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    Half of smokers try vapes to quit, IBVTA study finds as trade body launches national campaign

    Photo: iStock

    With the government expected to launch a consultation on the future of vaping shortly, the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA) has launched a major national public information campaign that will run for the next six months aimed at clearing the air of confusion around vaping whilst publishing new research that underlines the importance of vaping in helping smokers to quit. 

    The IBVTA has on Thursday published new research that reveals the importance of vaping to quitting smoking. In a huge new study of more than 6,000 smokers and ex-smokers across the country, the IBVTA found that 37 per cent of ex-smokers and 46 per cent of regular smokers have tried or used a vaping device to help them quit smoking.

    The trade body said these findings chime with the ambition of the government’s ‘Swap to Stop’ scheme, which will provide vapes to one million smokers to help them quit. The facts highlight the role that vaping can play with the number of 18-year-olds who regularly smoked falling from 24.5 per cent in 2021 to 19.5 per cent in 20224, a 20 per cent decrease in one year alone. 

    Recent months have seen a flurry of negative headlines about vaping and, according to research from the health charity Action on Smoking and Health, 40 per cent of people now believe vaping is as or more harmful than smoking, a figure that has risen by an astonishing 60 per cent in just three years. 

    Representing vape manufacturers, importers, distributors and vendors across the UK,  the IBVTA is aiming to set the record straight, highlighting the benefits of vaping, how vaping devices are being used to help smokers quit and how vaping is crucial to the government’s ambition to make the UK smoke free by 2030. 

    The IBVTA is also publishing a key facts and best practice document that highlights how the sector is addressing recent concerns raised including stopping those under 18 from accessing vapes and the responsible disposal and recycling of used vape products. 

    “Recent negative headlines about vaping are seriously impacting people’s understanding and perceptions with a record number now believing it is as dangerous as tobacco. Unchecked, this growing confusion risks jeopardising the positive work that vaping has achieved in the last decade and will deny smokers and ex-smokers a proven and positive quit aid, risking 2 in 3 lifetime tobacco users suffering death by a smoking related cause,” Marcus Saxton, chair of the IBVTA, said. 

    “And, with government now talking up the possibility of a ban on single use devices, which are a crucial step toward quitting for many, the government’s ambition for a smoke free Britain by 2030 hangs in the balance. 27 per cent of smokers are yet to try vaping with reasons given including concerns that are being incorrectly amplified in the media and a ban will decrease take up even more.

    “The government itself has confirmed that vaping is 95 per cent safer than smoking and the research that we are publishing today shows the critical role that vaping is playing in helping smokers quit. That is why we are today launching this major new campaign to challenge some of the inaccuracies and to provide reassurance around the benefits of switching to vaping whilst detailing what we as a responsible sector are doing to address recent concerns around, for example, youth access prevention and the environment.”

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