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

E-cigarettes linked to helping people quit smoking

E-Cigarettes Vs. Pharmacotherapy: Why Nicotine Is Helping More Americans Quit Smoking

Peter Hajek, director of the health and lifestyle research unit at Queen Mary University in London, who wasn't part of the study commented on this finding: "It's absolutely clear that e-cigarettes help smokers replace cigarettes".

"Further research is required to discover how experimentation with e-cigarettes might influence attitudes to smoking in young people traditionally at lower risk of becoming smokers; and importantly how many of this group who do experiment with cigarettes go on to smoke regularly".

The team also found that the U.S. population-wide smoking cessation rate increased significantly in the study period compared with previous years, with a 5.6% cessation rate in 2014-15 compared with 4.5% in 2010-11, corresponding to 350,000 additional smokers who quit.

While the BMJ study does not address the number of current smokers who adopted the habit via e-cigarettes, it does support the notion that quitting is easier for e-cigarette smokers.

E-cigarettes have been sold in the USA since 2007.

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The study called E-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation: evidence from U.S. current population surveys, was carried out by researchers from the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, and Moores Cancer Center, both at the University of California.

Whilst this report used the largest representative sample of smokers and e-cigarette users available to date, it still has some weaknesses.

People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn't, a new study found.

The authors also admit that anti-tobacco campaigns, such as TIPS, is helping people quit just as much as vaping is.

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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One specialist emphasized that this paper can't prove that e-cigarettes help people quit.

"This is the first statistically significant increase observed in population smoking cessation among U.S. adults in almost a quarter of a century".

Schroeder and Zhu concede that e-cigarettes are probably not completely safe, but are likely less harmful than regular cigarettes. The 1.1 percent increase represents about 350,000 additional smokers who quit in a 12-month period.

Other study limitations included not addressing the long-term effects of e-cigs or investigating if the use of e-cigs leads people to start smoking. As vaping becomes more popular, there's been a lot of debate over the role of e-cigs.

AACS CEO Jeff Rogut has argued that while the ban remains in place, e-cigarette users must source their nicotine online without quality assurance.

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