When I first started vaping around 2011, the idea of using e cigarettes to quit smoking was frowned upon by governments and institutions. Manufacturers and retailers were forbidden from promoting e cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking, as findings were unproven, devices untested and so on. The logical part of my brain told me that of course it had to be better to vape than to smoke cigarettes. I was smoking 20 cigarettes a day, then moved on to rolling tobacco because it was cheaper, but hated the annoying, messy process of rolling my own cigarettes.
When a friend introduced me to electronic cigarettes I was amazed and delighted, and ordered one immediately. After that I was the biggest proponent of vaping and couldn’t believe how it could substitute smoking and yet be cheaper, cleaner and easier. And the biggest bonus of all was I could vape in public.
Since then I’ve seen a gradual demonization of e cigarettes with governments worldwide calling for bans and conspiracy theories raging across Internet forums. But still the same common sense within me held that e cigarettes can’t be worse than smoking tobacco. After all tobacco has been proven to give us a slow, painful death, and yet we still smoke. How can electronic cigarettes be worse than that?
2015 saw further developments for the e cigarette industry, some good and some bad. The bad was the European Tobacco Products Directive which comes into force this May. The good was the mighty NHS throwing their weight behind e cigarettes as a genuine aid to quit smoking. The NHS didn’t come to this decision lightly and carried out a study that found vaping to be 95% safer than smoking.
But still the debate rages and we’re at a crossroads as to how electronic cigarettes are to be treated going forwards. Interestingly, a new study has been carried out that shows that almost 900,000 people used e cigarettes to quit smoking in 2014.
Researchers at University College London have estimated that 891,000 people used e cigarettes to stop smoking in 2014. This was not counting all the people that used other aids such as patches, gum, hypnosis etc. One thing this study shows is the sheer amount of people that are actually trying to quit smoking.
There are around 8.46 million smokers in England and the study found that around 37% tried to quit in 2014, with 28.2% switching to e cigs.
The study follows a separate research that discovered the chances of successfully quitting smoking rises by 50% with e cigarettes, compared to traditional products like patches and gums.
The research conducted by the renowned journal ‘Addiction’ found that the long term rate of quitting smoking rose by 2.5% with e cigarettes, which equates to some 22,000 people.
And to think that not so long ago we weren’t allowed to publicly promote e cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking.
This all goes to show how government meddling in the e cigarette industry could actually be costing tens of thousands of lives. As I’ve said before it’s just plain common sense that vaping is better than smoking, and it’s baffling why institutions like the EU are tying up the industry in red tape.
Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London was not involved in the study, but gave his opinion when he stated that e cigarettes have the potential to reduce fatalities linked to smoking.
How it will all pan out over the next couple of years is anybody’s guess, but if institutions like the EU are as anti-smoking as they claim to be, then it’s high time they started listening to the research carried out by respected bodies like the NHS. Vaping has been proven to help people quit smoking, and it’s been proven to be safer, so it’s about time the demonization of e cigarettes stopped. If meddling governments could allow the vaping industry to grow, then we might just see the end of tobacco addiction. And ironically, this is what they claim to be trying to achieve all along.