Public Health reiterates vaping is safer than smoking..again!
Public Health England are big advocates of vaping and declared it 95% safer than smoking back in 2015, and in a recent report commissioned by the UK Government, they have reiterated their stance on Vaping and the safety of it.
If you haven’t already read any of the previous 7 publications over the topic, they are well worth a read. And now an 8th and final publication has been commissioned and printed on the Gov UK website, detailing everything surrounding vaping, and it makes for very good reading and gives hope for the future of Vaping in England. It’s without doubt the most comprehensive publication they have produced, and I would say the most comprehensive of any publication in the world. Tallying at a whopping 1468, they didn’t miss out anything. Let’s look at it in more detail.
Confusion amongst smokers regarding the safety of vaping is still prevalent
Public Health England have been heavily onside that Vaping is considerably safer than smoking, declaring it 95% safer back in 2016. But unfortunately, the percentage of smokers that believe vaping is as, if not more harmful than cigarettes still sits at a high percentage.
32% of people believed that vaping carried the same harm as that of smoking, with an unfortunate 11.9% of inaccurately believing that vaping was MORE harmful than smoking.
It’s such a shame to see that these numbers are still so high, and perhaps more education on this matter needs to be extended out to these people so they are educated enough to make the correct judgement, rather than believing the false news that’s being published or aired on TV about the inaccurate “risks and harmful effects” that Vaping carries.
We all know that Nicotine isn’t the cause of diseases that are contracted from smoking cigarettes, and now 10.8% of smokers report that they know that “little or none” health diseases are caused by Nicotine. A good increase on the years previous report!
Vaping amongst Young people
A great section of this publication highlights vaping behaviours and knowledge amongst Young people aged between 11-18 years old. They use ASH’s Youth survey results which were recently printed as a reference.
44.7% of young people accurately perceived that Vaping was less harmful than smoking which is great to read, with only 3.6% of them believing that Vaping was more harmful than smoking. Quite the contrast when comparing it to the adults survey results.
Vaping amongst young people has increased quite significantly with the number sitting at 8.6% of all 11-18yo that were asked which was a rise from 4.8% reported back in 2020. However the number of people who had never smoked, also never vaped and that number was reported at 98.3%. An increase on 2021’s survey results, but lower than 99.2% which was the record high of all previous surveys.
Some countries have been campaigning against Vaping, stating that it is a gateway for Young people to begin smoking cigarettes if they had previously vaped. ASH asked the question to the people surveyed and reports show that 38.7% of them who vaped had previously smoked. And only 24.7% of them had vaped before choosing to go on to smoking, and 29.7% of them had vaped before ever trying a cigarette.
As mentioned, some countries are clamping down on Vaping in a bid to combat youth vaping and those young people turning to cigarettes, but feel if a survey was conducted in their country like ASH carries out here, they would probably see similar results and perhaps change their harsh views on Vaping.
More evidence given on the safety of Vaping
As I’ve mentioned, PHE have advocated vaping by declaring it 95% safer than smoking, and this publication really emphasises that point by highlighting the small fraction of risks that vaping may have compared to the insane amount of harm and risks that Cigarettes carry.
This year’s publication really highlights and focuses on the biomarkers of the exposure, which is a study on markers in the body that will show readings if they have been exposed to harmful chemicals and or toxins. It’s the first time it’s been so heavily emphasised and makes for some very interesting reading.
The report looked into the biomarkers of current vapers, and ran some tests which showed that their biomarkers were considerably lower than that of current smokers, which comes as no surprise really. They also looked into the potential harm of passive vaping, where another person inhales vapour that somebody has produced, and it showed absolutely zero exposure to biomarkers, again which comes at no surprise.
Studies like this being conducted and the results being published is such a massive thing for the world of Vaping, as it is quietening down the critics that consistently shoot down vaping and the apparent “harm” it causes to people as well as others.
Dr Debbie Robson, who is one of the authors that compiled the report says
“The levels of exposure to cancer causing and other toxicants are drastically lower in people who vape compared with those who smoke. Helping people switch from smoking to vaping should be considered a priority if the Government is to achieve a smoke-free 2030 in England.”
A monumental statement for Vaping, and one I can fully get behind. The government wants a smoke-free country by 2030, and it’s been documented by Dr Javed Khan that some intervention is needed by them if they want this achieved, and I think more promotion of vaping by them could only result in good things.
What would a report on vaping be without a specific section on the hottest vaping topic; Disposable vapes.
Whilst they aren’t discussed in great lengths, the points made are necessary and to the point. The report highlights the sharp spike in the amount of users of Disposable vapes, with a reported 15.2% of vapers using Disposables as their main device, compared to a minimal 2.2% reported in 2021.
There’s a section of the report entitled “Implications” which makes me for some interesting reading, and it highlights what needs to happen to be able to combat certain problematic areas of Vaping. They suggest a consideration of whether some aspects of the packaging of vaping products should be restricted, which has been a common argument in the subject of Disposables, due to their attractive and alluring colourful packaging and designs.
They also reference back to a publication printed by Cancer Research UK from March 2022, that strongly suggests a review of the vaping product marketing that is currently in place and look at tightening the strings on what is allowed and what is not allowed with the promotion of E-Cigarettes, especially on Social media. Disposables have been the main problem of recent, with big companies like Elfbar subliminally advertising on TikTok by sending influencers free gift boxes of Elfbar products that they then promote on their channel.
And finally, the report makes it very clear that local trading standards authorities have been scaled down and compliance checks are not happening in enough volume which means the sales of counterfeit products, as well as sales to underage users will continue to grow unless something is done. They make the suggestion of more funding for and a bigger focus on Trading standards authorities is needed to ensure they have enough people power to be able to conduct checks and stop illegal activity from happening.
As mentioned, this is probably the most comprehensive and detailed report of all eight editions that have been published, and one that’s made for some very interesting and satisfying reading. I’ve only mentioned some key parts of this article, based on current trends and topics that I’ve previously been writing about, but I’m sure I’ll be referencing back to this again in the near future for my articles so make sure to keep a look out for my future articles!