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New Vital Reports Stress the Urgency of Saving the Lives of Smokers

By Grace Lynk 29th November 2023 3 Mins


New vital reports stress the urgency of saving the lives of smokers, with step-by-step recommendations on how best to act in a public health crisis. 

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) have had their latest fact sheet printed in a recent Planetofthevapes Issue, summarising their findings on e-cigarette usage amid adults in the UK. 

The data reveals behaviours, preferences, and estimates, including a statistic stating that as of this year, the population of e-cigarette users in the UK alone will be almost 5 million. 

According to their findings, the scale of people using vapes is at an all-time high of 9.1 percent, with over half the vaping population having used the tools to quit smoking. 

Although 4.7 million people are currently vaping in the UK, ASH reports that 1.7 million, equating to 37 percent, are still using traditional tobacco in addition to e-cigarettes. 

The biggest takeaway from the survey were the identified reasons as to why so many current smokers haven’t made the switch, with twenty percent saying they wouldn’t want to replace one addiction with another. 

Other reasons consisted of thirteen percent of the smoking population not believing that e-cigarettes would help them quit, and 8.4 percent being too uninformed about the safety of vapes. 

The report authors said:

“There is an opportunity to make significant improvements to the health of our nation in just five to ten years, benefitting millions of people, society, our economy and health systems.” 

They continued with:

“Our high level of premature, often avoidable ill health, damages lives, our society, localities, and our economy. 

Without resolute action it will get worse. We must act so that lives are not degraded, and to sustain our health services and labour supply.” 

A new report led by public services expert Lord Filkin, and flanked by the King’s Fund think tank, highlights suggestions that aim to do exactly that, including the prescription of vapes. 

The report states that a commitment to spend on preventative measures should be affordable, suggesting that 10p out of every £1 of the NHS budget would be enough to improve the nation’s health. 

Prescribing vaping devices to smokers would cut down cigarette consumption by three million people, though the report has warned that a clamp down on marketing and sales should accompany this. 

The experts narrowed down the public health priorities to nine areas with specific intervention suggestions for each area, including smoking, air quality, early detection of illness, and health inequalities. 

Of all these priority areas, the report acknowledges that more funding would be needed specifically to reduce the number of smokers in the UK, but suggests that the cost could be subsidised by the tobacco industry. 

Filkin’s report put forward the argument that the poor health of the nation currently costs the government up to £16bn a year, and so following their propositions would not only save lives, but money. 


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Grace Lynk