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Adult Ecig Use in Great Britain

Action on Smoking and Health has released its annual update covering adult vaping in Great Britain

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Action on Smoking and Health has released its 12th annual update covering adult vaping in Great Britain. The headline figure is that 4.3 million people are now using electronic cigarettes, but the anti-smoking charity says it is not yet clear whether any changes in attitudes or behaviour resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic are permanent or substantial.


  • The proportion of the adult population using e-cigarettes has increased this year to 8.3%, the highest rate ever, amounting to 4.3 million people in Great Britain.
  • Most current vapers are ex-smokers (57%). The proportion peaked in 2021 at 64%.
  • Only 1.3% of never smokers are current vapers, amounting to 8.1% of vapers.
  • The proportion of adult smokers who have never tried e-cigarettes is continuing to decline slowly, down to 28% in 2022.The proportion of smokers who are current vapers has increased from 2021 (17%) to 2022 (22%).


  • As in previous years, the main reason given by ex-smokers for vaping is to help them quit (29%). The next most common reasons are to prevent relapse (19%), because they enjoy the experience (14%), and to save money (11%).
  • The main reason given by current smokers for vaping are to cut down on smoking (17%), to save money (16%), to try to help them quit (14%) and to prevent relapse (13%).
  • A third of smokers (32%) incorrectly believe vaping is more or equally as harmful as smoking.


  • The most frequent type of e-cigarette device remains a refillable tank system, with 65% of current vapers reporting this type as their main device. Vapes with replaceable cartridges and disposable vapes were the main type of device for 17% and 15% of vapers, respectively.
  • However, use of disposable vapes has risen, particularly among younger adults. Among 18–24-year-olds, almost half of current e-cigarettes users (48%) use disposables as their main type in 2022, an increase from only 2.8% in 2021.
  • For those who have tried vaping and used cartridges, JUUL has risen since 2021 to the most popular brand (19%), followed by Logic (17%), Vuse (16%), Vype (16%) and blu (14%).
  • Only 0.9% of adults who vape nicotine use e-liquids over the legal limit of 20mg/ml.
  • Among current vapers, 50% say that they use the same strength e-liquid as when they first started vaping, while 38% have decreased the strength and only 4.2% have increased the strength over time. Ex-smokers are the most likely group of vapers to report currently using a lower strength of e-liquid than when they began (50%).

The charity’s deputy chief executive, Hazel Cheeseman welcomed the increase in smokers switching to vaping: “There are now five times as many vapers as there were in 2012, with millions having used them as part of a quit attempt. However, they haven't worked for everyone. Just under half of smokers who have tried them have stopped using them and 28% have never tried one at all.”

Action on Smoking and Health are urging all smokers who tried to vape in the past to give it another go as the charity believes products has improved over time.

“[Electronic cigarettes] can be lifesaving tools for those struggling to quit. At the same time, we can’t rely on vaping to fully solve the problem of smoking. We must address the recent increase in youth vaping and put in place wider efforts to address smoking as vaping won’t work for everyone. The time for government action is now.

Government has said that a 'vaping revolution' will help them meet their ambition for a smoke-free country by 2030 but it won't be enough - we need a comprehensive plan that will help all smokers.”


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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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