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Home » Government Don’t Know how many Vapers will Return to Smoking after Disposables Ban

Government Don’t Know how many Vapers will Return to Smoking after Disposables Ban

April 4, 2024

Yesterday Government Minister, Andrea Leadsom was asked by Adam Afriyie MP whether she had done a risk assessment of vapers returning to smoking in the event of a disposable vape ban. Given that smoking represents a death sentence to around half who are unable to quit, it is clearly imperative that restricting access to the most effective quitting tool is not taken lightly. However, despite the fact that nearly a third of adult vapers use disposables (ASH, 2023), the Government’s impact assessment concluded that the number who might return to vaping was ‘difficult to quantify’ and so the issue will essentially be ignored, as will the potentially fatal consequences.

Dr. Sarah Jackson at UCL recently published research looking at who would be affected by a disposable vape ban. “1.2 million people who currently smoke and would benefit from switching to e-cigarettes completely, and a further 744,000 who previously smoked and may be at risk of relapse.”

The researchers said that it was important to support disposable vapers to swap to a different kind of vape instead of returning to smoking. Plus, they found that disposable vapes are more commonly used by those in lower socio-economic classes and those with mental health conditions. “While banning disposables might seem like a straightforward solution to reduce youth vaping, it could have substantial unintended consequences for people who smoke.”

Predicting outcomes is often difficult to quantify, but where there is risk you would hope the Government assesses it correctly. This will become increasingly important as the Government looks at further vape restrictions such as on flavours. As a survey conducted by Evapo recently showed, as many as two thirds of vapers may return to cigarettes if the Government restrict vape flavours.

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