E-cigarettes linked to helping people quit smoking

Man vaping

Peter Hajek, director of the health and lifestyle research unit at Queen Mary University, who was not involved in the study, said: 'It's absolutely clear that e-cigarettes help smokers replace cigarettes'.

After stalling for 15 years, the USA quit-smoking rate rose to almost 6 percent in 2014-2015, up from less than 5 percent in prior years, according to national survey data.

The report, which surveyed 161,054 people in the U.S. across nearly 15 years, also found that substantially more people in the States are using e-cigarettes, and that this was linked to a "statistically significant increase in the smoking cessation rate at the population level".

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S. The agency says tobacco kills more than 480,000 people every year.

This is one of the largest representative samples of e-cig users, but the study does have limitations.

"People should be open to consider e-cigarettes as a way to help them quit, especially if they have used everything else in the past", Zhu said.

"E-cigarette users were more likely than non-users to attempt to quit smoking, 65.1% v 40.1% (change=25.0%, 95% confidence interval 23.2% to 26.9%), and more likely to succeed in quitting, 8.2% v 4.8% (3.5%, 2.5% to 4.5%)".

A link was found between the use of the electronic devices by those who have never tried smoking and their first experimentation with cigarettes in the following year.


The study indicates e-cigarette users were more likely to quit for at least three months than non users (traditional cigarette smokers).

Glantz, in fact, previously authored a study finding that e-cigarettes may actually stymie efforts to quit smoking.

Here, "cessation rate" was how many people, who were smokers 12 months before the survey, quit for at least three months. This is the first statistically significant increase observed in population smoking cessation among USA adults in the past 15 years. Of these, 38.2% of current smokers and 49.3% of recent quitters tried e-cigarettes and 11.5% of current smokers and 19% of recent quitters reported current use.

Research conducted by AACS showed that more than 50% of Australians supported the lifting of bans on nicotine products for e-cigarettes, and that 68% of smokers would try them if they were readily available and cheaper than cigarettes.

How safe are e-cigarettes?

"We are pretty confident that e-cigarettes are less risky, but that is only because cigarettes are so bad", he said.

E-cigs possess the potential to reduce a deadly habit that is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the U.S.

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