According to the results of a UK study, people using e-cigarettes to quit smoking are about 95% more successful than those trying to quit without help from any stop-smoking aids.
The research, funded by the charity Cancer Research UK and published a recent edition of the journal Addiction analysed success rates of several common stop-smoking methods – including e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches and gum, and Pfizer’s varenicline, sold as Champix in the UK.
It also adjusted for a wide range of factors that might influence success rates for stopping such as age, social level, degree of cigarette addiction, previous attempts to quit, and whether quitting was gradual or abrupt.
Recent WHO data show that smoking and other tobacco use kills more than seven million people a year globally.
This study involved almost 19,000 people in England who had tried to quit smoking in the preceding 12 months, collected over a year from 2006 to 2018.
Successful quitters were defined as those who said they were still not smoking.
The study also found that people prescribed Champix were around 82% more likely to have succeeded in stopping smoking than those who tried to stop without any aids.
‘Our study adds to growing evidence that use of e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit,’ explained Sarah Jackson, a professor at University College London who co-led the study.
Experts said the results were robust and important.
Peter Hajek, director of the tobacco dependence research unit at Queen Mary University of London, said the study found two key findings about e-cigarettes:
‘They help smokers quit at least as much as stop-smoking medications, and they are used by many more smokers.
‘This means they generate many more quitters and do this at no cost to the NHS,’ he said.