Vaping leads to more successful smoking cessation in England

A new research study from University College London has examined the link between e-cigarette use and smokers' quit attempts - and the success of those attempts.
The study, which covers data from 2007 to 2022, showed clear links between the increase in e-cigarette use and an increase in successful quit attempts.

E-cigarettes were introduced to the UK market in 2005, but it was not until around 2011 that they began to gain a noticeable foothold. The first devices were disposable products, often called 'cigalikes', and were designed to mimic the look and feel of regular cigarettes. In the 20 years that the products have been on the market, small devices have been replaced by large ones, large ones by small ones, and in recent years the very smallest models have returned to store shelves. As popularity has grown and products have evolved, research now suggests that e-cigarettes have become an increasingly effective way to quit smoking. This is the conclusion of the researchers behind a study from the Behavioural Science and Health at University College London. 

An effective tool

As Vejpkollen has written about regularly, previous research has shown that e-cigarettes can play a very positive role in smoking cessation. This is shown not least in so-called randomised control trials. But the authors at University College London want to look at the role of vejpnning from a different perspective. In particular, they point to the importance of supplementing clinical research with observational studies to gain a more comprehensive understanding of effects over time.

More successful quit-smoking attempts

One such study is "The Smoking Toolkit Study", a monthly survey that follows adults in England. It has been tracking vejping and smoking cessation behaviours since 2006.

Using that tool, the researchers analysed data from 67,548 people who had smoked in the past year, and found that the success rate of smoking cessation attempts increased by 0.040% for every 1% increase in e-cigarette use.

50 000 more people quit every year

In plain language, this means that the number of successful quit attempts increased proportionally as more people used vejp products as an aid. 

According to the researchers, this suggests that vejpning may have contributed to additional 30 000 to 50 000 people in England have managed to quit smoking every year since e-cigarettes became popular in 2013.

Want to understand the effects at the population level

However, while increased use of e-cigarettes seems to be linked to increased success in quit attempts, it is still unclear whether vejpning has a direct impact on the frequency of quit attempts, according to the study. Smokers who use e-cigarettes are more likely to succeed in quitting smoking, but it is not yet known whether more people actually try to quit in the country as a whole. The researchers therefore emphasise the importance of further research to better understand the effects of e-cigarettes at the population level.

Vejpkollen continuously monitors the relationship between cigarette smoking and vejping in different countries:

Study: Vaping among young people does not lead to more smokers
Fewer young smokers in the US - e-cigs contribute to the decrease
Ban on flavours in e-cigs led to more young people smoking
Research: "Flavour bans led to increased cigarette sales"
Study: The link between new nicotine products and smoking
Tax increase on e-cigarettes leads to more young smokers
Canada: Fewer young people start smoking - "Clear link to vejpning".

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