The United Kingdom is leading the way in promoting vaping as a smoking alternative, with Public Health England (PHE), who run the annual stop-smoking Stoptober campaign officially advocating e-cigarettes in 2017.
The four-week campaign started on October 1 and PHE are bullish about what Stoptober has been able to achieve since it began in 2012. It’s the UK’s largest stop-smoking movement, with more than one million making the effort to quit via Stoptober. Research used by Stoptober shows that the chances of quitting cigarettes for good are increased five-fold by stopping for four weeks.
Britain is way ahead of the United States in supporting vaping at an official level. The UK’s public health agencies have moved staunchly toward harm reduction, with a ground-breaking report in 2015. On the available evidence, Britain’s public health agencies have largely concluded that people are better off vaping than smoking.
Stoptober has the backing of many of Britain’s most prominent vape groups and organisations, including the Independent British Vape Trade Association (IBVTA). The quirky Totally Wicked has also thrown their weight behind the campaign.
What does the research say?
As vaping and its culture become better understood, studies have increased and the findings are starting to coalesce. In 2017, we’ve seen three studies showing e-cigarettes as an effective smoking cessation tool, and according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, they’re the most popular method too.
The University of California-San Diego also found that vaping smokers make a bigger effort to give up smoking than those who just smoke. This research was conducted using U.S. Census data, and also showed e-cigarette users to have better success in quitting smoking.
The last five years have been transformative for vaping, as a joint study between the Rutgers School of Public Health and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health showed. Research indicated that smokers who vaped on a daily basis were twice as likely to quit as smokers.
The progressive attitude to vaping in the U.K. will hopefully be an example to the rest of the world!