`E-ciggy users 60% likelier to kick the butt`
Washington: Researchers have said that people attempting to quit smoking without professional help are approximately 60 per cent more likely to report succeeding if they use e-cigarettes than if they use willpower alone or over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies such as patches or gum.
The results were adjusted for a wide range of factors that might influence success at quitting, including age, nicotine dependence, previous quit attempts, and whether quitting was gradual or abrupt.
The study surveyed 5,863 smokers between 2009 and 2014 who had attempted to quit smoking without the aid of prescription medication or professional support. 20 per cent of people trying to quit with the aid of e-cigarettes reported having stopped smoking conventional cigarettes at the time of the survey.
The research, chiefly funded by Cancer Research UK, suggests that e-cigarettes could play a positive role in reducing smoking rates.
Professor Robert West of UCL's Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, senior author of the study, said e-cigarettes could substantially improve public health because of their widespread appeal and the huge health gains associated with stopping smoking.
He said however, we should also recognise that the strongest evidence remains for use of the NHS stop-smoking services. These almost triple a smoker's odds of successfully quitting compared with going it alone or relying on over-the-counter products.
Another survey by the same team found that most e-cigarette use involves first generation 'cigalike' products rather than second generation ones that use refillable cartridges and a wider choice of nicotine concentrations and flavors.
The study has been published in the journal Addiction.