Public Opinion On Vaping Warms In UK As Government Embraces Positive Science

Steve Birr | Contributor

Polling suggests that the general population is becoming more educated on the health benefits of vaping over smoking in the United Kingdom.

A poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of online retailer Electric Tobacconist shows that roughly 43 percent of adults in the country recognize that vapor products significantly cut the health risks from using combustible cigarettes. Roughly 31 percent still believe the devices carry the same amount of harm as smoking; however, the polling shows significant improvement in public health education on vaping.

The poll surveyed 2,134 respondents to gauge their perceptions of alternative smoking technologies. Roughly 21 percent of adults polled said they were unsure of the risks of vaping when compared to traditional cigarettes.

“Over 2 in 5 adults in Britain believe that electronic cigarettes are less harmful than traditional tobacco cigarettes and that vaping, overall, is much better for people’s health,” read a press release from Electric Tobacconist.

Previous polling by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) suggested the public may be becoming less educated on the health impacts of vaping. Members of parliament in the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) have been urging the government to clear up misconceptions that are leaving smokers confused about their options and threatening to impede the country’s progress in reducing the smoking rate.

The U.K. currently has the second lowest smoking rate in all of Europe, and officials say vaping is a big part of the reason.

The U.K.’s Department of Health released a policy paper on e-cigarettes July 18, backing the devices as useful tools to quit smoking and eliminate secondhand risks to the public. The department’s Five Year Tobacco Control plan aims to significantly slash the overall smoking rate, and argues that expanding public access to vaping will help achieve this goal.

Health officials in the country hope to bring the smoking rate down from 15.5 percent to 12 percent by the end of 2022. The report states that the government wants to “minimize the risk of harm” to the smoker and those around them by “maximizing the availability of safer alternatives to smoking.”

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Steve Birr

Contributor

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