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Ecig Use in Great Britain

Action on Smoking and Health has released its latest factsheet summarising how behaviour and attitudes to vaping has changed over time

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Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) has released its latest factsheet summarising how behaviour and attitudes to vaping has changed over time. The data are taken from an annual survey, Smokefree GB, carried out for ASH by YouGov.

The survey first began looking at vaping in 2010 and the eleventh update has been produced from the results obtained in February and March.

A summary of ASH’s findings shows that “the proportion of the adult population using e-cigarettes has increased this year to 7.1%, the same as in 2019, amounting to 3.6 million people.

Almost two thirds of vapers are ex-smokers, and the proportion of those switching from smoking to vaping continues to grow. People who vape and smoke (dual users) is going in the other direction. While some claim dual use just perpetuates smoking, the evidence proves they’re wrong as the numbers have fallen to 30.5%, proving that vaping encourages accidental quitting.

The proportion of adult smokers who have never tried e-cigarettes is continuing to decline,” now down to 30.1%.

The fear that vaping encourages non-smokers to start using nicotine, a line often touted by anti-vape campaigners, has again failed to gain any traction. ASH’s figures demonstrate that fewer than 1% of never smokers currently vape.

ASH also wanted to know why people vape.

The answer has been consistent across the previous 10 surveys and continues in this year’s too. Ex-smokers choose to use electronic devices to help them quit smoking. They continue to vape as a way of ensuring they don’t relapse to smoking again.

Current smokers said that they vape to cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoke and almost a fifth do it to help them move towards quitting.

Worryingly, “nearly a third of smokers incorrectly believe vaping is more or equally as harmful as smoking (32% compared to 34% in 2020).”

ASH also wanted to know what people used and discovered “the most popular products remain tank systems, with 77% of vapers reporting using them and 18% of vapers reported using cartridge/pod systems.

For those who have tried vaping and used cartridges, Vype is still the most popular brand (18%), with Juul (15%) overtaking Blu and Logic to take second place.”

The survey also looked at e-liquids.

ASH says that 65% of vapers using nicotine-containing juice were using e-liquids containing between 1-12 mg/ml of nicotine. A further 27% are using 13-20 mg/ml strength liquids. Currently, just 1% of vapers are consuming juices with more than 21mg/ml of nicotine.

ASH excluded people who didn’t know what strength of nicotine they used. Of those remaining, 42% said they still used the same strength as they did when first switching to vaping. A further 47% claimed to have decreased the nicotine strength used, and 9% have increased it over time.


  1. The full ASH findings -
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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