Last month, two NHS hospitals controversially opened vape shops on-site as part of an initiative to help more people stop smoking traditional tobacco products.

Vaping makes NHS inroads

However, this may prove controversial due to a lack of evidence on the long-term effects vaping has on health. Backing vaping is part of the NHS’ Smokefree strategy, which claims vaping has helped 1.5 million people completely stop smoking and that it is 95% less harmful than traditional smoking. However, this decision has been opposed by those who believe vaping serves as a gateway to smoking for young adults.

Public Health England showed that one in six children aged 11-18 has tried a vape, with the availability of numerous flavours being one key incentive. Currently, in the UK there is little legislation in place that protects minors from vaping.

Many researchers have studied the effects of vaping on health, but the long-term effects caused by vaping are still unknown.

According to GlobalData’s Q4 2016 survey, 57% of UK consumers found e-cigarettes appealing due to their health aspect, compared to 20% who found cost appealing and 20% were attracted by the flavours on offer.

Although most agree vaping is not deemed as harmful as smoking tobacco, the debate remains heated and the endorsement of vaping by NHS hospitals will surprise many.

Advocates of vapes are adamant that the products will help prevent people from smoking.

Vaping has grown into a $4.4 billion industry and is showing no signs of stopping. Health-conscious consumers are realising the negative effects of smoking but want to retain some of the habits associated with it; therefore it is likely that the number of people vaping will continue to rise. Tobacco companies have already recognised that smokers are actively switching to vaping and are therefore buying shares in vaping companies and developing their own vape brands.