Half of Yorkshire smokers and ex-smokers would NOT try vaping, new research shows

07 March 2019

Half of smokers and ex-smokers living in Yorkshire and the Humber would NOT try vaping – with many believing it is just as bad for you as cigarettes, a study found.

Researchers found tobacco users are ‘suspicious’ of e-cigarettes and have no desire to give vapes a go - despite health professionals urging them to do so.

Commissioned by Yorkshire Cancer Research, the survey of 844 smokers and 1,156 ex-smokers across the UK also found that two thirds have attempted to kick the habit at one time or another – four times on average – but to date they haven’t managed to stop for good.

Stress, peer pressure and a lack of support were identified as the biggest reasons why they haven’t been successful.

Dr Kathryn Scott, chief executive at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: “Vaping is a great tool to help people quit – and it’s 95 per cent less harmful than cigarettes.

Yorkshire smokers are being encouraged to consider vaping as a tool to quit smoking by Yorkshire Cancer Research

“But everyone is different, so the best way to help you give up is to get support from a local stop smoking service.

“These services understand people smoke for a whole host of reasons and know it is really hard to stop – they can help smokers quit using a method which suits them, whether it be vaping, patches or something else.”

The research found almost nine in 10 smokers and ex-smokers in Yorkshire regret starting to smoke, with the main reasons being the high cost of cigarettes and the lingering smell of burned tobacco. 

Forty-eight per cent believe quitting by going cold turkey is the best method – despite the NHS saying they’re four times more likely to give up for good with support from a stop smoking service.

Surprisingly the number one reason those polled want to quit is not health reasons (36 per cent) – it’s lack of money (48 per cent).

Other motivators include pressure from family or friends (38 per cent), the death of a family member or close friend from smoking (24 per cent) and becoming a parent or grandparent (17 per cent). 

Thirty-three per cent of smokers polled in Yorkshire and the Humber have stuck with the habit because they claim it relaxes them, 33 per cent say they are addicted and 23 per cent continue to puff away because their friends do.

The Yorkshire Cancer Research survey carried out through OnePoll found more than half believe fewer people are smoking because it is not as socially accepted.

And 45 per cent think the smoking ban has had an impact.

Dr Scott added: “There are a whole host of methods for quitting and as the results show, many of those polled think cold turkey is the best way to stop.

“However those who use this method might be suffering needlessly - support makes quitting for good so much easier and so much more likely.”



Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer, Yorkshire Cancer Research. Tel: 01423 877228. Email: nikki@ycr.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  • Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research was founded in 1925 and is the largest independent regional cancer charity in England (Registered Charity 516898). We are not part of a national charity.
  • We are committed to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
  • Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
  • Current statistics show that 583 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
  • We aim to:
    • Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
    • Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
    • Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
    • Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient's journey.
  • For further information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

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