Cigarettes Users More Likely To Quit Smoking, Study Finds

Smokers who also use e-cigarettes are more likely to kick the habit a new research reveals

A customer puffs on an e-cigarette at the Henley Vaporium in New York City. E-cigarette users were also much more likely than non-users to try to quit smoking in the first place.

After stalling for 15 years, the US quit-smoking rate rose to almost 6 percent in 2014-2015, up from less than 5 percent in prior years, according to national survey data.

"The rate at which people have made a quit attempt or successfully quit smoking has stagnated for many years", said Dr. Kurt Ribisl, a professor at the University of North Carolina and a member of the FDA's Tobacco Products Scientific Advisory Committee. However, only 40 percent of smokers who did not use e-cigarettes tried the same. The usage of e-cigarettes among smokers had increased dramatically by 2014, with estimates from various studies ranging from 15% to 30%.

"Use of e-cigarettes was associated both with a higher quit rate for individuals as well as at the population level; driving an increase in the overall number of people quitting", said Shu-Hong Zhu, study author and UC San Diego professor of Family Medicine and Public Health and director of the Center for Research and Intervention in Tobacco Control, in a statement.

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

"Uniquely, we also found that e-cigarette use had a greater impact on the odds of cigarette experimentation in young "never smokers" who had a firm intention not to smoke and/or whose friends didn't smoke".

Mr Hajek said: 'It's absolutely clear that e-cigarettes help smokers replace cigarettes'.


Smokers who use e-cigarettes are more likely to quit using conventional cigarettes.

"All we can say is at a time when e-cigarette use is increasing, successful smoking cessation increased, and the prevalence of adults who smoked dropped", said Dr. Steven Schroeder. The 1.1 percent increase represents about 350,000 additional smokers who quit in a 12-month period. Of these, 38.2% of current smokers and 49.3% of recent quitters tried e-cigarettes and 11.5% of current smokers and 19% of recent quitters reported current use.

"We are pretty confident that e-cigarettes are less risky, but that is only because cigarettes are so bad", he said.

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.

Current approaches for smoking cessation do not work for a vast majority of smokers; this calls for the need of alternative approaches, like e-cigs.

"If the 40 million smokers in the US switched to e-cigarettes, the nation would be a lot healthier for it", Schroeder said.

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