The world continues to debate on the effects of electronic cigarettes, whether it’s an effective smoking cessation agent or a trigger that influences people to smoke traditional cigarettes more.
According to recent research from University College London, England saw between 16,000 and 22,000 individuals quitting smoking as a result of using e-cigarettes. While this may sound like good news, the results of the research team’s study may not be conclusive. “E-cigarettes appear to be helping a significant number of smokers to stop who would not have done otherwise – not as many as some e-cigarette enthusiasts claim, but a substantial number nonetheless,” said study author Robert West in a news item.
In 2014 alone, close to 8.5 million people in England at least 16 years old admitted to smoke. That’s roughly 19.3 percent of the population in that age range. More than 37 percent of the people who smoked thought about quitting smoking at least once in their life. Meanwhile, more than 28 percent of those who tried to stop smoking used electronic cigarettes. In totality, people who used electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation strategy represented about 5 percent of those who tried to quit.
In addition, the study also investigated the effectiveness of e-cigarettes to help people quit smoking. Survey results showed that using e-cigarettes had a 50 percent success rate in curbing cigarette use. In other words, the researchers concluded that about 2.5 percent of smokers are able to quit smoking through the use of e-cigarettes.
As for the effect of e-cigarettes on people who have never smoked a cigarette in their life, the researchers pointed out that this is trivial. “Regular use of e-cigarettes by never smokers is extremely rare, and the decline in smoking prevalence in young people has been as great or greater than in previous years,” the researchers said.
[Image from www.ecigclick.co.uk via Flickr Creative Commons]