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UKVIA Responds to Vaping Report

The UK Vaping Industry Association has welcomed the new report confirming that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking

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The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) has welcomed the new report produced by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities, confirming that vaping is at least 95% less harmful than smoking. As a result, the UKVIA has called on the “vaping doubters and misinformers” to think again.

The UKVIA has welcomed the first vaping evidence review published by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and challenged those who have doubted vaping’s harm reduction potential and promoted misinformation to think again.

The latest vaping review builds on evidence collected by its predecessor, Public Health England (PHE), further highlighting the major public health prize that is presented by vaping.

John Dunne, the director general of the UKVIA says: “It’s good to see that the experts involved in this latest review stand by the estimates that vaping is ‘at least 95% less harmful’ than combustible tobacco and that it ‘poses only a small fraction of the risks of smoking’. This figure was first revealed by the then PHE in 2015 in what was at the time described as a landmark review, and the statement that vaping is substantially less harmful than smoking on the back of this statistic continues to be cited by all the leading public health organisations in the UK today.

“Particularly welcoming is the evidence that indicates significantly lower relative exposure from vaping compared to smoking in biomarkers that are associated with the risk of cancer, respiratory conditions, cardiovascular conditions and other health conditions’ which lead to tens of thousands of deaths every year, not to mention the high levels of those suffering from debilitating smoking-related illnesses.

The evidence review also highlights the issue of youth vaping, an area that the UKVIA is focussing significantly on to address the current unacceptable situation. Our own Youth Access Prevention taskforce is working tirelessly with Trading Standards, the retail sector and brand owners to prevent youth access to vaping. We have recently sent the Department for Health and Social Care a number of recommendations, which are designed to cut the sale of vapes to minors off at source. These include the introduction of a retail licensing or approved retailer and distributor scheme; increased penalties of at least £10,000 per instance for traders who flout UK law; and the introduction of a national test purchasing scheme to ensure all retail operations are performing to high standards when it comes to preventing youth access to e-cigarettes.”

Dunne added: “In short, the latest evidence review has further dispelled myths and debunked falsehoods about vaping, as well as highlighting the importance of taking an evidence-based approach to harm reduction policies. Those who questioned and doubted that vaping is considerably less harmful than smoking, and spread misinformation need to take this latest evidence seriously.”

The evidence review also highlighted that:

  • Vaping prevalence among adults in England has increased by around 1 percentage point from 2020 to 2021, to between 6.9% and 7.1%;
  • The proportion of vapers who also smoke had been declining since 2012, from 91.9% to 49.8% in 2020;
  • Fruit (35.3%), menthol/mint (22.5%) and tobacco (20.9%) remained the most popular flavours among vapers;
  • Vaping is more common among disadvantaged adult groups in society and that research should continue to explore the impact that higher vaping prevalence has on stopping smoking and reducing health inequalities;
  • Between April 2020 and March 2021, quit attempts in stop smoking services that involved using a vaping product (alone or in combination with medication) achieved self-reported short-term success rates of 64.9%, compared with 58.6% for attempts not involving a vaping product;
  • Among adult smokers just over a third (34.1%) accurately perceived that vaping was less harmful than smoking. However, around a third (32.1%) inaccurately thought that the harms from vaping and smoking were about the same, 11.9% inaccurately thought that vaping was more harmful than smoking, and 22.0% said they did not know;
  • Youth vaping prevalence (including occasional and regular vaping amongst 11-18 year olds) was 8.6% in 2022, compared with 4.0% in 2021 and 4.8% in 2020;
  • Main reason for vaping amongst young never smokers was “give it a try” (48.8%);
  • Main reasons for vaping amongst young smokers were harm reduction and quitting related reasons.

The full report can be read here: Nicotine vaping in England: an evidence update including health risks and perceptions, September 2022 (

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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