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Saturday 24th August 2019

E-cigarettes do help people quit

21st May 2014

Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been on the receiving end of negative news recently; most famously - the Welsh government’s efforts to restrict their use in public places due to fears they could normalise smoking.


A recent study published in the journal Addiction has produced evidence to suggest the potential for positive impact of e-cigarettes.

Positive impact

6,000 smokers in the UK were surveyed; it was found a fifth had quit with the aid of e-cigarettes - 60% higher than those who did not use the devices.

Action on Smoking and Health estimates that approximately half of smokers or ex-smokers (2 million people) have tried using e-cigarettes - triple the numbers from two years ago when only 8% had tried them.

E-cigarettes give users the experience of smoking by inhaling vapour which contains a concentration of nicotine. The researchers front he University College London said they were ‘cautiously positive’ about their impact.


Rob West, the lead researcher and one of the UK’s leading experts, said: "E-cigarettes could substantially improve public health because of their widespread appeal and huge health gains associated with stopping smoking.


Other methods

However, he highlighted that, statistically, the highest chance of successfully quitting was through the NHS stop smoking service - which had triple the success rate of success compared to nicotine replacement treatments (without specialist help).

The drugs regulator, Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is
looking to liscence e-cigarettes as medicines from 2016.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: E-cigarettes are not risk free, but they carry a lower risk to health than smoking tobacco and may help people who want to stop smoking."

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