Research: E-cigarettes

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on whatsapp
Share on linkedin

Trends in Vaping & Smoking in England following the rise of Disposable Vapes

According to the findings of a study based on nationally-representative monthly survey data (July 2016 – May 2023)1,  post-disposables, the overall prevalence of inhaled nicotine use (smoking & vaping combined) in England increased across all age groups. Pre-disposables (before June 2021), the prevalence of inhaled nicotine use had been stable or declining.

Following the launch of modern disposable vapes (i.e. effective – in terms of nicotine delivery, affordable, convenient, concealable), use of e-cigarettes increased sharply in England – with the most pronounced rise observed among the young adults. Vaping prevalence among the 18-24-year-olds increased from 9% in May 2021 to 29% in May 2023 (from 10% to 17% for the 25-44-year-olds and from 5% to 6% for those aged 45 or older).

Despite a tripling in vaping among young adults, smoking continued to decline at the same rate pre- and post-disposables. As a result, downward trends in inhaled nicotine use have reversed – with prevalence of inhaled nicotine use being up from 28% in May 2021 to 35% in May 2023 among the 18-24-year-olds.

Researchers conclude that prior to June 2021, UK’s lenient approach towards e-cigarettes seemed to encourage adults to switch from smoking to vaping while avoiding excessive nicotine use among young people. However, launch of disposables (e.g. Elf Bar, Puff Bar, Lost Mary) resulted in the rapid increase of vaping prevalence among young adults, including among those who have never regularly smoked cigarettes.

Recall: Disposable vapes will be banned in the UK from April 2025. For further details, refer to Regulation: E-cigarettes.

Study Links E-Cigarette Use with Higher Risk of Heart Failure

According to the findings of a large study presented at the American College of Cardiology’s Annual Scientific Session2, people who use e-cigarettes are 19% more likely to develop heart failure compared with those who have never used them. Breaking the data down by type of heart failure, risk increase was significant for heart muscle becoming stiff and failing to properly fill with blood between contractions.

For the study, the researchers used data from a large national study of US adults to analyze associations between e-cigarette use and new diagnoses of heart failure in 175,667 study participants (an average age of 52 years and 60.5% female). Of this sample, 3,242 participants developed heart failure within a median follow-up time of 45 months. While calculating the heart failure risk increase, researchers accounted for a variety of demographic factors (age, sex), socioeconomic factors, other heart disease risk factors and participants’ substance use history (alcohol and tobacco products).

The findings are claimed to be in line with previous studies conducted in animals (i.e. e-cigarette use affecting the heart in ways that are relevant to the heart changes involved in heart failure). Other human studies to date have also shown links between e-cigarette use and some risk factors associated with developing heart failure – however, coming short of establishing a direct connection between e-cigarette use and heart failure (allegedly, due to the study design and sample size limitations).

Trends in Harm Perceptions of E-Cigarettes

University College London researchers examined how the harm perceptions of e-cigarettes (compared with cigarettes) have evolved since 2014 among the adult smokers in England3. They found that harm perceptions of e-cigarettes have worsened substantially over the last decade: the proportion of adult smokers, who believed e-cigarettes were less harmful than cigarettes, declined from 44.4% in Q4 2014 to 26.7% in Q2 2023. In the same period, the proportion, who thought e-cigarettes were more harmful, doubled to 23.3% (- the weight of “equally harmful” also increased slightly to 33.7%). Thereby, majority of the adult smokers (57%) in England now believe that e-cigarettes are equally or more harmful than cigarettes.

The evolution of perception over time was nonlinear. The timing of the two most notable changes in harm perceptions coincided with the EVALI outbreak in 2019 (short-lived, returning to pre-2019 levels by the end of 2020) and the recent increase in youth vaping in England since 2021.

Researchers observe that public health statements and media reports have often overstated the potential risks of e-cigarettes – resulting in substantial misperceptions about the harms of vaping (compared with smoking). They underscore the need to clearly communicate the risks so that adult smokers can make informed choices about the nicotine products.

In the UK, National Health Service (NHS) lists e-cigarettes as a “Stop Smoking Treatment”. To read more: Smoking Cessation Products


  1. ↩︎
  2. ↩︎
  3. Trends in Harm Perceptions of E-Cigarettes vs Cigarettes Among Adults Who Smoke in England, 2014-2023 | Public Health | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network ↩︎

Call Request:

We will reach out to you within 24 hours to discuss your request. Please note that we only respond to requests with a valid business e-mail address
Disclaimer: The content in our Market Pulse section is/shall not be construed as investment advice. It is for informative purposes only and does not take into account the individual needs, investment objectives and specific financial circumstances. Any action taken upon the information in our Market Pulse section is strictly at the reader’s own risk. We assume no responsibility or liability for the actions taken. Moreover, we also assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in our content – which is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness even if we only depend on the infromation sources that are believed to be accurate.

Session Request

We will reach out to you within 24 hours to discuss your request. Please note that we only respond to requests with a valid business e-mail address