New research released today to mark No Smoking Day has revealed that more than one million smokers in England used an e-cigarette to help them quit smoking in 2015.
E-cigarettes have overtaken licensed nicotine replacement therapies such as NRT, gum or skin patches as the most popular form of support to stop smoking, and they continue to increase in popularity.
The study shows that by the end of 2015, 20% (1.6million) of smokers were using an e-cigarette.
Previous studies have found that use of an e-cigarette in a quit attempt improves the chances of success by around 50%, compared with using no aid or a licensed nicotine product bought from a shop with no professional support.
More research needed
However, there is still little research into e-cigarettes and not enough known about their safety or potential long term damaging effects. Professor Robert West who led the study at University College London said:
“E-cigarettes have overtaken more traditional methods as the most widely used support for smokers wanting to quit. We can do much better in encouraging more smokers to try to stop and ensure that they are well informed about the best ways of succeeding.
"The strongest evidence is for use of a prescription medicine plus specialist behavioural support but e-cigarettes can be helpful for smokers who do not want to use professional support.”
Smokers urged to quit this No Smoking Day
Our Associate Medical Director Dr Mike Knapton said:
“We already know that nearly one in five adults in the UK smokes, and it is essential that they are supported and informed on their journey to quitting for good.
"We’re asking smokers to use Wednesday 9 March to take the first step towards a smoke-free life and join more than 600,000 others who will also be making a quit attempt on the day.”
Stopping smoking is the single best thing you can do for your heart health and can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease. Join thousands of other smokers and make a quit attempt this No Smoking Day, Wednesday March 9th.
Visit our No Smoking Day website for more information and support.