Home Health & Wellness Use of Vapes in the UK: Stats for 2024

Use of Vapes in the UK: Stats for 2024

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With the UK Government rolling out a disposable vape ban in January 2024, the team at UK ECIG Store were curious to explore how this change has influenced vaping trends and attitudes nationwide. With this in mind, they surveyed 750 vapers aged 18+ following the ban announcement.

Their study takes a deep dive into why people vape, their concerns about the ban, and how they might adapt to further regulations, like flavour restrictions and increased taxes. 

The UK’s vaping habits

The NHS found that, although it’s not likely to be completely harmless, vaping is substantially less dangerous than smoking. That’s probably the reason why, when asked why they initially started vaping, the main reason was to quit smoking – 45% of our survey respondents said this.

Interestingly, when asked about the reason for still vaping today, this motivation remains strong, with nearly 25% of respondents using e-cigarettes to stop smoking.

Another important factor driving people to vape was to save money, with almost 15% citing it as a key reason.

What’s more, almost 15% said they began vaping to socialise and because their friends were doing it.

The UK’s thoughts on the disposable vape ban

When asked about changing their vape usage over the next year, nearly 30% of respondents indicated no plans to change, while 15% intended to increase their vape usage.

Several factors could be driving this trend, one of which is the high cost of cigarettes. As cigarette prices climb, vaping emerges as an appealing and cost-effective alternative.

20% of respondents to our survey said that if they were unable to access their vape, they would resort back to smoking traditional cigarettes.

The increased cost of vaping 

Over 20% of people are concerned about the increased cost of vaping following the disposable vape ban, UK ECIG Store’s survey suggests.

The UK Government is set to follow in the footsteps of other European countries like Italy and Germany by introducing a tax on vapes. This move aims to restrict access to vapes for those under 18. However, the proposed tax, expected to be disclosed in the March 2024 Budget, might increase prices by at least 25%, despite concerns that it could drive people back to smoking.

Nevertheless, our survey revealed that over 40% of respondents would continue vaping even if additional taxes were imposed.

The loss of vape flavours 

The UK Government, along with Scotland and Wales, is contemplating restrictions on vape flavours. The rationale behind this decision is the concern that fruity and sweet flavours may appeal to younger consumers and encourage them to start vaping. However, authorities aim to strike a balance, as a study conducted by London South Bank University suggests that flavouring vaping products can assist adults in quitting smoking.

This survey backs this up, as over 20% of vapers said they’d go back to smoking cigarettes, pushing people further in the opposite direction.

Plus, the effectiveness of flavour restrictions may be called into question, as our data indicates that it would only deter slightly over 35% of vapers. Over 30% would continue using non-flavoured vapes and liquids regardless.

How to stop smoking

The most significant statistic that came out of the survey was that over 40% of current vape users would either take up or go back to smoking regular cigarettes if a ban was put in place.

Here’s Harris’ advice for how you can stop smoking: “In early 2019, UK ECIG Store was a supply partner for a three-year study with Queen Mary’s University, which showed that e-cigarettes are twice as likely to help smokers quit when compared to traditional nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).”

“However, if e-cigarettes aren’t the route you want to take, then getting NRT from your local pharmacy or over-the-counter will be a step in the right direction. Either way, tracking your progress will help keep you on the right path and allow you to celebrate milestones on your journey.”

“Why not try writing down the reasons why you want to stop smoking? This will serve as a powerful reminder of your motivations. Surrounding yourself with a supportive network of friends, family, or online communities can also provide encouragement and accountability on your path to quitting.”

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