London, UK — Tomorrow, on 8 March, the United Kingdom celebrates its annual health awareness day, ‘No smoking day’, to encourage more smokers to quit. The World Vapers’ Alliance, a global vaping consumer organisation, urges the UK government to keep embracing vaping as a smoking cessation tool and embrace ‘No Smoking Day’ as an opportunity to push back against pressure to treat vaping like smoking.
Michael Landl, Director of the World Vapers’ Alliance, said:
“The UK is a smoking-cessation champion and harm reduction leader worldwide. Smoking rates have fallen by more than 29% in the last decade since vaping became widely popular, and the government must double down on embracing vaping. The broad adoption of vaping due to strong political backing is why smoking rates decrease faster than in other countries. ‘No Smoking Day’ should celebrate the UK’s achievement and not be endangered by vaping scaremongering.”
Politico recently reported that some ministers are considering imposing higher taxes on vaping products, and enforcing new regulations on packaging and flavours in response to the Khan Review published last year. This would endanger the progress achieved by fully embracing vaping for smokers.
“Politicians must withstand the pressure from anti-vaping groups, the WHO, and other countries who are ignoring scientific facts and the success of the UK. Caving-in would be a disaster for smokers and current vapers. Higher taxation over vaping products and equalling vaping with smoking instead of adopting a risk-based regulation will push many vapers back to smoking and not help current smokers to switch to a less harmful alternative”, added Landl.
Compared to the EU, smoking rates in the UK have fallen twice as fast. Last month, the UK was crowned as one of the tobacco harm reduction champions by the World Vapers’ Alliance in the Tobacco Harm Reduction Policy Primer.
World Vapers’ Alliance is a global consumer movement that amplifies the voices of more than 55,000 vapers worldwide. WVA urges the UK to support vaping and other smoking alternatives to remain a leader in tobacco harm reduction.