain cigarette packs and the ban on smoking in cars with children.
However, this is only part of the overall picture which omits to mention the effects of vaping in smoking and harm reduction. Actual data shows that smoking rates in the UK had been falling for a number of years before the ban came into effect, but from 2007-2011 this decline stopped. The numbers started to decline again rapidly once e-cigarettes were introduced several years later.
Public Health England have made it clear that vaping had played a role in the decline of smoking in the UK.
E-cigarettes – safety
The MHRA is responsible for implementing the Tobacco Product Directive’s (TPD) vaping regulations in the UK and its stance on e-cigarettes has been heavily criticised. Since its call on HCPs and the public to report any side effects or concerns about vapour products, vaping advocates have questioned why the regulator is singling out this product for adverse reaction reporting and not others. In support of the MHRA, Deborah Arnott of ASH has stated the restrictions laid out in the TPD will give vapers “further confidence” in the product.