Survey shows most smokers do not know e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking
For him, e-cigarettes alongside advice from health professionals made all the difference. He started using his e-cigarette before meeting with a stop smoking advisor and they supported his choice and provided him with further medication and support, “It was really helpful that the stop smoking advisor was supportive when I said I was trying vaping. I’d found a vape with a sealed capsule that worked for me. It doesn’t leak, it’s quite small and unobtrusive and doesn’t produce loads of vapour. It just gives me a little nicotine hit when I need it. It’s not the same as smoking but it does give you something to do with your hands. Vaping’s made the difference for me, after decades of smoking, finally I’ve been able to quit.”
NICE guidance is needed, because 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. Additionally, only one in ten smokers (12 per cent) surveyed by YouGov for ASH know that e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking. Of the remainder, a third (32 per cent) think they are more or equally harmful, one in four (24 per cent) do not know and 30 per cent think they are less harmful, but do not realise that they are a lot less harmful.
Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH said, “With support and encouragement from health professionals, more smokers would use an e-cigarette to help them stop, increasing the overall number who successfully quit long-term. This would be another step forward to securing the government ambition for England to be smoke-free by 2030.”
Misconceptions of risk
When asked why they have not used an e-cigarette, 10 per cent cite concerns about safety and a further 22 per cent say they are concerned about substituting one addiction for another. Both concerns indicate a misunderstanding of the positive role e-cigarettes can play in helping smokers quit.
Level of use