More smokers kicked the habit in Hammersmith and Fulham than anywhere else in London between 2017 and 2018, according to Public Health England (PHE).
PHE’s data was collated by Vape Club for Vaping Awareness month last month, and World No Tobacco Day on the 31 May, and showed 7.7% of smokers in Hammersmith and Fulham borough quit using the NHS expert face-to-face support service.
PHE also found that nearly 1 in 5 people – at least 20,000 per year – who switched to vaping successfully quit, nearly double the number of participants who just used alternative nicotine replacement methods.
Founder of online vaping retailer Vape Club and UK Vaping Industry Association board member Dan Marchant said: “Vaping gives a real alternative to traditional smoking cessation products, and as the study shows, they are actually twice as effective.”
PHE’s data follows a February study published in New England Journal of Medicine which found e-cigarettes – when combined with expert face-to-face support – meant smokers were twice as likely to quit than those who used nicotine replacement therapy.
Mr Marchant said: “Vaping is a genuine replacement for smoking. You inhale and exhale a visible vapour that appears similar to smoke, and this in turn gives you the nicotine hit you are after.”
“You are mimicking the actions and enjoyment of smoking, but taking away the vast majority of risk.”
Public Health England claimed vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes as using a vaporiser does not produce any tar, so there is a lowered risk of carcinogens.
Simon Clark, the director of the smokers’ rights group Forest, agreed that e-cigarettes have helped 1.5million smokers quit completely and some prefer vaping to smoking.
Yet, he added: “The problem is that for many smokers e-cigarettes may be safer but they are not as pleasurable as traditional cigarettes.
“That is the challenge the companies have to address and to their credit they are working hard to do so.
“Ultimately it’s a question of choice.”
Currently, 14.6% of Londoners smoke, close to England’s average of 14.9% of the population.
Richmond upon Thames has the second lowest smoking rate in London after Harrow, and followed by Ealing.
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