For the first time, the majority (52%) of the UK’s adult e-cigarette users are ex smokers, according to a new study.

A YouGov study, commissioned by ASH, found that of the estimated 2.9 million UK vapers, 1.5 million have since stopped smoking compared to 1.3 million who still smoke tobacco products.  

The main reason given by ex-smokers who are currently vaping is to help them stop smoking, while for current smokers the main reason is to reduce the amount they smoke, the study reveals.

The number of adults who vape has more than quadrupled from 700,000 in 2012, when ASH first collected figures, according to the survey of 12,696 adults.

The research also shows that many people are over-estimating the risk posed by e-cigarettes, with only 13% of respondents recognising that e-cigarettes are a lot less harmful than smoking, while 26% think they are more or equally harmful.

Public Health England’s independent review of the latest evidence found that vaping is around 95% safer than smoking.