The following content is a guest post. All content and opinions offered in guest posts are solely those of the author. They do not necessarily represent the views of this site. Not that this post was written by an author in the UK where vape shops aren’t hindered by the American FDA’s unfair regulations preventing shop owners from telling the truth about vaping.
The role of vape shops in smoking abstinence
Every year tens of thousands of Brits die as a direct result of smoking. In 2014 alone, 78,000 deaths were attributed to smoking with many more people experiencing long-term health problems because of their habit. Around 19% of UK adults are currently smokers. Although this is down from a high of 46% in 1974, it still means that thousands of people are exposing themselves to unnecessary risks every day.
As smoking takes a significant toll on the country’s health, helping people to quit the habit is a priority for the NHS. In 2014/15, £38.1 million was spent on prescriptions to help people give up cigarettes for good. Up until fairly recently, success rates remained stubbornly low with just 15% of people able to kick the habit altogether. Last year, however, things began to look up. In 2017, an impressive 20% of those who sought treatment for their smoking addiction managed to give up, with e-cigarettes cited as the most popular aid for smokers looking to quit.
These impressive results have led to many experts calling on the NHS to work in conjunction with reputable vape shops in their efforts to reduce the number of smokers across the UK. By taking an even more active role in smoking abstinence, vape shops can help more and more people to quit and improve the country’s health in the process.
Vaping vs smoking
The fact that smoking is harmful to health is undeniable. Cigarette smoke contains over 5,000 chemicals, around 70 of which are known to be carcinogenic. Every time you take a puff of a cigarette you’re pulling these dangerous compounds deep into your lungs where they can cause cancer, emphysema and other serious diseases.
Vaping, however, introduces far fewer chemicals into your body and those that are contained within the vapour have been tested to ensure they’re safe, which is why it hasn’t been banned in the same way as smoking. In fact, according to Public Health England, vaping is around 95% less harmful than smoking. The organisation has been so impressed with the safety and the effectiveness of vaping that it’s run TV ads promoting e-cigarettes as aids for those who want to stop smoking for good.
By raising awareness of the benefits and the safety of vaping, Public Health England has already helped to reduce the number of smokers in the UK to an all-time low. Thousands of people are now quitting smoking every year, many with the help of e-cigarettes.
Vaping shops and smoking abstinence
As all existing vapers will know, vaping shops play an important role in vape culture. Good quality vape shops are run by knowledgeable and enthusiastic owners and these experts are able to offer new vapers a lot of information about the best products for their needs. By helping smokers to find the right e-cigarette for them, vape shops can increase the chances that the smoker will quit their habit for good.
There are now over 2,000 vape shops across the UK with many located on the country’s high streets. By normalising vaping and making it increasingly accessible to smokers, vape shops are already playing an important role in smoking abstinence. If this role were officially encouraged by the NHS and bodies like Public Health England, their impact could be even greater.
Quitting smoking for good
One of the main advantages of using vaping as an aid to giving up cigarettes is that it helps with long-term cessation. Unlike other methods such as gum, patches and plain old willpower, e-cigarettes help smokers to cope with the habits and social elements that are ingrained in their habit. Vaping allows former smokers to still enjoy the ritual of smoking and gives them a whole new range of products that they can explore. By making smoking cessation more interesting and more enjoyable, vaping has dramatically increased the chances of smokers giving up tobacco for good.
The message is getting through
Although almost a fifth of UK adults still smoke, more and more are switching to vaping every year. There are now an estimated 2.9 million vapers across the UK, the majority of whom smoked traditional cigarettes before switching to vapes. Smokers in the UK are now vastly outnumbered by ex-smokers with around 14.6 million people having kicked the habit. Investing in collaborative projects with vape shops could help the NHS to increase this number even further.
As vaping becomes increasingly popular, it’s likely that more and more people will use it to help them give up cigarettes. The more active vape shops are in promoting smoking cessation and encouraging smokers to move from tobacco to vapour, the more of an impact they’ll have on the country’s health.