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The more e-cigarettes are used, the more people stop smoking
Recently there have been contradicting statements about the effects of smoking e-cigarettes. British researchers have now found that the increasing number of e-cigarette smokers is actually affecting the use of regular cigarettes. It is becoming increasingly clear that e-cigarettes help people stop smoking normal cigarettes.
University College London researchers found that e-cigarettes could increase the likelihood of successfully quitting smoking. The doctors published the results of their study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Do e-cigarettes support smoking cessation?
The prevalence of smoking in the UK fell significantly between 2014 and 2015. This could be a sign of the impact of using e-cigarettes. It is not clear evidence, but this possibility is becoming more and more likely, the experts explain. Some time ago another study led British scientists to see e-cigarettes as a real alternative for smokers.
Researchers: The public needs to recognize the potential of e-cigarettes
The British authors explain that stopping smoking successfully through substitution with e-cigarettes could be an important factor. The challenge for public health now is that we have to recognize the potential of the new technology and use it to our full advantage, the doctors add. E-cigarettes could actually help smokers quit smoking. English doctors had previously emphasized the advantages of the e-cigarette.
E-cigarettes increase the likelihood of quitting smoking
For their new study, the health experts from England had studied the benefits of smoking cessation from e-cigarettes for a few years. Another study of English smokers had previously shown that smokers are about 60 percent more likely to quit smoking if they use e-cigarettes. This value refers to a comparison with smokers who do not use any products to replace nicotine or who use nicotine patches or nicotine chewing gum, the scientists explain. University College London researchers investigated whether the widespread use of e-cigarettes also affects active smokers of normal cigarettes. The experts were particularly interested in whether e-cigarettes help normal smokers quit.
Doctors examine the data from around 80,000 subjects who smoke
For their new study, the scientists examined the data from around 80,000 smokers. These were all part of the English Smoking Toolkit Study from 2006 to 2015, the scientists say. In the last quarter of 2006, the rate of people who successfully quit smoking was 10.6 percent. By the first quarter of 2015, the success rate had already risen to 18.6 percent, the authors of the study explain. In the meantime, the proportion of smokers who also use e-cigarettes had risen from practically zero to an impressive 21.3 percent. The use of e-cigarettes was even more popular among smokers who wanted to stop their vices. 35 percent of those affected used the electronic devices in 2015. The spread of e-cigarettes coincided with a decline in the use of conventional replacement products for nicotine, the doctors add.
As more people use e-cigarettes, the number of smokers has dropped
The researchers found no conclusive link between e-cigarettes and trying to quit smoking. But the calculations show that for every 1 percent increase in e-cigarette use, successful attempts to quit smoking increased by 0.098 percent, the scientists explain. It was also found that for every 1 percent increase in e-cigarette smokers planning to quit smoking, 0.058 percent more of those affected successfully quit smoking.
In 2015, e-cigarettes in England could have made 18,000 people non-smokers
If the use of e-cigarettes really helps quit smoking, it could mean that 54,288 people in England alone were able to quit in 2015 alone. And the reason for this could actually be e-cigarettes, the doctors suspect. While about two thirds of these people are likely to relapse, the number means that around 18,000 people will become long-term ex-smokers, the authors say. However, some doctors warn of the dangers of e-cigarettes. There have been several previous studies, for example, that vaping with e-cigarettes can lead to cardiovascular damage. In addition, various carcinogenic substances have been found in the smoke of e-cigarettes.
The results of the study are clinically significant
For some people, the results of the new study may not sound like much improvement, but the investigation is still clinically significant. The benefits to human health are huge if we quit smoking. A 40-year-old smoker can live up to nine years longer if he stops smoking compared to a permanent smoker, the doctors explain. Of course, there are also restrictions on the use of e-cigarettes. For example, e-cigarettes may no longer be sold to young people, at least in Germany.
E-cigarettes do not encourage smokers to continue smoking
In the early days of e-cigarettes, health professionals were concerned that e-cigarettes were more likely to encourage smokers to continue smoking. At the time, the researchers suspected that e-cigarettes would create a socially acceptable alternative to smoking in places where cigarettes are normally prohibited. However, the new study suggests that this idea does not correspond to reality. (as)