E-cigarette use linked to successful attempts to quit smoking

12 September 2016        

An e-cigarette lying on a red ashtray

A growth in the use of e-cigarettes in England has been associated with a higher rate of successful attempts to quit smoking, reveals a study published by The British Medical Journal.

The team of UK-based researchers explored the relationship between the prevalence of e-cigarettes and quit attempts by assessing data from the Smoking Toolkit Study, which involves monthly household surveys of individuals aged 16 years and older in England.

The results suggest that successful quitting through substitution with e-cigarettes is a likely contributor to the falling prevalence of smoking. We provided the following comment:

Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Nearly one in five adults in the UK smoke, significantly increasing their risk of coronary heart disease.

"Stopping smoking is the single most important step you can take to improve your heart health, and we know that more and more people are turning to e-cigarettes to quit.

"What’s reassuring is this study suggests that rather than undermining people’s efforts, using e-cigarettes improves the likelihood of someone quitting. 

“However, we need to assess the potential long-term effects of these devices which is why the BHF is funding research to find out whether or not they are as safe as people think. In the meantime the most effective way to stop smoking is to use the NHS Stop Smoking Service or visit our website for helpful advice.” 

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