Barnet Council supports adult vaping
Barnet Council supports the recent statements released by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and London Tobacco Alliance, who are tackling misinformation about vaping by calling for responsible media coverage and sharing clinically proven and accurate information.
Dr Tamara Djuretic, Joint Director of Public Health and Prevention, Barnet Council and The Royal Free London Group, and Cllr Alison Moore, Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board at Barnet Council, say:
“We support the use of nicotine vapes that meet UK regulatory standards as an aid for adults to stop smoking.
"For a smoker, smoking tobacco is clinically proven to be far more harmful than switching to vaping. The inaccurate reporting about adult vaping in the media is a cause for concern as it is likely turning smokers away from an aid to quitting that works, and so will substantially improve their health outcomes in the long term.
"We recognise that vaping is not risk-free, so if you don’t smoke already, we urge you not to vape.
"The promotion of e-cigarettes to children is a serious issue that needs stricter regulation, to reduce their affordability, appeal and accessibility to children and young people. But, we must at the same time ensure adult smokers are not discouraged from using vaping to help them quit smoking.”
Vaping vs smoking: the facts
- Although not risk-free, vaping is less harmful than smoking tobacco.
- Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the UK. It kills almost 75,000 people every year in England alone.
- Smoking is the leading cause of health inequalities and is a direct cause of poverty.
- Passive smoking is a risk factor for poor health in mothers and babies, with outcomes including miscarriage, stillbirth and sudden infant death syndrome. Passive smoking is also a significant cause of death and disability in children.
- In 2023, more than a quarter of adult smokers have never tried vaping to help them quit smoking, even though it is one of the most effective quitting aids. A likely reason for this is the negative and inaccurate media attention that adult vaping receives.
- Vaping is not a gateway into smoking. If vaping were a gateway into smoking, as vaping increases, we would start to see smoking rates increase. Instead, while e-cigarette use grew rapidly in England between 2010-2021, smoking rates among children continued to fall.
Chief Medical Officer for England on vaping - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) The Chief Medical Officer, Professor Sir Chris Whitty, has put the case very succinctly, “The key points about vaping (e-cigarettes) can be easily summarised. If you smoke, vaping is much safer; if you don’t smoke, don’t vape.”
The cost of smoking in Barnet – figures taken from ASH Ready Reckoner - ASH
Each year, smoking costs Barnet an estimated £105.3M:
- Healthcare: £10.8M
- Productivity loss: £88.1M
- Social care: £4.6M
- Fires: £1.8M
As of 2021 data, 10.5% of adults smoke in Barnet, which is about 31,000 people.
Smokers are 3 times more likely to quit with professional help. For local support to help you stop smoking, visit: www.barnet.gov.uk/stopsmoking