A landmark review led by King’s College London finds that all evidence shows that e-cigarettes have the potential to reduce smoking. The report shows that almost all of the 2.6 million adults using e-cigarettes in Great Britain – one in 20 of the population – are current or ex-smokers, most of whom are using the devices to help them quit smoking or to prevent them going back to cigarettes. 80% of smokers believe e-cigarettes are a good way of quitting smoking.
Dr Leonie Brose
‘Smokers who have tried other methods of quitting without success could be encouraged to try e-cigarettes to stop smoking and stop smoking services should support smokers using e-cigarettes to quit by offering them behavioral support. Encouraging smokers who cannot or do not want to stop smoking to switch to e-cigarettes could help reduce smoking related disease, death and health inequalities.’
The report added that since e-cigarettes were introduced to the market, cigarette smoking among adults and youth has declined and in adults, overall nicotine use has also declined. Despite some experimentation with e-cigarettes among never smokers, they are attracting very few people who have never smoked into regular use. The data revealed that use of e-cigarettes among youth is rare with around 2% using at least monthly and 0.5% weekly.
Professor Ann McNeill
‘There is no evidence that e-cigarettes are undermining England’s falling smoking rates. Instead the evidence consistently finds that e-cigarettes are another tool for stopping smoking and in my view smokers should try vaping and vapers should stop smoking cigarettes entirely. E-cigarettes could be a game changer in public health in particular by reducing the enormous health inequalities caused by smoking.’
Overall, the findings suggest that the advent of e-cigarettes is not undermining the continuing decline in cigarette smoking.
From: King’s College London