An Icelandic doctor credits vaping with contributing to the dramatic decline in smokers in Iceland, calling it “a great blessing” for Icelanders’ health.
In 2014, 35,000 Icelanders self-identified as smokers, comprising 14% of the population. In 2017, only 9% of Icelanders smoked, or about 22,000 people, Vísir reports. This decrease of about 40% is attributable in part to an increasing in vaping, doctor Guðmundur Karl Snæbjörnsson told reporters.
Not only have cigarette sales themselves dropped by 50% from 2008 to 2017, but vaping has been on the rise. In total, some 20,000 Icelanders vape daily or less.
“Smoking has been falling like a rock like we’ve never seen before,” Guðmundur told reporters. “The biggest contributing factors have been mouth tobacco and vaping, which have clearly been wiping smoking out.”
Iceland currently has no clearly defined laws about the contents, sale and distribution of vaping products. Although a bill was introduced last year that set limits in vaping fluid strength and quantities, that bill was strongly opposed by vape shop owners and ended up dying in committee.