Research by Ash has revealed that the number of adults using e-cigarettes has risen to the highest-ever level.

The Smokefree GB survey, carried out for ASH by YouGov, found that the proportion of the adult population using e-cigarettes has increased this year to 8.3%, the highest-rate ever, amounting to 4.3 million people in Great Britain.

According to the research, most current vapers are ex-smokers (57%) however this is lower than that proportion’s peak in 2021 at 64%. The main reason given by ex-smokers for using vape products is to help them quit (29%). The next most common reasons are to prevent relapse (19%); because they enjoy the experience (14%), and to save money (11%).

The main reason given by current smokers for vaping are to cut down on smoking (17%), to save money (16%), to try to help them quit (14%) and to prevent relapse (13%).

The most frequent type of e-cigarette device used by UK adults is a refillable tank system, with 65% of current vapers reporting this type as their main device. Vapes with replaceable cartridges and disposable vapes were the main type of device for 17% and 15% of vapers, respectively.

The use of disposable vapes has risen, particularly among younger adults and among 18-24 year olds, with 48% of these demographics using disposables as their main type in 2022, an increase from 2.8% in 2021.

The research found that for those who have tried vaping and used cartridges, JUUL has risen to the most popular brand (19%), followed by Logic (17%), Vuse (16%), Vype (16%) and blu (14%).

From an awareness point of view - in 2022, 94% of smokers and 92% of the general population had heard of e-cigarettes or vapes. This contrasts with 2012, when 49% of adults responding to the same question were aware of them. The number of e-cigarette users grew from around 700,000 in 2012 to 4.3 million in 2022.