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E Cigarettes Used by Nearly 900,000 Smokers in Attempts to Quit

March 3, 2016
Public Health

A new study by researchers at University College London has suggested that 891,000 smokers used e-cigarettes to try to quit the habit in 2014. The report goes on to estimate that the use of the devices is likely to have led to between 16,000 and 22,000 people stopping smoking for good. Approximately 8.46 million adults still smoke in England, with around 37% of them attempting to stop in 2014, with just under one third of those using e-cigarettes as an aid.

Professor Robert West, who led the research team, said “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. There have been claims by some public health researchers that e-cigarettes undermine quitting if smokers use them just to cut down, and that they act as a gateway into smoking. These claims stem from a misunderstanding of what the evidence can tell us at this stage, but this is clearly something we need to watch carefully.”

The study results come at the same time as news that EU member countries have reportedly agreed to change the tax status of e-cigarettes so they are taxed at the same rate as tobacco products. The change which could be put into place early next year would see the price of vaping double.