A British Health charity, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), released new statistics that show the number of e-cigarette users in Britain has tripled over the past two years. The results may have major consequences for entrepreneurs and their e-cig merchant accounts.
Deborah Arnott, Ash chief executive, states “The dramatic rise in use of electronic cigarettes over the past four years suggests that smokers are increasingly turning to these devices to help them cut down or quit smoking. While usage among non-smokers remains negligible.”
Ash’s research reveals that British e-cig users increased from 700,000 in 2012 to approximately 2.1 million in 2014. Of new users, one-third were ex-smokers, while two-thirds were current smokers. The number of users who described themselves as ex-smokers increased in proportion to previous years.
The research also shows that the use of electronic cigarettes among non-smokers was negligible (0.1%), and only 1% of people who ‘never’ smoked reported trying e-cigs. Though only one of a growing number of studies currently conducting research on e-cigarette use, the Ash study combats many of the fears and speculations of opponents of e-cigarettes, who believe that they are a ‘gateway’ to traditional cigarettes for non-smokers.
“While it is important to control the advertising of electronic cigarettes to make sure children and non-smokers are not being targeted,” Arnott continues, “there is no evidence from our research that e-cigarettes are acting as a gateway into smoking.”
The Ash survey also addressed the public perception of the safety of electronic cigarettes. It reported that more than 35% of British adults believed that e-cigs were beneficial to public health, while 22% of adults disagreed.
The leader of the study, Professor Robert West, comments, “Despite claims that use of electronic cigarettes may normalize smoking, we have found no evidence to support this idea. However, our study finds that electronic cigarettes may help to reduce smoking as more and more people use them to quit.”
Studies like the ones conducted by Ash are steadily revealing the truth about e-cigs and their benefits to public health, as scores of traditional smokers turn to e-cigs for a safe and satisfying alternative to smoking. There is still a wealth of opportunities for e-cig entrepreneurs to open e-cig merchant accounts.
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