E-cigarettes may be helping disadvantaged smokers to quit
New research confirms that low numbers of young people are vaping (using e-cigarettes), with vaping more common in young people from disadvantaged households who had never smoked before.
The study, led by the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow and published today in BMC Public Health, also found that while disadvantaged adult smokers were less likely to have quit smoking, this inequality was smaller among those who vaped, suggesting vaping may be helping this group of smokers to quit. The findings highlight that vaping has the potential to either widen or narrow socioeconomic inequalities in health in the future. The study analysed data from almost 40,000 young people and adults in 2015-2017 from Understanding Society, the UK Household Longitudinal Study.
The researchers found that among 10 to 15-year-olds who had never smoked, those from disadvantaged households had a higher risk of vaping. However, vaping was rare in this age group in general, with only around 3% of young people using these devices. Among over 18,000 adults (aged 16+) who had ever smoked, those in disadvantaged households were less likely to be ex-smokers, but this difference was smaller among adults who vaped.
The use of e-cigarettes began to rise in the UK from 2011, with approximately 7% of adults using them in this study. While the health consequences of long-term vaping are largely unknown, expert opinion regards vaping as substantially less harmful than smoking, and vaping may help smokers to quit.
The study found no evidence of inequalities in vaping among adults who had never smoked or were currently smoking. More advantaged adult smokers were more likely to have quit smoking, but this inequality was smaller among those who vaped.
(Content Courtesy: https://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_710118_en.html)