E-CIGARETTE use is rising across Wales and more tobacco smokers are quitting the habit.

The figures revealed in a YouGov survey by Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) Wales reflect the growth in e-cigarette use across Great Britain, where nearly half as many people 'vape' as smoke.

New data published by ASH shows that there are now an estimated 3.6 million vapers compared to 7.2 million smokers in Britain.

In Wales seven per cent of the adult population now vape, compared to 17 per cent that smoke. This compares to five per cent of the population in 2018, when 19 per cent of adults smoked.

However, there has also been an increase in the numbers of ex-smokers who now vape.


The National Survey for Wales shows that, in 2017, 52 per cent of e-cigarettes users also smoked cigarettes. This fell to 47 per cent in 2017/18.

Across the UK the number of vapers who are ex-smokers reached 54.1 per cent in 2019 with the main reason given for using e-cigarettes being to help them quit.

Of those surveyed by ASH Wales, 74 per cent of e-cigarette users cited health as their main reason for vaping.

Suzanne Cass, chief executive of ASH Wales said: “The rise in the numbers of ex-smokers who now vape in Wales shows that many smokers are using e-cigarettes to quit.

“Indeed, when coupled with behavioural support e-cigarettes have been shown to be one of the most effective ways to give up smoking, enabling thousands of smokers in Wales to break a habit that destroys lives.

Penarth Times:

“However, with more than double the amount of people in Wales smoking compared to vaping, we still face a major challenge when it comes to changing people’s behaviour and de-normalising what has become an entrenched habit in many of our most deprived communities.”

Despite the increase in the number of people vaping, the survey also revealed perceptions of the relative harm of e-cigarettes compared to tobacco cigarettes have worsened.

Now almost a third of people in Wales believe e-cigarettes are equally or more harmful than tobacco cigarettes.

Suzanne Cass said: “There is work to be done when it comes to raising awareness of the relative harm of e-cigarettes compared to tobacco cigarettes and addressing concerns about the safety of vaping.”

Since the survey was carried out, reports of a possible link between e-cigarette use and deaths from lung disease in America have led some medical experts to warn of the dangers of vaping.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention many of those vapers affected had used products with liquids containing cannabinoid products.

E-cigarettes are regulated in the UK in line with a set of European-wide rules by the medicines regulator, the MHRA. The MHRA also monitors adverse reactions through its yellow card system, which to date has not identified serious respiratory problems similar to that found in the US.

Meanwhile vapers in the UK are urged by ASH to only ever purchase e-cigarettes from reputable suppliers.