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Ethnic Minorities Less Likely to Vape Despite Increased Risk of Smoking Harms

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Ethnic minority groups face higher risks of developing smoking-related diseases but are less likely to try e-cigarettes, according to a new report.

The research, published in the journal Addiction, found that it is less common for smokers of Asian, Arab and other ethnic backgrounds than those of White ethnicity to try to reduce their cigarette consumption with an e-cigarette or vape when they are unable to smoke.

The report used data from UCL’s monthly Smoking Toolkit Survey from April 2013 to September 2019.

A total of 18 percent of smokers surveyed reported using e-cigarettes or traditional nicotine replacement therapy to either cut down on smoking or when smoking was not permitted.

The odds of e-cigarette use were 26 percent lower among Asian smokers and 49 percent lower among smokers of Arab/other ethnicity that White smokers.

Research shows that people from ethnic minority backgrounds face a higher risk of developing smoking-related illnesses.

NICE guidance says that reducing smoking prevalence among these groups could have a huge impact on reducing health inequalities.

Meanwhile, the study also found that the odds of nicotine replacement therapy use were 42 percent higher among people of mixed and multi-ethnicity groups.

Lead study author, Dr Emma Beard, said:

“E-cigarettes are substantially less harmful than traditional cigarettes and can help smokers quit cigarettes.

“The best approach is to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking altogether but there is some evidence that using e-cigarettes to cut down on cigarette smoking may reduce smoking-related harm.

“Our study suggests that segments of the population that are at higher risk for smoking-related harm appear less likely to use e-cigarettes.”

E-cigarettes have been shown to be up to three times more successful at helping smokers quit than nicotine patches and gums.

In February, Public Health England (PHE) published its Vaping in England 2021 report.

The report found that e-cigarettes were overall both the most popular and the most successful stop-smoking aid in England.

Source: EurekAlert!

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