The UK based organisation for Action on Smoking Health (ASH) has revealed another large increase in the number of people switching to electronic cigarettes from traditional cigarettes.

Their recent report has shown over the past four years, a steady increase of regular usage of electronic cigarettes by adult smokers in Britain, of around 2% a year, demonstrating a consistent growth of the e-cigarette market.

However over the past year this figure has increased by 4% - from 7% of adult smokers, to 11% - representing a doubling of growth in this period.

"ASH estimates that there are 1.3 million current users of electronic cigarettes in the UK. This number is almost entirely made of current and ex-smokers; with perhaps as many as 400,000 people having replaced smoking with electronic cigarette use."

Furthermore ASH’s research presents that although e-cigarette usage is up, within this there is very little evidence of usage amongst under 18’s, with almost none in the under 16’s group.

Gamucci has always supported legal efforts to prohibit sales of e-cigarettes to under 18’s, and have put in place measures both in stores and online to prevent purchases by underage people of our products, and this is a very encouraging result of the responsibility undertaken by e-cigarette brands.

Many UK brands, coinciding with the debut of a tobacco company’s own e-cigarette brand on television at the turn of this year, have been criticised for applying a lifestyle positioning to their marketing. Critics argue that that a lifestyle brand positioning ‘re-normalises’ the act of smoking, making it attractive to youngsters and creating a gateway to future tobacco use. In fact there is no evidence to suggest e-cigarettes are a gateway to tobacco - rather the opposite.

A recent survey of over 5,000 people by STS (Smoking Toolkit Study conducted by University College London) found that less than 0.5% of electronic cigarette users would consider themselves non-smokers prior to commencing e-cigarette use.

Alongside this information, ASH's report goes on to discuss a number of the larger questions around electronic cigarettes including the debate of them being confused with traditional cigarettes in public places.

Their reports discerns that although "electronic cigarettes look similar to conventional cigarettes", the basis of the confusion between the two products should rest primarily on their lack of smoke, or smell, contemplating that "that the most distinctive feature of cigarette smoking is the smell of the smoke, which travels rapidly, and that this is absent from electronic cigarette use, it is not clear how any such confusion would be sustained."

This particular section of the report would be challenged by the many public establishments who have already implemented a ban on e-cigarettes, including JD Wetherspoon who argue that the similarity between e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes from a cosmetic point of view is enough to force a ban, fearful of confusion reigning across their nationwide portfolio of pubs and bars.

Additionally the report seeks to ascertain that "the absence of risk from “secondhand” inhalation of vapour from electronic cigarettes has been described as an “often unconsidered advantage” of electronic cigarettes" - suggesting that places where second-hand smoke poses a health risk to others, including both public and private places, electronic cigarettes can provide a positive alternative to smoking.

If you'd like to find out more about ASH's report head over to ASH Report, or if you'd just like some information about e-cigarette's or us here at Gamucci, don't hesitate to get in contact via mail@gamucci.com or on Twitter / Facebook