Vaping and tobacco companies back government's Stoptober campaign

Alys Key
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Vaping is now being encouraged by Public Health England to combat smoking (Source: Getty)

The UK's e-cigarette industry has welcomed the inclusion of vaping in this year's government-backed Stoptober campaign.

The initiative, which encourages the British public to quit smoking, will feature vaping in its TV adverts for the first time.

The UK Vaping Industry Association (UKVIA) applauded the move, calling it "hugely significant".

It follows the publication of a Tobacco Control Plan earlier this year, in which public health minister Steve Brine backed the deregulation of vaping after Brexit in order to encourage more smokers to make the switch.

Read more: Brexit is Britain’s chance to cut red tape on vaping

A spokesman from the UKVIA said: "Public Health England's commitment to encourage smokers to switch to vaping in Stoptober is hugely significant to our nation's health. The government's Tobacco Control Plan set out their intentions to promote vaping as a viable alternative to smoking and it is encouraging to see that this was more than just warm words. It feels that at last the tide is beginning to turn; the UK is leading the way on vaping as an effective tool to reduce and stop smoking related disease."

UKVIA represents several vaping companies, as well as tobacco companies JTI, Philip Morris and British American Tobacco which have all invested in next-generation products including e-cigarettes in recent years.

Read more: As e-cigarette sales heat up, BAT shakes up its corporate structure

A representative for BAT's Vype division said: "For many years we have highlighted that vaping can be an alternative to smoking which is why we have, and continue to, invest heavily in innovative next generation products. We are dedicated to offering consumers alternatives to cigarettes - and to reducing the public health burden of tobacco.”

Explaining the decision to include e-cigarettes, Public Health England's director of health Professor John Newton said: “E-cigarettes are now the most popular way to quit in the country with half of all those taking part in Stoptober last year using an e-cigarette. The evidence is clear—vaping is much less harmful than smoking—a fraction of the risk."

Read more: The number of smokers in the UK has fallen to an all-time low

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