Rising awareness of vaping and the health benefits of electronic cigarettes over tobacco ones is leading to a seismic shift in people’s attitudes towards vaping. Now, in a new survey carried out in the UK, it turns out that almost no one believes e-cigarettes are in any way as bad as smoking tobacco.
The survey was carried out in January by top polling organisation YouGov and on behalf of one of the country’s most successful online vape shops, Electric Tobacconist. It found that just 5% of the 2,134 who took part in the survey held the view that vaping is worse for human health than smoking. That compares to a majority of 43% who said using e-cigarettes was better than smoking and 31% who said it was the same. Those who didn’t know amounted to 21% of respondents.
Survey participants came from a wide social background, and roughly half were from working class and middle class backgrounds, the latter typically having better-paid jobs and higher disposable incomes. More men than women agreed that vaping was better for health (46% compared to 41%), likely because men tend to vape more than women, and those who expressed positive statements about vaping’s benefits to health were more active on various social media channels. This could indicate that they are better informed as they monitor their newsfeeds more often.
UK Vaping Push
It’s no surprise that public attitudes to vaping are rapidly changing in Britain. The country is at the forefront of efforts to get people to stop smoking by using electronic cigarettes instead. Whereas in the US, health authorities still refuse to recommend vaping as an effective cessation method, in Britain it’s a far different story. There, the health service and other medical bodies are actively encouraging smokers to take up vaping because, as they point out, other cessation methods often just do not work.
They’re doing it for the good of everyone’s health, because in that relatively small European nation comprised of four countries — England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland — more than 100,000 people from a population of 65.6 million lose their lives to smoking every year. The effects of this large number of ultimately preventable deaths ripples out across families, wider society and the economy, dragging everyone down.
Because electronic cigarettes have only been around for a short time, naturally there has been some confusion as to whether they’re harmful or not. This is the burning question people all over the world have been wanting an answer to — and now, from the UK at least, they have it. Following an expert review, the government there declared that “the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking.”
Giving Up on Tobacco
It is efforts such as those the British are engaged in that are shaping public attitudes toward vaping. And just as British people are increasingly stubbing out smoking and becoming healthier in the process, Big Tobacco is following suit, or at least attempting to.
Philip Morris, maker of the Marlboro and other brands popular worldwide, says it is trying to stop selling cigarettes in the UK. The tobacco giant is not hoping to go out of business, though — instead, it is developing vaping and other products as the shift away from smoking and toward vaping continues. Their current market in the UK is, after all, drying up.
For those who are not sure about vaping and how to go about it, it’s often recommended that they begin with a simple starter kit that’s easy to use. Something like a blu e-cig starter kit could well be the answer to all their smoking dilemmas.
As public awareness of the benefits of vaping compared to smoking increases, driven by growing levels of scientific research and subsequent public health campaigns, the results of a follow-up survey such as Electric Tobacconist commissioned could be much higher in favour of e-cigs in the years to come.