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New Study Shows Former Smokers 95% More Likely to Quit with Vaping

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We’re seeing some exciting new pro-vaping studies come through the newswire this week, and perhaps the most telling one is the study published in Addiction at the end of May. University of College London researchers released, “Moderators of real-world effectiveness of smoking cessation aids: a population study,” and the study was supported by Cancer Research UK.

The team found that e-cigarettes as a harm reduction tool are 95 percent more likely to help smokers kick the habit when compared to other stop-smoking aids, including nicotine replacement therapy patches, gum, the drug Varenicline brand named Champix in the UK, drug therapy with bupropion, telephone and face-to-face behavioral support, self help materials, self help websites and hypnotherapy.

Factors measured in the study included age, socioeconomic status, level of cigarette addiction and earlier quit-smoking attempts of 18,929 people in the England geographic location who tried quitting within the past year. Data was gathered from a 12-year period between 2006 and 2018, and those who were successful in quitting smoking “were deemed to be successful quitters,” according to News Medical Life Sciences, which reported the perimeters of the study.

Results reported:

  • Participants prescribed Champix were 82% more likely to quit smoking when compared to those who were not using any aids.
  • 95% success was seen among those using e-cigarettes when compared to those who were using no means to quit smoking.
  • Those using NRT or nicotine replacement gums and patches were 34% more likely to quit smoking, and NRT was more successful among older individuals (more than 45 years) compared to younger.
  • Other approaches were deemed to be ineffective in helping quitting smoking, according to the researchers.

News Medical Life Sciences gathered quotes from the study’s authors as well as experts across the UK:

  • “Stopping smoking reduces the risk of chronic diseases and increases quality of life and life expectancy. It is therefore important that every quit attempt has the best possible chance of success. Our study adds to growing evidence that use of e-cigarettes can help smokers to quit. It also raises concerns about the apparent lack of effectiveness of NRT bought from a shop.” — study lead author Sarah Jackson, a professor at University College London
  • “It is important that e-cigarettes appeared to be equally effective for smokers of all ages and social backgrounds. Smoking is one of the biggest contributors to health inequality between rich and poor and the growth in e-cigarette use may ultimately start to reduce this gap.” — Dr. Jamie Brown, study co-author
  • “They (e-cigarettes) help smokers quit at least as much as stop-smoking medications, and they are used by many more smokers. This means they generate many more quitters and do this at no cost to the NHS (National Health Service).” — Peter Hajek, director of the tobacco dependence research unit at Britain's Queen Mary University of London
  • “They [smokers] may well be better off investing in alternative nicotine replacement such as e-cigarettes.” — Dr. Debbie Robson, a tobacco addiction researcher at King's College London
  • “This is in line with what has already been found in randomized controlled trials and extends these findings to adult smokers in the real world. While success rates were similar for varenicline and vaping, vaping is much more popular among smokers trying to quit smoking and thus helped more smokers quit.” — Dr. Leonie Brose, senior lecturer at the National Addiction Centre, King's College London
  • “This study highlights how crucial face-to-face support is for helping people to stop smoking. This study also provides further evidence that e-cigarettes are an effective quitting tool. The choice to switch to e-cigarettes must be made easier. Doctors and pharmacists should be very clear there's a range of quitting tools available including e-cigarettes, and smokers can try vaping as a way to quit.” — Dr. Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation
  • “This is yet more evidence, adding to a major recent UK trial, that vaping offers some of the most effective help for smokers to quit smoking, especially when combined with expert support. All we need for an e-cigarette to be available on prescription is for one to be licensed as a medicine.” — Martin Dockrell, tobacco control lead at Public Health England