Barnet Council has supported the recent statements released by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and London Tobacco Alliance, who are tackling misinformation about vaping by calling for responsible media coverage and sharing clinically proven and accurate information.
In a statement on Monday, Dr Tamara Djuretic, joint director of public health and prevention, Barnet Council and The Royal Free London Group, and Cllr Alison Moore, chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board at Barnet Council, said:
“We support the use of nicotine vapes that meet UK regulatory standards as an aid for adults to stop smoking.
“For a smoker, smoking tobacco is clinically proven to be far more harmful than switching to vaping. The inaccurate reporting about adult vaping in the media is a cause for concern as it is likely turning smokers away from an aid to quitting that works, and so will substantially improve their health outcomes in the long term.
“We recognise that vaping is not risk-free, so if you don’t smoke already, we urge you not to vape.
“The promotion of e-cigarettes to children is a serious issue that needs stricter regulation, to reduce their affordability, appeal and accessibility to children and young people. But, we must at the same time ensure adult smokers are not discouraged from using vaping to help them quit smoking.”
The statement noted that more than a quarter of adult smokers have never tried vaping to help them quit smoking, even though it is one of the most effective quitting aids, and termed the negative and inaccurate media attention around adult vaping as a likely reason for this.
It added that vaping is not a gateway into smoking, noting that if that would be the case we would have seen smoking rates increase as vaping increases. Instead, while e-cigarette use grew rapidly in England between 2010-2021, smoking rates among children continued to fall.