Nearly two-thirds of e-cig users are tobacco smokers
One third are former smokers, up on previous years
ANTI-smoking charity, Ash (Action on Smoking and Health) has found that e-cig use in Britain has tripled over the past two years. As reported in last month’s Scottish Grocer, there are now an estimated 2.1m vapers in the UK.
Nearly two-thirds of users are smokers and one third are ex-smokers. A negligible number of non-smokers – 0.1% – have tried vaping and only 1% of people who have never smoked report trying electronic cigarettes.
The survey, carried out by YouGov, shows a consistent rise in the number of current smokers who use e-cigs on a regular basis, up from 2.7% in 2010 to 17.7% in 2014.
Over a half of vapers started off using rechargeable e-cigs with pre-filled cartridges, with only one in four starting by using a tank or reservoir.
Among current users the balance is more evenly split, with 47% most often using rechargeable e-cigs with pre-filled cartridges and 41% using rechargeable devices with a separate tank. Only 20% started off using disposable electronic cigarettes and only 8% currently use disposable e-cigs.
The main reasons for use given by former smokers are: “to help me stop smoking entirely” (71%) and “to help me keep off tobacco” (48%).
The main reason given by current smokers is: “to help me reduce the amount of tobacco I smoke, but not stop completely” (48%), followed by “to save money compared with smoking tobacco” (37%); and “to help me stop smoking entirely” (36%).
Just over a third (35%) of British adults believe that electronic cigarettes are good for public health while around a quarter (22%) disagree.
Deborah Arnott, Action on Smoking and Health chief executive, said: “The dramatic rise in use of electronic cigarettes over the past four years suggests that smokers are increasingly turning to these devices to help them cut down or quit smoking. Significantly, usage among non-smokers remains negligible.
“There is no evidence from our research that e-cigarettes are acting as a gateway into smoking.”