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UK E-cig Ban Could Force 1.5 Million Back To Smoking

UK E-cig Ban Could Force 1.5 Million Back To Smoking

  • Just 2% of vapers would have given up smoking without e-cigarettes
  • 97% of vapers are ex-smokers
  • 44% tried to quit with NRT’s in the past

A MASSIVE 1.5 million vapers would return to smoking cigarettes if the government introduced a ban on vaping, new national research has revealed.

Some 76% of the estimated 2.1 million UK vapers would start smoking again if they could no longer vape, according to the report.

Some 97% of vapers are ex-smokers, according to the nationwide poll commissioned by Liberty Flights and carried out with the help of Britain’s biggest vaping forum, UK Vapers.

And 98% of the 2000 vapers polled admit they would not have been able to give up smoking tobacco were it not for the availability of e-cigarettes.

More than four in 10 (44%) said they’d tried to give up with NRT’s in the past but none had worked, 32% admit they had tried many times to give up in the past but had been unsuccessful before finding e-cigarettes, and 20% said they have given up for short periods in the past but always returned to cigarettes eventually.

According to the vapers, big improvements in personal health are noticeable when replacing smoking with vaping. Some 75% said their health had improved considerably since quitting cigarettes for vaping and a further 15% said they were slowly regaining health after turning to e-cigarettes after years of smoking.

Being healthy again is the best thing about finally being able to give up smoking, according to 78% of vapers. Having more money is the second best thing, according to 34% of the vapers polled.

And the savings can be considerable, according to the Liberty Flights research.

Before they had given up smoking 44% of vapers spent between £50 – £100 per week on cigarettes and tobacco, according to the poll. But once they had become vapers and ditched smoking cigarettes, an astonishing 69% found they were spending less than £10 per week on their habit with savings of up to £4,000 per year for 62% of them.

Matthew Moden, Liberty Flights Director, said: “Our research, conducted with the help of UK Vapers, shows that most believe vapers will outnumber smokers within a decade. A third of vapers believe it may be even quicker – within five years.

“That’s good news for the UK because vaping has not only been proved to be several magnitudes safer than smoking when it comes to personal health but also has no residual risk to those in the vicinity of people who are vaping.

“A huge 74% of vapers also told us that, as long as laws don’t restrict their vaping habit, they will never return to smoking cigarettes.

“The government and health experts need to sit up and listen to these people – pretty much every one of them has been an habitual smoker and has finally been able to give up tobacco because of vaping. They are not only experiencing positive changes to their health but are also seeing important financial savings.

“There is a danger that if we restrict vaping by overly severe legislation or ill-thought out bans we will push these people, people who have successfully given up cigarettes, back towards smoking tobacco. No-one wants to see 1.5 million former smokers start smoking tobacco again.”

The research shows that just 4.6% of vapers are dual-users (vaping e-cigarettes and smoking real cigarettes) and that once they’ve given up smoking just 16% of vapers choose tobacco flavoured e-liquids; Fruit, sweets and dessert flavours are enormously more popular among the adult vaping community.

Almost nine out of 10 vapers (89%) refute claims that vaping is renormalising cigarette smoking, claiming research proves it doesn’t and that suggestions of renormalisation are little more than scare-mongering.

Indeed, 94% of vapers state that the authorities are being particularly harsh with potential new restrictions on e-cigarettes.

Most vapers (75%) believe suggested new European laws, designed to limit the sale and strength of e-cigarettes and e-liquids and reclassify e-cigarettes as tobacco products under the Tobacco Products Directive, are more a result of financial and/or political motivation among the powers that be than for the supposed health benefits. If introduced, those restrictions will, according to 43% of vapers, benefit the Big Tobacco companies most of all.

And most vapers, contrary to popular belief, do not believe they should be allowed to vape in public places where smoking is banned without reservation. In fact, 50% agree they should only be allowed to use e-cigarettes in selected public places.

Matthew Moden added: “One of the main things to come out of our research is that vapers do not believe e-cigarettes and e-liquid should be treated under the same regulations as tobacco, which often seems to be the case in many of the proposed new regulations.”

The Liberty Flights research comes on the back of new data released in November 2014 by the Office of National Statistics which blows holes in the theory that vaping could be a gateway to smoking cigarettes.

The ONS found that e-cigarettes were almost exclusively used by smokers and those who have now quit smoking. Just 0.14% of vapers had never smoked before.

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