Record vaping sales in South Korea amid an overall smoking rate decline.
With a growing body of evidence highlighting its efficacy as a smoking cessation aid, many smokers have taken up vaping as a reduced-harm alternative to smoking. Smokers note the reduced costs compared to smoking, overall improvement of smell and lung function, and ability to vape more freely than they were able to smoke as reasons for switching.
Sales of vapor products continued to rise in South Korea during the first six months of 2019. Overall vapor sales were up 24.2% from a year ago, contrasting a 27.6% plunge in sales of conventional tobacco products.
Anti-vaping activists and officials in South Korea have questioned vapings efficacy as a smoking cessation aid. Meanwhile, members of the vaping community have praised the news for continuing to showcase the utility of vaping as a tool for smoking cessation.
The news comes amid a rise in vaping bans across the globe. It’s important for governments to highlight this kind of information to help even the discourse surrounding vaping to allow a balanced discussion about its potential risks and benefits.
Sales Continue RIsing
Smokers in South Korea have quickly taken up vaping as a long-standing smoking ban continues to widen throughout the nation. The South Korean government has continued to raise taxes on tobacco, ban smoking in public spaces, and even begun installing anti-smoking alarms throughout select cities in the country.
South Korean officials released figures showing sales of vapor products reached 193.6 million units during the first six months of 2019. Sales of cigarettes had plummeted from 1.67 billion packs to 1.47 billion packs.
The government has noted a reduction in tax revenue from the decline in tobacco sales. Officials states the reduction is attributed to less tobacco consumption and reduced imports after Japanese tobacco company JTI ceased South Korean production in 2018.
The information comes at a time where governments across the globe have been enacting hasty regulations against vaping. It’s important for governments to remain impartial and unbiased, and highlight data showcasing the efficacy of vaping even when it goes against a pre-established narrative created by lawmakers.
Vaping Over Smoking
Evidence continues to mount highlighting the efficacy of vaping as a smoking cessation aid and reduced harm they pose to consumers in comparison to smoking. In studies conducted by Public Health England and the Roswell Park Cancer Center, researchers found vaping to be a minimum of 95% safer and 93% safer than smoking, respectively.
These studies show that vaping may be the single greatest tool we can give smokers to help them quit and help win the war against tobacco. In a study from the University of Louisville, researchers found vaping to be the single most effective smoking cessation aid available today, even beating out prescription nicotine replacement therapies such as Chantix.
Pivotal research published by the Journal of Aerosol Sciences found vapers have a 57,000 times lower risk of developing cancer in comparison to smokers. The study concluded that particulate matter found in vapor is much less harmful than the larger carcinogenic particles found in smoke.
Despite the evidence supporting the efficacy of vaping as an reduced-harm alternative for smokers, the general public continues to be misled through excessive misinformation perpetuated by lawmakers and the media. A study conducted by Public Health England found that only 13% of adults believe vaping is safer than smoking, with a staggering 26% saying they believe it’s just as harmful if not worse.
These figures from the Japanese government come during some of the most regulatorarily hostile times for the vaping industry, with local and national governments enacting their own bans against vaping products at an unprecedented rate.
Impartial facts being released to the public that may otherwise counter a false narrative drummed up by anti-vaping activists and parroted by public health officials are vital in helping to balance the discourse surrounding vaping. For too long the discussion has been one sided with fake news comparing vaping to smoking despite growing evidence to the contrary.
Members of the vaping community should hold officials accountable when they restrict the rights and freedoms of responsible adults from making their own decisions. On the other hand, we should recognize when governments are taking steps in the right direction to be impartial and help provide a balanced discussion on vaping as a whole.
Responsible adults should be able to make informed decisions on what they consume, but have unrestricted freedom to do so. The vaping community must remain vigilant in civic engagement to ensure a balanced discussion surrounding our passion.
Do you feel there is an uneven narrative surrounding vaping as a whole? Has vaping potentially helped you reduce or even quit smoking? Should more governments highlight publicly available information that goes against popular narratives? Let us know what you think in the comments below. Be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check back here for all the latest news surrounding vaping and the vaping community.
(Image Credit – Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/photos/people-adult-woman-smoke-a-3252561/)