Focus on preventing youth vaping interfering with adults’ efforts to stop smoking

24 August 2021
1 min read

Whilst we have previously reported that most smokers do not know e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has recently reported that Kenneth Warner, along with 14 other past presidents of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT), have “co -authored an article in which they argue that the skeptical attitude towards e-cigarettes […] has hindered a recognition of the potentially substantial benefits of e-cigarettes in helping adults to quiet smoking.”

The charity’s news update further explains that, “The article cites a recent study which found that 70 per cent of US news coverage on vaping mentioned vaping’s risks to kids, whilst only 37 per cent noted the potential benefits fir adult smokers.” The article does not provided any statistics relating to the UK.

However, our previous report highlighted that, “Despite being a proven aid to quitting and more effective than nicotine patches or gum, 30 per cent of smokers have never tried e-cigarettes; equal to around 1.7m people in England.”

The charity went on to explain that, “Warner and colleagues say that the percentage of kids being addicted to nicotine by vaping is much smaller than popularly believed, with smoking rates falling among young people at unprecedented rates precisely during the period of vaping’s ascendency.”

The news update concludes with Warner and colleagues’ policy recommendations, which balance the risks of youth uptake with the benefits of e-cigarettes for adults, including “restricting the sale of flavoured e-cigarettes to adult-only establishments such as vape shops.”

ASH has previously provided their own recommendations to protect children, such as reducing branding on e-cigarette packaging. They believe this would reduce the appeal to children, whilst adults are not put off by packaging with less branding.