May 29, 2024

4 Reasons to Celebrate World Vape Day and No Tobacco Day

World Vape Day is taking place on 30 May, one day before the WHO’s World No Tobacco Day. The choice of the date is not coincidental and is chosen precisely to showcase that vaping and other harm reduction tools are one of the most efficient ways to help smokers quit.

In this article, we'll gather studies that underscore vaping's effectiveness as a smoking cessation tool and address misconceptions about vaping's risks compared to smoking.

1. Vaping is the most successful smoking cessation tool.

According to a recent Cochrane Review analysis of 78 studies, e-cigarettes show more success in helping people quit smoking than traditional nicotine-replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches and gums.

"The most important finding from our recent review update is that for the first time there is high certainty evidence that nicotine e-cigarettes are more effective than traditional nicotine-replacement therapies, such as patches, gum or lozenges, in helping people to quit smoking," said study co-author Ailsa Butler, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Oxford's Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, in the UK.

Source: Andrew Harnik, AP, File

2. In the short and medium term, vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking.

In 2022, UK experts reviewed the international evidence and found that in the short and medium term, vaping poses a small fraction of the risks of smoking.

In 2021, only 34% of adults who smoked accurately believed that vaping was less harmful than smoking. Only 11% of adults who smoked knew that none or a small amount of the risks of smoking were due to nicotine. Inaccurate perceptions need to be addressed.

Source: nhs.uk

3. Using a vape along with expert support increases the likelihood of successfully quitting smoking.

Almost two-thirds of people who use a vape along with support from a local Stop Smoking Service successfully quit smoking.

Local Stop Smoking Services in the UK provide free expert advice and support. Sessions are usually held once a week for four weeks after the last cigarette. Evidence shows that people who manage to quit for 28 days are more likely to quit for good.

4. Better communication about the health risks of tobacco is needed so that adults who smoke can make informed choices.

A significant portion of the public wrongly believes that vaping is as harmful as smoking, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open. The research is based on survey responses from 28,393 smokers in England between 2014 and 2023.

However, evidence indicates that e-cigarettes are substantially less harmful. Public health initiatives could benefit from correcting these misconceptions to promote smoking cessation.

Lead author Dr. Sarah Jackson from UCL Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care) said, "This misperception is a health risk in and of itself, as it may discourage smokers from substantially reducing their harm by switching to e-cigarettes. It may also encourage some young people who use e-cigarettes to take up smoking for the first time if they believe the harms are comparable."

The overlap of World Vape Day and World No Tobacco Day highlights the need for action on smoking cessation. Recognizing vaping's effectiveness in reducing harm can guide policymakers to prioritize public health. Celebrating on May 30th isn't just about acknowledging vaping; it's also a reminder to support conventional tobacco smokers who are trying to quit.

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