Over half of people who used e-cigarettes said their main reason was as an aid to quitting smoking tobacco, according to a 2015 survey on e-cigarette use published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
After the 53 percent who said their main reason was to help quitting, the next most popular reason at 22 percent was because they were felt to be less harmful than cigarettes, with another 9 percent each citing cheapness and the ability to vape indoors.
The survey estimated that there were 2.2 million current e-cigarette users in Great Britain – some 4 percent of the adult population. Among current e-cigarette users, 59 percent said they also used ordinary cigarettes. Two-thirds – 67 percent – of current vapers said that they did so every day, and another 19 percent at least once a week. Of people who had been e-cigarette users but were no longer, 74 percent were now smoking ordinary cigarettes. Fewer than 3 percent of e-cigarette users had not previously been cigarette smokers.
Figures on cigarette smoking show that, in 2014, 19 percent of adults smoked. The figure for men – 20 percent – was the lowest on record, while the 17 percent of women who smoked was unchanged on 2013. Average consumption among smokers was 11.4 cigarettes a day, down from a peak of 16.8 in 1976. Just over one in 10 babies were born to women who smoked. Among women smokers, 63 percent smoked exclusively packeted cigarettes and 28 percent only roll-ups, compared with 50 percent of men smoking only packeted cigarettes and 39 percent only roll-ups.
Commenting on these figures, senior ONS statistician Jamie Jenkins said: “These figures continue a long-term trend for fewer people to smoke cigarettes – only 19 percent of adults today compared with 46 percent when our survey began in 1976. While the majority of people are using e-cigarettes as an aid to quit smoking it seems they don’t work for everyone, as three-quarters of former vapers are still smoking cigarettes.