More than 70% of people in Munster back vaping as part of a strategy to reduce tobacco smoking

16 June 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

White smoke: There is near-universal agreement that the smoking of tobacco is harmful to health, but the jury is still out on ‘vaping’.

A new Amárach Research survey (commissioned by PJ Carroll – a firm which was famous for tobacco but now is re-focusing on vaping) questioned some 1,000 adults in Ireland The results were that more than 70% of people in Munster, including Cork, think that the Government should use vaping as part of its strategy to reduce the smoking of traditional tobacco.

Across the channel, the UK’s Government and health authorities already include vaping as a major part of their strategy to reduce the UK’s smoking rates, which have plummeted in recent years.

According to Amárach’s survey on ‘Irish attitudes towards Vaping,’ 72% of people in Munster believe that the Irish Government should adopt a similar approach.

Amárach also found that there was strong support for increasing the accessibility of vaping for smokers looking to make the switch, and for making information about vaping more readily available.

In addition, 68% of people believe that vaping products should be available in Irish pharmacies, and there was majority support for smokers being able to access information on vaping from GPs, from the Department of Health and from the HSE’s Quit.ie website.

Simon Carroll, the General Manager of PJ Carroll – one of Ireland’s leading providers of high-quality vaping products – said that the findings showed that there is a major public appetite for more information from health professionals and the Government on vaping products as an alternative to smoking.

“The findings from the Amárach survey show that people in Cork and elsewhere throughout the province recognise the need for the Government to take a fresh look at the impact that vaping is having on smoking rates in Ireland,” Carroll said.

“According to the Department of Health’s statistics on this subject, contained in Healthy Ireland 2018, 41% of successful quitters used vaping. Moreover, the vaping rate among ex-smokers increased by 30% in the last year.

“Thousands of Irish people are looking at vaping to get off – and stay off – smoking, and yet the Government continues to overlook the most popular – and cost effective – tool for smokers looking for an alternative.”

Carroll also drew attention to the need for more research in this area, given the public demand demonstrated by the survey, as well as the widespread misinformation which exists in this area.

“More than 80% of people nationwide want the Government to conduct more research on how vaping helps people to switch. We need policymakers to look at the research that is out there, and to start providing consumers with the evidence which could change the lives of many of the 800,000 smokers in this country,” Carroll said.

Facts & Figures

  • The Amárach Research report on ‘Irish attitudes towards Vaping’ was based on a survey of 1,000 adults, which was carried out in June 2019.

  • Participants in the survey were asked a number of questions about their perceptions of vaping products (also known as e-cigarettes).

  • The sample was quota controlled to be representative of the adult Irish population aged 18 and older.

  • The breakdown of the key findings for the Munster region are attached – if you would like to see the breakdown for the other regions, and if you would like to read the entire Amárach report, feel free to get in touch and we will send you a copy.

  • The research was conducted on behalf of PJ Carroll, one of Ireland’s leading providers of vaping products.

Healthy Ireland 2019 Report – key findings on tobacco and vaping:

  • The smoking rate in Ireland has fallen from 20% in 2018 to 17% in 2019.

  • 5% of the population vape, an increase from 4% in 2018.

  • 38% of those who made an attempt to quit smoking over the last year used a vaping device during this attempt.

  • Use of vaping among ex-smokers rose by 30% over the last year. While the use vaping among ex-smokers stood at 10% in 2018, it increased to 13% in 2019.

  • Vaping among non-smokers remains extremely low, at just 1%.

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