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IBVTA responds to UCL study

The Independent British Vape Trade Association has responded to University College London research and said the findings show the Government’s smoke-free ambition is stalling

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The Independent British Vape Trade Association has responded to University College London research and said the findings show the Government’s smoke-free ambition is stalling. Using data obtained from adults participating in the Smoking Toolkit Study, the research team concluded that reductions in smoking prevalence among middle-aged adults and sustained increases in quit attempts and cessation among smokers have been offset by a sustained rise in smoking among young adults.

Upon analysing the results, the team concluded in the research: “As a result, the rate of decline in adult smoking prevalence in England has stagnated. Changes in use of support predominantly occurred in the early stages of the pandemic and have since returned to usual levels. There was no evidence to suggest the pandemic increased the risk of early or late relapse. The slowing in the rate of decline in smoking prevalence was pronounced in more advantaged social grades.”

Professor Caitlin Notley believes the only way to address this is for the government to invest in “public health campaigns to inform people accurately that vaping is an effective smoking cessation aid and substantially less harmful than smoking tobacco.”

She acknowledged that current proposals to make a million vape kits available to support people who smoke to switch, are welcome and needed to meet the smokefree 2030 target.

The Independent British Vape Trade Association’s Chair Marcus Saxton reacted by saying: “This important research from UCL shows that the Government’s smoke-free ambition is stalling. The authors also rightly point to the media attention on vaping and the subsequent disconnect between the substantially greater risks from smoking. 43 per cent of smokers believe that vaping is equally or more harmful than smoking, an increase of 60 per cent since 2019.  These are truly shocking figures, reflecting the never-ending cycle of negative stories on vaping, therefore it is of no surprise that smoking rates remain stubbornly high.

“The focus on vaping, particularly single use products that are important to quit attempts is driving this misperception. We welcome proportionate legislation, but these smoking figures show now is not the time to ban those vaping devices and flavours that are crucial to getting smokers to quit tobacco.

“There are clear challenges for the vaping sector but through a proportionate and evidence-based approach vaping can remain a vital smoking cessation tool and encourage those smokers to make that switch before it is too late.”


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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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