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900,000 Smokers Switched To E-Cigs In 2014.


A recent study has found that almost 900,000 smokers used e-cigarettes in an attempt to stop or reduce their smoking. 

E-cigarettes were used in preference to NRT and behavioural support. This figure makes up 28% of the 9 million adult smokers in the UK. 

Professor Robert West, leader of the research team, said E-cigarettes appear to be helping a significant number of smokers to stop who would not have done otherwise - not as many as some e-cigarette enthusiasts claim, but a substantial number nonetheless.

There have been claims by some public health researchers that e-cigarettes undermine quitting if smokers use them just to cut down, and that they act as a gateway into smoking. These claims stem from a misunderstanding of what the evidence can tell us at this stage, but this is clearly something we need to watch carefully. 

“e-cigarettes have potential to reduce smoking related mobidity…” 

Commenting further, Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, said E-cigarettes have a potential to reduce smoking related morbidity and many smokers are successful in making the switch from smoking to vaping.
Specialist smoking cessation services are currently not offering e-cigarettes and are seeing a marked decline in interest. This is unfortunate, as it is likely that even more smokers would switch to vaping successfully if e-cigarettes were combined with behavioural support that the services provide. Hopefully, findings like this will encourage the services to start offering e-cigarettes as a part of their overall toolkit.

4th March 2016, 12:22