E-cigarettes more often help smokers with mental health problems

Smokers with some form of mental health problem often use e-cigarettes to quit smoking. And the method works better than traditional smoking cessation for this particular group. This is the result of a new UK study.

Smoking is almost twice as common among those suffering from mental health problems. And a third of all smokers in the UK suffer from some form of mental illness. This is according to the researchers behind the study Mental Health and Smoking cessation - A population study in England

"Smoking is one of the major factors behind a shorter life expectancy in people with mental health problems compared to others. And despite major efforts to reduce smoking in society, this difference between the groups persists," the researchers write in the report.

Seeking help more often

Like other smokers, smokers with mental health problems are driven to quit by health and financial concerns. However, the researchers noted some differences in the methods used to quit.

"Smokers with mental health problems tend to seek professional help more than others. They rarely use over-the-counter medicines, such as patches and chewing gum. However, they use e-cigarettes as often as other smokers trying to quit." the researchers write.

E-cigarettes and mental health problems

For people with mental health problems, vejping and e-cigarettes were found to play a much greater role in successful smoking cessation, compared to other smokers. E-cigarettes lead to significantly more successful quitting than all OTC medicines. And that means a lot, say the researchers. Especially when it comes to strategies to improve health and reduce the risks associated with mental illness.

"The aim of the study was to identify differences between smokers with and without mental health problems, in relation to smoking cessation. The study suggests that by encouraging more people to use e-cigarettes, we could reduce smoking, and therefore improve the health, of smokers with mental health problems." the researchers write.

The study is based on surveys of 40,000 Britons, of whom around 2,000 tried to quit smoking in 2016/2017. The study is backed by Cancer Research UK (Cancer Research UK).

E-cigs attract more quitters in England

E-cigarettes have led to both more quit attempts and more successful quits in the UK in recent years. According to several studies, it is more successful than over-the-counter medicines, especially when combined with professional support. Another explanation for the difference is that electronic cigarettes are more popular compared to traditional medicines, thus attracting more smokers to try to quit. 

Mental Health and Smoking cessation - A population study in England

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