Our Vaping Review of 2022
The year 2022 has been a period of significant developments and challenges for the vaping community. On one hand, there have been positive advancements in the recognition of vaping as a viable cessation tool for smoking. However, there have also been negative developments, such as proposed advertising restrictions and increased taxation on vaping products, that threaten to impede the progress of the vaping revolution.
In February, the Scottish Government proposed changes to the Tobacco Control Action Plan (2018) that would treat vaping similarly to smoking, making it more difficult for smokers to access cessation tools and perpetuating the misconception that vaping is as harmful as combustible cigarettes.
On a more positive note, in May, New Zealand reported a historic low in smoking rates, which can be attributed in part to the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products (Vaping) Amendment Act 2020 that supports adult vaping while discouraging underage use.
In June, the independent review of the UK government's "smoke-free 2030" plans by charity executive Javed Khan included recommendations that would greatly support vaping, such as promoting it as an effective quit tool and increasing taxes on tobacco products.
Moreover, in September, a report by Action on Smoking Health (ASH) revealed that a record number of 4.3 million people in the UK now use e-cigarettes, with the majority being ex-smokers. However, this report also highlighted the ongoing misconceptions about vaping, as 33% of adults believed vaping to be more harmful than smoking.
Finally, in November, the European Union announced plans for a new tax on smoking products, which would disproportionately affect vapers by increasing the cost of e-liquids and vaping-related items.
Overall, while 2022 has seen both progress and setbacks for the vaping community, it is imperative that accurate information and support continue to be provided to aid smokers in switching to vaping as a less harmful alternative. The future of vaping in 2023 remains uncertain, but it is crucial that legislators and policymakers consider the potential benefits of vaping for public health.