'Consider e-cigarettes in tobacco control plans', study recommends

Francis Osborne
July 28, 2017

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'.

The researchers looked more closely at the 2014-15 survey, when e-cigarettes were more prevalent. It was the first recorded rise in the smoking cessation rate in 15 years.

To assess e-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation in the U.S., researchers analyzed data from U.S. Current Population Survey-Tobacco Use Supplement for 2001, 2003, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

E-cigarettes have become increasingly popular in the United Kingdom, with an estimated 2.9 million adults vaping regularly.

The merits of e-cigarrettes need to be considered in tobacco control interventions, as smokers who use e-cigarettes are more likely to quit smoking successfully than those who don't, a study has recommended. It's based on the largest representative sample of smokers and e-cigarette users available.

"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.

Some 65 per cent of vapers attempt to quit smoking versus 40 percent of non-e-cigarette users, according to the largest study of its kind.

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But scientists remain divided over whether e-cigarettes are a "gateway" to smoking or a less harmful tool that helps smokers quit.

Published this week in the British Medical Journal, the study titled 'E-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation: evidence from USA current population surveys' examined more than 160,000 respondents of different smoking statuses (never smoked through to heavy smokers), including 2136 recent quitters, from five different population studies. 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. The 1.1 percent increase represents about 350,000 additional smokers who quit in a 12-month period. This supports the thesis that less strict control over e-cigarettes would be positive.

"All we can say is at a time when e-cigarette use is increasing, successful smoking cessation increased, and the prevalence of adults who smoked dropped", said Dr. Steven Schroeder.

Regulation policies on e- cigarettes differ from country to country.

E-cig users also report finding it easier to refrain from their habit when in no-vaping areas, the study found. "But if those don't work - try an e-cigarette".

Ever users referred to those who had ever tried e-cigarettes, while current users were those who answered "every day" or "some days".

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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