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Saturday, 1 October 2016
E-cigs save lives
use linked to successful attempts to quit smoking Findings go
against concerns that e-cigs undermine motivation and quit attempts
in the use of e-cigarettes in England has been associated with a
higher rate of successful attempts to quit smoking, reveals a study
published by The BMJ today.
2015, use of e-cigarettes may have resulted in an additional 18,000
long-term ex-smokers in England, the study estimates, and the authors
say “although these numbers are relatively small, they are
clinically significant because of the huge health gains from stopping
explain that a 40-year-old smoker who quits permanently can expect to
gain nine life years compared with a continuing smoker.
as with any observational study, firm conclusions about cause and
effect cannot be drawn, they say.
no clear evidence emerged for an association between e-cigarette use
and rate of quit attempts, use of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
bought over the counter, overall use of prescription treatment, or
use of NHS stop-smoking services.
authors explain that the results “conflict with the hypothesis that
an increase in population use of e-cigarettes undermines quitting in
e-cigarette use in quit attempts was negatively associated with use
of NRT on prescription, perhaps because patients using e-cigarettes
having already tried NRT, explain the authors. They say more research
would be needed to confirm this.
team of UK based researchers used a time series analysis to explore
the relation between changes in prevalence of e-cigarette use and
changes in prevalence of quit attempts, success of those attempts,
use of licensed and prescribed medication on prescription and over
the counter, and behavioural support.
assessed data from the Smoking Toolkit Study, which involves monthly
household surveys of a representative sample of individuals aged 16
years and older in England. Data were aggregated on 43,000 smokers
between 2006 and 2015.
on the use of NHS stop smoking services were obtained from the NHS
Information Centre, which reported a total of 8,029,012 quit dates
being set with the programme during the same period.
researchers tried to take account of tobacco control policies, mass
media expenditure and smoking prevalence in their analyses.
a linked editorial, John Britton from the University of Nottingham,
says the results suggest that “successful quitting through
substitution with electronic cigarettes is a likely contributor to
the falling prevalence of smoking.”
number of potential factors–both those measured and unaccounted for
–may have influenced the results, and “it therefore remains
unclear whether, or by how much, the availability of e-cigarettes has
influenced quitting behaviour in the UK,” he explains.
he notes that the significant year-on-year fall in smoking “indicates
that something in UK tobacco control policy is working, and
successful quitting through substitution with e-cigarettes is one
likely major contributor. The challenge for public health is to
embrace the potential of this new technology, and put it to full
Don't use them as well as smoking, vape in place of killing yourself.