Research & Analysis

ACCORDING TO A NEW STUDY, UK SMOKERS CONFUSED ABOUT THE RISKS OF SMOKING VERSUS THE POTENTIAL OF VAPING AS A HARM REDUCTION ALTERNATIVE

JUUL Labs has called for more to be done to educate smokers of the dangers of combustible cigarettes. 

The company whose mission is to impact the lives of the world’s one billion adult smokers, has released new findings that show UK smokers are still misinformed about the health risks associated with smoking. 

Dan Thomson, UK Managing Director for JUUL Labs commented: “Smoking kills up to half of those who smoke and is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK. Despite multiple studies from leading health authorities asserting that vaping is less harmful than smoking, the public remains unaware. This is a public health crisis – more must be done to ensure smokers can make an informed decision about vaping and any other methods which could help them switch away from combustible cigarettes”. 

The research showed that concerning misconceptions still exist around various components of cigarettes and vaping products, most especially about nicotine. 

The components associated with the harm, death and disability of cigarette smoking are linked to the tobacco and ultimately to the c7,000 toxins, including key carcinogens, that are released during its combustion[2]. Nonetheless, 50% of smokers still wrongly believe that “nicotine causes cancer”[1]. Paradoxically, 60% claim to fully understand the health risks associated with smoking yet continue to smoke nonetheless. 

The majority of smokers also remain in the dark on the potential benefits of switching to vaping with two-thirds (64%) unaware that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking – the assertion of Public Health England[3], part of the UK Department of Health and Social care, following a landmark review of the scientific evidence. 

Recent evidence from scientific studies also showed that when quitting, a standard e-cigarette was twice as effective at helping smokers to quit – as opposed to using a combination of other nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) (18% vs 10%)[4]

John Dunne, Founding Director, UKVIA commented: “These findings are yet another reminder that much more needs to be done to help more of the UK’s 7 million smokers switch to a less harmful alternative. It’s surprising to us that up to 40% of smokers still are yet to try vaping and that’s why we are using VApril this year to help smokers learn about how making the switch can be a life changing decision”. 

More information on the UKVIA, the VApril campaign and continued efforts in providing adult smokers with a less harmful alternative to combustible cigarettes, please visit: www.ukvia.co.uk, www.vapril.org and www.JUUL.co.uk

ENDS 

About the research All data points, unless otherwise stated below, are from research conducted by OnePoll between 15/03/2019 and 25/03/2019 of 1,000 adults aged 25+ who smoke and 1,000 adults aged 25+ who’ve quit smoking in the last 5 years 

1. Research from Annual update of Public Health England’s e-cigarette evidence review by leading independent tobacco experts: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/e-cigarettes-and-heated-tobacco-products-evide nce-review 2. Research from the World Health Organization shows that Tobacco kills up to half of its users: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco 3. An expert independent evidence review published by Public Health England (PHE) concluded that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking. Key findings of the review included that “the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking”: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/e-cigarettes-around-95-less-harmful-than-tobacco-esti mates-landmark-review 4. A major UK NIHR funded clinical trial was published in February 2019. Involving nearly 900 participants, it found that in Local Stop Smoking Services, a standard e-cigarette was twice as effective at helping smokers to quit compared with the quitters’ choice of combination nicotine replacement therapy (NRT): https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2018/02/20/clearing-up-some-myths-around-e-cigarett es/