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The best thing smokers can do for their health is to quit smoking. However, many do struggle to get rid of this bad habit. To help them, Mr. Hon Lik introduced the first modern e-cigarette to the world in 2003; though the first original model was already patented in the 1960’s. As he stated in an interview for the Spectator, he knew from the very beginning that it was going to be revolutionary product.

Vaping's impact on public life

All around the world, people turn to e-cigarettes as a far less risky alternative to smoking, mainly in order to reduce their tobacco intake or quit smoking. In the EU´s Eurobarometer survey on the attitude of Europeans towards tobacco and electronic cigarettes, 61% of respondents who use e-cigarettes said that they started using e-cigarettes in order to reduce their tobacco intake or to quit smoking.

31% stated that they began using electronic cigarettes as they see it as a healthier option than cigarettes. As studies in United Kingdom (UK) have shown, for many even the best prescribed anti-smoking medications still left around two thirds of smokers continuing to smoke and that is why, with 3 million UK users, e-cigarettes are the most popular quitting aid.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, within the U.S., less than a third of smokers have even used an approved means of quitting, despite the fact that two thirds of them want to quit.

No wonder people are looking for more alternatives in their way to quit smoking, other than conventional nicotine replacements.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding e-cigarettes. Much of it is largely the result of misinformation, or failure to understand the products’ potential benefits.

Hon Lik
and E-cig Invention
Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters
Hon Lik and E-cig Invention

The major drive for his efforts was death of his father, who was diagnosed with cancer. After this personal loss, Hon Lik devoted his research to finding new ways of help for quitting smokers. And in the breakthrough year of 2003 he came up with first device based on ultrasound technology with an atomization principle that vaporized liquid, and had it patented.

Since that time e-cigarettes have gone through intense development and nowadays devices work with battery powered heating systems.

61% of respondents started using e-cigarettes in order to reduce or quit smoking

31% started using of electronic cigarettes as they see it as a healthier option than cigarettes

Public health England concluded in their independent reviews that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than tobacco

It would make great sense for national governments and health organizations to develop reasonable regulatory frameworks for e-cigarettes. However, national approaches to treatment of e-cigarettes vary greatly. Many countries ban e-cigarettes or put them on a more disadvantageous level than traditional cigarettes. Many have however openly recognized the great opportunity and benefit e-cigarettes bring for public health.

The United Kingdom has thus far led the charge in researching e-cigarettes and in developing a reasonable regulatory framework for them.

Public health England concluded in their independent reviews that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than tobacco

The UK´s Public Health England (PHE) has presented a highly positive view of vaping in its updated “Evidence review of e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products 2018”. The report of this agency of the Department of Health recommends the government encourage the use e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking and to avoid over-regulation. In the past, PHE concluded in their independent reviews that that e-cigarettes have the potential to help smokers quit and that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than tobacco.

E-cigarette safety: the facts explained with major harm reduction experts
E-cigarette safety: the facts explained with major harm reduction experts
Public Health England: E-cigarettes vs Cigarettes
Public Health England: E-cigarettes vs Cigarettes

A billion people are to die from smoking traditional cigarettes. Watch an award winning documentary from Aaron Biebert and learn who's keeping it that way

Other views on vaping around the world

United Kingdom

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom belongs among states that are known for their positive approach toward vaping and electronic cigarettes. Their overall attitude towards vaping is carried in a positive way not only within those health organizations that agree that electronic cigarettes are of benefit to the public health and are an essential part of tobacco harm reduction strategy, but also by the British government. This approach is reflected in the national Tobacco Control Plan for England published by the Health Department of UK government.

Its main objective is to generally decrease the prevalence of smoking adults and young people in England. In 2017, for the first time in history of the annual ‘Stoptober’ campaign backed by UK’s government, vaping has also been acknowledged as an efficient means that helps smokers to quit. For example, the Cumbria County Council is openly encouraging smokers who struggle with quitting to switch to electronic cigarettes.

Associations in favor of e-cigs: Public Health England, Royal College of Physicians, Cancer Research UK, Action on smoking and health (ASH), ASH Wales, ASH Scotland, British Heart Foundation, NHS Scotland etc.

Read more from Public Health of England debunking inaccuracies and misconceptions about e-cigarettes and vaping and how e-cigarettes can help in the creation of a smoke-free National Health Service. 

Germany

Germany

Germany is another of countries that have taken road toward positive attitude with regards to vaping . In governmental report ‘Drogen und Suchtbericht 2017’ conclusion has been made that electronic cigarettes are significantly less harmful than tobacco. 

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand also sees e-cigarettes as promising form of cessation aid. On March (2017), the NZ Government announced a plan to legalize nicotine containing e-liquids and electronic cigarettes in order to further support the Smokefree 2025 goal. In its official statement, the Ministry of Health said: “We believe e-cigarettes have the potential to make a contribution to the Smokefree 2025 goal and could disrupt the significant inequities that are present.” In New Zealand's Regulatory Impact Statement a complex review of the known facts about vaping is provided with the clear message that, even though there are still limitations with lack of long-term studies, it is clear that electronic cigarettes are significantly less harmful than combustion cigarettes. Read New Zealand´s Massey University associate professor of public health Marewa Glover, saying smokeless products like vapes are the key to reducing smoking rates.

France

France

In France, The Addiction Federation (Fédération Addiction), which represents associations throughout the French-speaking world, published an article about vaping in the 2018 edition of its international magazine “Addiction(s): recherches et pratiques”. The publication, supported by the French Directorate General of Health (DGS), says e-cigarettes are presented as “new, modern, fun, inexpensive and healthier than tobacco”.

USA

USA

The American Cancer Society (ACS) released a statement taking a more positive stance towards vaping products. It recommends to clinicians that smokers “should be encouraged to switch to the least harmful form of tobacco product possible; switching to the exclusive use of e-cigarettes is preferable to continuing to smoke combustible products”.

Watch more vaping in news videos

UK´s Royal Society for Public Health review of e-cigarettes
Scientists back vaping as at leat 97% better alternative to smoking
Watch Italian users of e-cigarettes talking about their experience
UK´s Royal Society for Public Health review of e-cigarettes
Scientists back vaping as at leat 97% better alternative to smoking
Watch Italian users of e-cigarettes talking about their experience

Vaping business is growing

Global e-cig industry (in USD bln.)

BusinessWire.com:

Global Vape Market Worth USD 32.11 Billion by 2021

Goldman Sachs:

“Imagine a product that is possibly by 99% less harmful than cigarettes, delivers a similar user experience and offers a better economic bargain - this is the proposition of electronic cigarettes.” Source: Judy Hong, Goldman Sachs

Wells Fargo:

“Consumption of e-cigs could surpass consumption of conventional cigs within the next decade (by 2023).” Source: Bonny Herzog, Wells Fargo

More science

There is much mistrust, lack of clarity and myth around using e-cigarettes and vaping. The scientific evidence is increasingly clear that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than smoking tobacco.

In the Headlines

A recent 2018 report release by the US National Academy of Sciences confirms that, despite the opposition to vaping by many anti-tobacco groups and state health departments, use of these products is much safer than smoking, and there are no known long-term health effects associated with vaping.

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