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British MPs have expressed concern that e-cigarette use has fallen year-on-year for the first time.
According to a recent Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) report, 6.3 percent of the population are vaping regularly, compared to 7.1 percent over the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile, there are still 6.9 million smokers in the UK.
Gareth Johnson MP, a member of the all-party parliamentary group for vaping (APPG), said:
“Vaping is significantly safer than smoking and false information to the contrary is literally costing lives.
“If smokers switch to vaping there is clear scientific evidence that it is better for their health so we need more encouragement of smokers to make this change.”
The study also revealed that a third of smokers had not tried an e-cigarette, with a fifth saying that the didn’t want to trade ‘one addiction for another.’
Another APPG member, Scott Mann, said that e-cigarettes are a ‘key asset in efforts to improve public health’.
The MP for North Cornwall said:
“To see the number vapers fall for the first time, when millions of people continue to smoke across the country, is a cause for concern.
“The public must be empowered to understand and access less harmful alternatives, not be pushed away.”
UKVIA director John Dunne said that misinformation presented a ‘huge challenge’ to the industry despite Public Health England (PHE) asserting that vaping is at least 95 percent less harmful than smoking.
He also argued that misleading reporting and ‘highly questionable’ research was deterring smokers from switching and driving vapers back to cigarettes.
“Earlier this year, PHE concluded that perceptions of harm from vaping among smokers are increasingly out of line with the evidence, with the misperceptions particularly common among smokers who do not vape.
“There are still 3.2m vapers out there who have made the successful switch but there are also 6.9m smokers. These smokers can still turn to vaping to quit cigarettes and benefit from harm reduction.”
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