E-cigarettes won't help you quit, research suggests

21 April 2015        

Cigarettes in an ashtray

Two pieces of research published today, that we part-funded, provide insight into the relationship between e-cigarette use and smoking behaviour.

Researchers from the UK Centre for Tobacco & Alcohol Studies used data from a survey of 4,064 UK adults.

The research, published in Addiction, found that daily e-cigarette use was associated with increased attempts to quit smoking but did not increase the number of successful quitters.

Dr Mike Knapton, our Associate Medical Director, said: “E-cigarette use is developing rapidly and more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks to people’s health.

“This study showed that e-cigarettes did not actually increase the number of successful quitters after one year but may potentially help users to reduce smoking and make more attempts to quit.

“E-cigarettes are a nicotine product that may reduce the harm associated with smoking but there are also concerns about e-cigarette use in young people, re-normalisation of smoking, deterring successful smoking cessation and questions about the long-term safety.”

E-cigarette tanks

The research, published in Nicotine & Tobacco Research, found that smokers who used tanks, that can be refilled, were more likely to quit smoking than non e-cigarette users.

Dr Mike Knapton added: “This research suggests that smokers who use tanks on a daily basis may be more likely to have quit smoking after a year than those who use other types of e-cigarettes, or do not use them at all.

“This is an interesting insight although the original survey was carried out in 2012 and may not reflect current use.

 “As the use of e-cigarettes grows rapidly, with an estimated 2.1 million users in the UK, understanding the relationships between e-cigarette use and smoking cessation is critical in moving towards a smoke-free world.”