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Vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking according to recent research

Vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking according to recent research
An independent report, commissioned by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, in the Department of Health and Social Care, drew from over 400 published studies from around the world. This is one of the most comprehensive reports of its kind and identifies vaping as a less harmful smoking alternative and an essential component in the government's goal of going smoke-free. 

Researchers said those who switch to vaping from smoking would experience a “substantial reduction” in their exposure to toxic substances. The substances in question are known to cause cancer, lung and cardiovascular disease.

Ann McNeill, a professor of tobacco addiction at King’s College London and lead author on the study, said smoking was “uniquely deadly”, killing half of all regular, long-term smokers. She went on to say “Vaping poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking in the short to medium term, however, this does not mean vaping is risk-free, particularly for people who have never smoked,". As always VPZ urges people not to take up vaping unless they are a current smoker, but this report supports our belief that vaping is essential in the battle against the UK's number one killer.

Interestingly a survey in England found two-thirds of adult smokers were unaware of the lower risk posed by vaping to their health. This research shows the need for educating smokers on the real risk of vaping compared to smoking. With Stoptober around the corner, there has never been a better time to push for a smoke-free future, this goal can be achieved by challenging the myths that still persist around vaping. Dr Debbie Robson, a co-author of the report, said helping people switch from smoking to vaping must become a government priority to achieve their smoke-free target.

As the UK’s largest vaping retailer, we have called for a national vaping policy to help the UK Government reach its smoke-free ambitions.

There is also a challenge facing the industry where imported, unregulated, disposable vaping products are becoming readily available from local convenience stores, newsagents and supermarkets with no regulation.

We have urged health policymakers to introduce more significant licensing and controls for selling vaping products whilst ensuring any regulatory changes do not discourage smokers from making the switch to vaping.

Doug Mutter, VPZ Director, said: “It is vital that we have tighter controls and licensing for selling vaping products"

“We are urging the UK Government to act now and implement measures where flavoured products can only be sold from specialist licensed vaping stores, where a challenge 25 policy is in place and consultation is aimed towards adult smokers and vapers.”

Lion Shahab, co-director of the Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group, at University College London, called the report “the most rigorous, comprehensive and up-to-date piece of work” ever published on vaping in the UK. “We should ensure that adult smokers get the right support, which includes provision of accurate information about the reduced risk of vaping and how it can help them stop smoking, while also offering educational material to young people who would have never smoked, to discourage them from starting to vape, in addition to better reinforcement of age of sale and advertising restrictions,” he said. “If this balance can be struck, e-cigarettes can play a powerful role in consigning smoking cigarettes to the history books in the UK.”

As part of our continued efforts to promote a smoke-free future, VPZ is kicking off Stoptober with an event at our Sauchiehall Street store in Glasgow City centre. We will be using interactive carbon monoxide breath tests to give the general public an insight into their health and reveal the impact that smoking was making on their body

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