smoking rate decreased in iceland

Thanks in part to vaping, Iceland smoking rates are going cold.

Only nine percent of Icelanders smoked daily in 2017, a five-percent drop over the previous three years, according to a Directorate of Health report.

Along with the decline in smoking, there was a one percent increase in e-cigarette usage.

“There’s no other way to interpret these figures than that increasingly, people are quitting smoking and starting to vape,” Dr. Guðmundur Karl Snæbjörnsson said.

The newsletter report also indicated the number of Icelanders who smoke both tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes have decreased and nearly half of regular vapers quit.

An outspoken advocate, Snæbjörnsson said vaping is “a great blessing” and worried the country’s proposed e-cigarette laws could negatively affect the recent trends.

A proposed bill intended to restrict consumption, marketing, and sales of e-cigarettes is currently being reviewed by Iceland’s parliament. Snæbjörnsson remains wary.

“There are so many limitations and so many more than there ever have been on the cigarettes that we know are killing over half of the people who use them in the authorized way,” Snæbjörnsson said.

The drop in Iceland smoking rates parallels findings throughout the world, according to vapingpost.com. The United Kingdom, for example, boasts it has more 500,000 fewer smokers than three years ago. The UK, which has Europe’s second-lowest smoking rate, behind Sweden, endorses e-cigarettes as a way to help quit tobacco smoking.