It’s been more than 50 years since we discovered that smoking can kill you. In 1962, the Royal College of Physicians presented a detailed report on the dangers of smoking and the number of people smoking has since been cut in half. If you aren’t a smoker, then you probably have the RCP to thank!
But even in the year 2016, most of us still know someone who smokes. Maybe a grandparent, a friend or a work colleague. In fact, there are still 9 million people who smoke in the UK, and sadly half of these people will die of smoking-related diseases. In this day and age, it’s a real tragedy that some of us are still losing loved ones to smoking-related diseases.
You might be thinking to yourself “why don’t these smokers just quit?”. The truth is that it’s exceptionally hard to quit smoking; much harder than many of us non-smokers realise. You may be able to quit for a little while by going cold turkey, but the long-term success rate for cold turkey quitters is super low — between 3 and 5%.
If you take twenty smokers and ask them to try and quit cold turkey, only one of them will succeed.
But in the last few years, we’ve seen something strange happen. Not only are smoking rates falling, but they’re falling faster than ever before. The male smoking rate is at the lowest level ever recorded, which has to be good news!
These low smoking rates are undoubtedly tied to a new trend — vaping. Vaping doesn’t contain tobacco, so vapers don’t end up with carbon monoxide in their bloodstream or tar in their lungs. E-cigarettes can contain nicotine, but vapers are able to choose a level which suits them, from similar to cigarette strength right the way down to zero. This is important because it means that a vaper who wants to quit smoking can gradually adjust their nicotine intake all the way down to nothing, if that’s what they’d like to do.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be worrying about whether vaping is safe or not. Could vaping simply be the new smoking? It’s a good question, and thankfully it’s not one that we have to attempt to answer by ourselves. The Royal College of Physicians, the same people who exposed the dangers of smoking back in 1962, have written up a two-hundred-page report on vaping. And the results are great news.
The RCP has found that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, which is the same thing that Public Health England found last year. They also found that vaping is not ‘re-normalising smoking’ and that e-cigarettes can be an effective quitting aid.
This means that smokers who swap over to vaping are doing their health a huge favour — and they don’t have to struggle cold turkey either!
If you are a smoker who would like to quit (or simply know someone who is struggling to quit smoking), I hope that you find this post useful. Below I’ve included an infographic from the Electric Tobacconist on how vaping is saving lives.
Image source via https://www.electrictobacconist.co.uk/