Public Health England (PHE) is urging smokers to make switching to vaping a key New Year’s resolution for 2019.

Its new Health Harms campaign, which features a short film about the dangers of smoking, is designed to combat the misconceptions that many smokers still have about vaping.

While around 2.5 million adults in England now use e-cigs, 44% of smokers still wrongly believe that vaping is as harmful as smoking.

The PHE film features two health and smoking experts demonstrating the high levels of cancer-causing chemicals and tar inhaled by an average smoker over a month, compared to not smoking or using a vaping device such as an e-cig.

The film visually demonstrates the fact that vaping has been found to be at least 95% less than smoking.

Professor John Newton, director of health improvement at PHE, said: “It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cig are being put off due to false fears about safety.

“We need to reassure smokers that switching to an e-cig would be much less harmful than smoking. This demonstration highlights the devastating harms caused by every cigarette and helps people see that vaping is likely to pose only a fraction of the risk.

“We want to encourage more smokers to try and quit completely with the help of an e-cig, or by using other nicotine replacement such as patches or gum, as this will significantly improve their chances of success.”

Meanwhile, new research from vaping brand blu reveals that switching from smoking to vaping has made it into a list of the nation’s ‘modern’ New Year’s resolutions for 2019.

According to blu, 29% of smokers plan to switch to vaping this January, while 89% of people surveyed said they believed new technology – including fitness trackers and vape pens – could help improve their quality of life.

“Vaping has grown to become a major trend in the UK and with 40% of UK smokers having never tried vaping, these new findings reinforce the opportunity available for retailers to make the most of this category at this important time of year and help customers make the switch to something better,” a spokesman for blu said.

“Unlike online and vape stores, traditional retailers usually offer both tobacco and vaping products for sale.

“This, combined with their unique relationship with their loyal shoppers who trust their advice on which products to buy, means that independent retailers have a strong competitive position in helping their adult smokers switch to something better in 2019,” he added.