But Ash said the message that vaping was much less harmful than smoking had not yet got through to all smokers.
More than half of the estimated 2.9 million people in the United Kingdom who use e-cigarettes have given up smoking tobacco, a survey suggests.
For the first time, more than half of the current 2.9million people in the United Kingdom who vape no longer smoke using tobacco at all, the annual data found.
“This is encouraging news as we know that vapers who continue to smoke continue to be exposed to cancer-causing substances”.
Wade wrote that many e-cigarette manufacturers and retailers will now struggle to continue to do business as they are forced to go through a “costly” pre-market tobacco application (PMTA) process for every product they sell.
Electronic cigarettes are getting a generation of teenagers hooked on nicotine, a study has warned.
The researchers found the number of schoolchildren who were smoking both cigarettes and e-cigarettes has risen between 2011 and 2014, suggesting that the trendy devices are a gateway to the harmful habit.
The number of people vaping or using e-cigarettes has quadrupled in the past five years, the annual Smokefree GB survey by Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) found, with many people turning to them for help with quitting or cutting down on smoking tobacco. But more than a quarter of respondents (26%) said they believed e-cigarettes were equally or more harmful than the traditional equivalents, with only 13% saying they were much less harmful than smoking.
Robert West, a tobacco expert at University College London, said: “The fact that we are seeing an increasing trend in the United Kingdom for smokers to switch completely to e-cigarettes rather than using them alongside smoking, together with the fact that quit-smoking rates are at a ten-year high, suggests that e-cigarettes are helping in the battle to reduce smoking rates”.
In 2012, there were 700,000 vapers in the United Kingdom; now there are 2.9 million.
Deborah Arnott, the campaigning health charity’s chief executive, said the figures on vapers who had quit smoking were “excellent news” but that the rate of people switching to electronic versions had peaked.
The survey also find that fruit has usurped tobacco as the most commonly used flavour to use in vapes.
“It’s very important smokers realize that vaping is much, much less harmful than smoking”, she added.
The finding re-enforces claims that e-cigs are a safer alternative to tobacco, the study claims.