World Vape Day: Reducing Tobacco Harm, One Day At A Time
May 30 marks World Vape Day. Although e-cigarettes have only been available in the market for less than 20 years, they are making their presence felt globally in reducing harm from tobacco. As of 2021, there are an estimated 55 million e-cigarette and heated tobacco users around the world. In the UK alone, e-cigarettes have helped over 3 million smokers transition away. Otherwise, as many as 6 million people die yearly from smoking-related causes.
Studies have shown that e-cigarettes are up to 95% less harmful than conventional cigarettes. Where this should be a cause for celebration, unfortunately the vaping industry continues to face many hurdles, misunderstandings and opposition. In some countries such as Singapore and Thailand, vaping is banned outright where smoking isn’t. Even in certain countries where vaping may be allowed like the United States of America, many flavours are banned under the excuse that they entice the underaged to take up a vaping habit to subsequently become a gateway into smoking. e-cigarettes have also been mistakenly cited as equally or even more dangerous than cigarette smoking despite the increasingly empirical studies that suggest the opposite instead..
AIRSCREAM UK chose to operate out of the United Kingdom for good reason. The UK is perhaps the most progressive and forward thinking nation in recognising the role e-cigarettes can play in curtailing smoking. With an ambitious target to eliminate smoking altogether by 2030, the UK has been the biggest proponent of e-cigarettes as a quit tool.
This isn’t just blind faith either: the UK is actively funding studies to determine the long-term effects of vaping, and maintains strict quality standards in ensuring the safety of vapers. As a result, cigarette smoking in the UK is at an all-time low. The UK is also very proactive in drafting up anti-tobacco legislation and in ensuring vape devices are not accessible by the underaged and non-smokers.
E-cigarettes in their many shapes and forms have helped millions of smokers quit, with the UK reporting 3 million so far.
The UK’s effort and staunch support of vaping is neither misplaced nor in vain: already countries like New Zealand and Australia are following in the UK’s footsteps and recognising the role e-cigarettes have in helping smokers quit. Indeed, studies have shown that when combined with effective counselling, e-cigarettes were by far the most effective form of quitting smoking, being twice as effective than other quit tools such as nicotine gum, patches or snus.
World Vape Day is a timely reminder of how far e-cigarettes have come since their inception, but we still have a long way to go yet. Due to its recentness, there remains a great deal of mistrust and misinformation about vaping that have unfortunately affected both public perception and government policy towards vaping. The entire e-cigarette industry needs to be proactive in preventing youth access to vapes, reducing its carbon footprint and wastage (especially notable with disposables), and operating in a hygienic and transparent manner to allay these fears and mistrust. Every smoker who has managed to quit with the help of e-cigarettes is a victory for us, and that is the reason AIRSCREAM UK exists.