A recent YouGov survey in the UK found that e-cigarettes are being used as quitting aids by smokers and ex-smokers. In fact the survey found that the main reason for the use of e-cigarettes was to “Stop me smoking entirely”.
Anecdotal evidence from our own customers would also suggest that e-cigarettes are changing their smoking habits.
Ex-smokers are being punished for trying to quit
If e-cigarettes are being used as quitting devices, regardless of whether the smoker is successful or not, the government should be encouraging this positive behaviour instead of banning e-cigarettes in public areas.
Instead it seems that those using e cigarettes “are being pushed back into the smoking areas and beer gardens which they have chosen to leave.”
We’re not the only ones to see the negative effects of the legislation on e-cigarette users. Columnist Colette Douglas Home wrote a great article recently in the Herald Scotland about supporting those that are using e-cigarettes to quit smoking:
“I look at the effort my friend is making to cut down and I worry that, if she has to step outside to “vape”, she’ll revert to her old ways.”
Ms Douglas Home went on to comment on the punitive nature of the ban on vaping:
“While we have no scientific evidence that they cause their users or others harm, why ban or discourage them?”
E-cigarettes do not encourage smoking in non-smokers
“Because e-cigarettes resemble ordinary cigarettes, their use may promote or re-normalise smoking, disrupt the environment for non-smokers, make it harder for smokers to quit and for the HSE to support smoke-free policies”
Let’s look at that statement in more detail:
“Their use may promote or re-normalise smoking”
The recent survey in the UK which was carried out by YouGov for ASH (The leading anti-tobacco charity) found that 99.99% of those surveyed were currently smoking or had been ex-smokers. A negligible 0.01% of those surveyed had tried e-cigarettes without having smoked previously.
71% of ex-smokers use e-cigarettes as quitting devices
The HSE also states that e-cigarettes:
“…make it harder for smokers to quit”
According to the above survey, 71% of ex-smokers and 36% of current smokers surveyed use e-cigarettes as quitting devices.
Further, a forthcoming survey by Professor Robert West of University College London, finds that those who quit smoking are 60% more likely to succeed using e-cigarettes than those that use other NRTs.
So the question is, if e-cigarettes are being used to quit smoking, why are we banning them?
As always, we welcome the testing and the regulation of e-cigarettes. Once this is achieved and more people make the switch, e-cigarettes may begin to overtake the tobacco industry in Ireland.
Let us know your thoughts on this issue. Have e-cigarettes helped you to change your smoking habits?