Despite the clear public health consensus in the UK that vaping is dramatically less harmful than smoking, there are still many smokers reluctant to give it a go.
To try and turn those stats around, for the second year running, April saw the UKVIA aim to encourage some of the 7.5 million smokers in the UK to switch on to vaping in VApril, our month-long national vaping awareness campaign. Fronted by high-profile TV Doctor Christian Jessen, the campaign was launched in Leicester Square London with the New Nicotine Alliance and industry representatives.
Across the UK, smokers were challenged to swap the cigarettes to vaping by taking the Switch On to Vaping Plan, a guide written for smokers by vapers with the New Nicotine Alliance. In 10 cities nationwide, a total of 47 vape stores offered Masterclasses to give local smokers the best chance of quitting with access to free expert advice, a free starter kit and a specialised plan to work from. This year over 500 smokers took up the challenge UK-wide, with Cardiff making a VApril record helping a total of 210 smokers start the Switch On to Vaping plan within just 3 weeks.
This year, we also wanted to encourage vapers and non-vapers alike to talk about the benefits of vaping. So throughout the month ex-smokers-turned-vapers lent their voice to the VApril Speak Up for Vaping initiative to offer their advice and support for those trying the make the switch to vaping. Bringing together vapers with parliamentarians and some the industry’s key thinkers, the initiative created a groundswell of support for vaping and called for employers, colleagues, friends and family members to encourage others to make the smoker to vaper switch.
John Dunne, UKVIA board member said, “We launched VApril in 2018 to raise awareness amongst smokers in the UK that vaping is one of most effective and enjoyable ways of quitting smoking.
“Since the Public Health England declared that vaping is 95% less harmful than smoking, we’ve seen an increasing number of smokers successfully make the vaping switch. Yet according to Public Health England, 40% of UK smokers are still yet to give it a go.
“Through our Switch On to Vaping and Speak Up for Vaping initiatives we were able to show smokers across the UK the real-life benefits of starting vaping instead and received a fantastic response from those who took up the challenge for VApril.”
For more information about VApril please visit www.vapril.org