It only takes a glance at the headlines to realize that electronic cigarettes are booming in popularity. We’ve seen new vape shops popping up in cities around the world and the Internet is full of vaping related sites and ecig retailers. Now a new study has released some surprising new predictions for the future of vaping in the UK. Based on current ecig growth rates, experts believe there will be as many vapers as smokers in the UK by 2018. Since 2012, the number of UK ecig users has tripled from 700,000 to an astonishing 2.1 million.
ASH explains the sudden surge in ecig use by pointing at the dramatic decline in smoking. Most ecig users are former smokers that having turned to electronic cigarettes as a tobacco-free alternative in hopes of minimizing the risks to their health. Co-founder of ecig brand VIP, Dave Levin, said we are just seeing the beginning of the growth of the vaping world. He believes the market “is still growing” and predicts there will be 6 million ecig users in three years.
As vaping climbs in popularity, sales for nicotine replacement products as tumbling lower and lower. Some health experts believe we are seeing the beginning of a new trend that could save millions of lives. Tom Pruen, Chief Scientific Officer of the Electronic Cigarette Industry Trade Association said, “We know that it’s notoriously difficult to give up smoking and the knock-on effects to health can be extremely damaging.”
Preun said the devastating impact of tobacco use cannot be ignored. “In the UK, around 100,000 people die each year due to smoking, and a smoker’s average life expectancy is 10 years less than that of a non-smoker,” he said. “However, for those who have been unable to quit – or who are unwilling to – e-cigarettes offer an alternative without the tar and smoke generated by burning tobacco.”
Many anti-smoking advocates view ecigs as an effective alternative to tobacco that could reduce the overall harm. “Smokers smoke for the nicotine, but it is the tar and other by-products of combustion that kill,” Pruen said. “Therefore, e-cigarettes offer the potential to massively reduce the devastating effects that cigarettes can have on smokers and their families.”
Though Pruen and others like him are supportive of the ecig industry, there are still many critics as well. The World Health Organization has issued dire warnings against using ecigs, but in light of current research, it makes no sense. Why would the WHO oppose these devices if they could potentially save lives? The British Medical Journal released a study that showed that for every million UK smokers that switched to ecigarettes, 6000 premature deaths would be avoided.
It’s clear that ecigs are a better choice than tobacco cigarettes and the world is really catching on to the benefits of vaping. Have you completely given up your old cigarettes since you started using ecigs? How has vaping impacted your life?