While UK smoking rates are also declining thanks to the introduction of plain packaging, tax increases, and increasing vaping rates, the British Lung Foundation (BLF) has pointed out that the number of successful quit smoking attempts have dropped after media spending was cut.
“Although smoking rates are declining, we must not be complacent. Mass media campaigns are vital in encouraging smokers to quit and stay smoke-free.”British Lung Foundation
Reducing the overall anti-smoking budget from £5m to £3.8m, the government is being accused of undermining its ambition to make England smoke-free. Due to the budget cuts, Health Harms, a Public Health England (PHE) scheme, had to be cancelled. The campaign has previously sought to encourage new year resolutions in relation to quitting smoking via vaping and visualizing how cancer-causing chemicals and tar are inhaled.
Similarly, the renowned 28-day “Stoptober” campaign had resulted in fewer successful quit attempts after less advertising coverage on TV and radio. “Slashing budgets for these campaigns is a foolhardy decision which not only lets down smokers who are looking to quit but will also result in further pressure on the NHS due to smoking-related illnesses,” warned British Lung Foundation’s (BLF) senior policy officer Rachael Hodges. “Although smoking rates are declining, we must not be complacent. Mass media campaigns are vital in encouraging smokers to quit and stay smoke-free.”
The Number of Vapers is on The Rise Again
On a different note, a recent UK report released by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has indicated that despite all the negative publicity surrounding vaping, thankfully the number of smokers who are switching to vaping is on the increase once again.
ASH has been releasing an annual survey since its inception in 2012. The latest one has indicated that the number of vapers in the UK has increased from 3.2 million last year, to 3.6 million this year. It has also revealed that 1.9 million of those 3.6 million have successfully switched from smoking to vaping exclusively.
The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) summarized the main points of the survey as follows:
- “E-cigarette use continues to grow, and an estimated 7.1% of the adult population amounting to 3.6 million people in Great Britain currently use e-cigarettes (vape).
- Over half (54.1%) of current vapers are ex-smokers, and the proportion has grown year on year, while the proportion of vapers who also smoke (known as dual users) has declined to 39.8% in 2019.
- The proportion of adult smokers who have never tried e-cigarettes declined rapidly from 2010 until 2014, and continued declining, but gradually, from 2015 onwards. In 2019 it was 34.1%.
- Only 0.8% of never smokers are current vapers (amounting to 6.1% of vapers).”
Read Further: The Guardian
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