BBC Releases More Proof that E-Cigs Work for Smoking Cessation
Despite widespread debate about ecigarettes, BBC published a new article this week about the potential benefits of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. According to a new study, smokers that rely on ecigs as a quit aide are more successful than those that use nicotine replacement therapies or cold turkey methods.
After surveying 6000 smokers, researchers at the University College London found that a fifth of the tobacco users had quit by using ecigs. Smokers that used electronic cigarettes had a 60% higher quit rate than those that did not use vaping devices. The data led the research team to feel “cautiously positive” about the potential role of e-cigarettes for smoking cessation.
As more smokers learn about the potential benefits of ecigs, there has been a massive surge in the number of people that try vaping. In fact, Action on Smoking and Health estimated that there are now 2 million people using ecigs, which is three times higher than the number of vapers just two years ago. In 2010, around 8 percent of smokers had tried ecigarettes, but now that number is up to 50 percent.
So what makes ecigs such a successful tool for smoking cessation? According to BBC, ecigs are successful because they closely mimic the smoking experience while eliminating tobacco. “Users experience the sensation of smoking by inhaling a vapour which contains a concentration of nicotine.”
Lead researcher Professor Robert West told BBC that ecigs could make a dramatic difference for smokers that want to make health a priority. “E-cigarettes could substantially improve public health because of their widespread appeal and the huge health gains associated with stopping smoking,” he said. West also encouraged smokers to seek help from smoking cessation services that could triple their odds of success.
While ecigs are picking up momentum, some skeptics worry that ecigs will only cause the public to become more tolerant of smokers. However, West disagrees. “Some public health experts have expressed concern that widespread use of e-cigarettes could ‘re-normalise’ smoking. However, we are tracking this very closely and see no evidence of it,” he said. “Smoking rates in England are declining, quitting rates are increasing and regular e-cigarette use among never smokers is negligible.”
West encouraged further research on the long-term effects of vaping, but seemed optimistic about the potential to help many smokers finally escape tobacco addiction. Even without any data on the long-term impact of ecig use, health officials are starting to view the devices as a step in the right direction.
A spokeswoman from the Department of Health 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.” As officials work towards requiring ecigs to gain medical licensure in 2016, it’s possible that the National Health Service will eventually make e-cigs available for smokers that are hoping to quit. “Any e-cigarette products that are licensed as medicines can be made available on the NHS. We will continue to closely monitor emerging research,” said the spokeswoman.
Have you or a loved one used ecigarettes for smoking cessation? We would love to hear from you! Leave a comment to share your experience with ecigs and tell us how they impacted your journey towards freedom from tobacco.