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Home News Vaping’s ‘major role’ in record low smoking rate shows harm reduction works: NNA

Vaping’s ‘major role’ in record low smoking rate shows harm reduction works: NNA

December 20, 2022

REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File Photo

The New Nicotine Alliance (NNA) has welcomed the recent ONS smoking prevalence figures, terming its as a “ringing endorsement of vaping as a successful nicotine alternative” for people wishing to quit smoking.

According to the ‘Adult smoking habits in the UK: 2021’ report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), published on 6 December, adult smoking prevalence in the UK has decreased in 2021 to a record low of 13.3 per cent, and the ONS said vaping devices have played a ‘major role’ in the decrease in smoking prevalence.

“As advocates for tobacco harm reduction, we are obviously encouraged by these data which align with the experience of our trustees and many of our associates and supporters who have managed to quit combustible tobacco by using vaping products instead,” the NNA said in a statement.

The organisation noted that smoking rates decline faster in countries where lower risk nicotine products are regulated sensibly, showing that harm reduction works.

“Japan and South Korea are seeing dramatic reductions in cigarette sales since heated tobacco products hit the market. In the case of Japan, by over 50 per cent. Similarly, in Scandinavia, where snus is the dominant cigarette substitute, smoking rates are significantly lower than in the rest of Europe where it is unwisely prohibited by the EU. There is also considerable potential for further drops in smoking numbers by the recent introduction of nicotine pouches to markets around the world” it added.

The NNA called on the UK government to ensure wider availability of all safer nicotine products, not just e-cigarettes.

“It is laudable that the UK government leads the world by embracing vaping and recommending smokers switch, with positive messaging coming from smoking cessation services and on the NHS website, but we would like to see more recognition and acceptance of other alternatives for those for whom vaping doesn’t work,” it said.

“Ultimately, we would like to see the government regulate products on the basis of the relative risks they present and put in place a tobacco and nicotine policy which distinguishes between combustible and non-combustible products rather than whether or not they contain tobacco.”