Smoking kills, no one is arguing that point. Yet some are still apt to argue whether or not vaping is a safer alternative. While the argument may still largely rage in official circles throughout the U.S., health officials in the U.K. are trying to put a damper on it. In fact, Public Health England and multiple other U.K. public health organizations issued a joint statement confirming what many of us believed all along: vaping is “significantly less harmful” than smoking.
Vaping vs. Smoking
In addition to Public Health England, a total of 12 organizations signed the joint statement that agreed vaping is safer than smoking. Those organizations ranged from the British Lung Foundation to Cancer Research UK, from the Royal College of Physicians to the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies.
With one out of every two lifelong smokers dying from their addiction, the organizations readily noted that evidence supports the idea that health risks posed by vaping “are relatively small” when compared to smoking. Since vaping is a relatively new development, the groups also found it important to continue to study its long-term effects.
Effective Quitting Methods
Another point brought up in the joint statement was the effectiveness of various quitting services and tools. The groups pegged local stop smoking services as the most effective way to quit, and they also noted that vaping was the most popular quitting tool. Ten times as many people were turning to vaping than were turning to local stop smoking services, with results already apparent.
Since the year 2000, the number of adult smokers had decreased by one-third, and the number of underage smokers had decreased by two-thirds. More than 1.3 million people in the U.K. who turned to vaping quit smoking traditional cigarettes entirely, while nearly 1.4 million who turned to vaping continued to vape and smoke.
The groups encouraged those who still smoked to consider vaping, and for those who both smoked and vaped to give up the smoking part of the equation.
Breaking the Myths About Vaping
While the statement made it clear that vaping was not as harmful as smoking, the groups likewise noted that many smokers may not be aware of this fact. They said millions of smokers are still under the impression that vaping is at least as harmful as cigarettes, a myth they aimed to dispel.
Another myth was the idea of vaping acting as a gateway to smoking for youth. Not true, the statement reported, as current evidence shows that regular vaping among youth is almost exclusively done by those who have already smoked.
The joint statement definitely gave a huge boost to the vaping industry and vaping community across the world. It was particularly refreshing to see major health organizations across the U.K. focus on the bottom line of furthering their mission of helping people live longer, healthier, smoke-free lives, especially since they pointed to vaping as a safer alternative.
FYI, full list of groups that signed the joint vaping statement:
Public Health England
Action on Smoking and Health
Association of Directors of Public Health
British Lung Foundation
Cancer Research UK
Faculty of Public Health
Fresh North East
Public Health Action
Royal College of Physicians
Royal Society for Public Health
UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies
UK Health Forum