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UK Gov Advice For Smokers – Vapers and COVID-19

It’s a bit late but the UK Government has finally released COVID-19 advice for vapers and smokers.

And to be honest, there’s not a lot in the release from Public Health England that we didn’t already know or had figured out for ourselves.

public health England COVID-19 Advice For Vapers

There’s no real evidence on how smoking or vaping affects the likelihood of contracting the virus or how bad it may be if you do one of the two.

However PHE once again says – rightly – that smokers would fair better by quitting completely or making the switch.

The main points are:

  • If you smoke, you generally have an increased risk of contracting respiratory infection and of more severe symptoms once infected. COVID-19 symptoms may, therefore, be more severe if you smoke
  • Stopping smoking will bring immediate benefits to your health, including if you have an existing smoking-related disease. This is particularly important for both you and for our NHS at a time of intense pressure on the health service
  • E-cigarettes (vapes) can be an effective aid to stopping smoking and staying smokefree
  • It is currently unknown what effect vaping may have on susceptibility to severe disease if you are infected with COVID-19
  • for most people vaping remains significantly less harmful than smoking and it is very important that you avoid returning to smoking
  • Visit Smokefree for information and advice on stopping smoking

As far as advice for vapers goes, PHE says:

Vaping involves repetitive hand-to-face movements, which provide greater risk of a route of entry into the body for viruses. To reduce the risk of contact with COVID-19, you should:

  • wash your hands more frequently than usual, for 20 seconds, with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer if soap is not available)
  • clean your e-cigarette regularly

Public Health England (PHE) strongly advises against sharing any vaping devices.

PHE’s 2018 independent e-cigarette evidence review found that, to date, there have been no identified health risks of passive vaping to bystanders.

There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can be caught from passive exposure to e-cigarette vapour, but in the absence of evidence, we recommend that vapers avoid exhaling clouds of vapour in the presence of others.

The part I’ve highlighted may be useful if you’re ‘challenged‘ whilst out in public…

Banning Flavours Means More Smokers

It’s not rocket science but a new study proves that banning e-liquid flavours means more smokers.

The research comes from the National Library of Medicine, and is titled β€œThe Impact of a Comprehensive Tobacco Flavour Ban in San Francisco Among Young Adults.”

denmark flavour ban plan e-liquids ethra

The results were pretty startling showing any form of flavour ban results in less use of e-cigarettes and cigars, whilst smoking rates increased significantly.

It’s yet another nail in the coffin of the ridiculous suggestion that flavours attract children – with even a recent report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] proving as much.

I wrote about that study back in May – Flavours Are NOT the Reason Kids Turn To Vaping!

Yet still the politicians and anti-vape activists keep droning on about ‘protecting the kids’ from e-liquid…

Maybe turn your attention to the opioid crisis that has killed thousands of kids across the pond…

But hey – there’s no headlines or soundbites in that very real issue…Big Pharma money and donations..?


‘Poorer’ Smokers More Likely To Vape Longer

It’s us ‘poor folk‘ that’s keeping the vape industry alive and growing according to new research πŸ™‚

OK, the researchers are calling us ‘disadvantaged‘ or people from ‘lower socioeconomic groups‘ – both just posh ways of saying ‘poor‘ truth be told.

nigel farage vaping
Rich vaper..?

Anyway, the study was funded by pro-vaping charity Cancer Research UK and looked at long term smokers that have quit for a year or more.

It found that e-cigarette use had increased from 3.3% in 2014 to 10.4% in 2019.

Of the 34,442 former smokers quizzed, it found:

13.5% of those in lower socio-economic groups reported using e-cigarettes compared to 8.2% in more affluent groups.

That works out as us poor folk are a whopping 60% more likely to continue vaping after quitting smoking than the richer folk.

Lead author Loren Kock, from the University College London [UCL] said:

Socio-economically disadvantaged smokers are thought to be more dependent on nicotine, due to generally taking up smoking at a younger age and smoking more cigarettes per day and such dependence might encourage greater use of e-cigarettes following quitting for pleasure, to satisfy cravings and potentially prevent relapse to smoking.

Co-author Professor Jamie Brown said:

We know e-cigarettes help people to quit smoking and are much less harmful than cigarettes.

However further research is needed to understand the consequences of longer-term use by former smokers, particularly whether e-cigarette smoking affects a later return to cigarette smoking.

Maybe if Barbour – Gucci or Land Rover bought out a vape device the rich might vape a little longer…

Or is that me being a socio-economicist..? Pretty sure that ism exists these days – if it doesn’t it will soon and therefore – I predict a riot

BAT Blames Pandemic For Poor Sales

British American Tobacco [BAT] will not be reaching it’s ambitious financial goals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A slump in sales of the company’s Vype vape products has meant it will now be 2025 before they hit the projected $5 billion target.

vype epen 3 colours
Vype 3

BAT was hoping the surge in sales from its vape arm would arrest the global slowdown of lit tobacco sales – however some new launches have been put on hold.

The company told shareholders:

Covid-19 has disrupted consumer activation plans, reducing overall industry growth rates in new categories,” BAT told shareholders on Tuesday.

It has also led to the scaling back or postponement of some launches, as well as causing supply disruption and out-of-stocks earlier in the year.

While the vapour category continues to recover following the global slowdown in the second half last year, the US market remains below historical levels.

BAT was due to bring out new products including oral tobacco and heat not burn devices.

Hong Kong HNB Sales Surge?

The Government of Hong Kong has failed in its bid to ban heat not burn products.

The Legislative Council bills committee had been looking at the law banning HNB and ‘alternative smoking products‘.

IQOS tobacco vaping device

The move for an outright ban failed leaving those in favour vowing to try again.

Head of the Tobacco and Alcohol Control Office, Dr Fung Ying, said:

We anticipate an increase in the use of heated tobacco products in future because we have failed to ban…

At the present stage, our most urgent task is public education about the risks of heated tobacco products and to guard against the misleading claim that they bring a lower risk and observe the trend.

…even though the number of people using alternative smoking products is not high, the government will continue to closely monitor the situation and step up its efforts on publicity regarding the hazards of these products.

Compared to mainland China smoking rates are relatively low in Hong Kong and the laws on vaping is a little cloudy to say the least.

Nicotine is classed as a poison and those found to be in possession or selling an ‘unregistered‘ nicotine product could face a $100,000 fine and/or 2 years’ imprisonment.

Vaping and smoking is banned in public places and both have a fixed penalty of $1,500.


A quiet few days in the world of vaping for a change πŸ™‚

More vaping news on Sunday

Until then – if you, your shop or vape company has a story let me know!

Contact: neilh @

I have simpler vape tastes these days - I never leave home without a Caliburn G, a Vaporesso Luxe 40 or Innokin EQ FLTR and a CBD vape pen or bottle of CBD drops in my rucksack...or indeed an Aspire Nautilus Prime X in my pocket... At home I'll be using various mods topped with the GeekVape Zeus X RTA or the Signature Mods Mono SQ topped with the Augvape BTFC RDA... I'm a former journalist and now a writer and sometimes author... I'm ex Army - adore dogs and never happier than hiking over the hills or with a good book on a beach.


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