In England, as much as 900,000 smokers have substituted regular cigarettes with e-cigarettes in an effort to kick the habit, research has found.
The University College London’s research team estimate that at least 891,000 individuals in 2014 tried out the device as an approach to quitting smoking, rather than using prescription drugs or receiving behavioral counseling.
Approximately 8.46 million adults are smokers in the U.K. In 2014, 37% of them (give or take) tried to stop smoking by using an e-cigarette instead.
The overall rate of quitting smoking increases from nearly 5% to 7.5% when e-cigarettes are used – adding up to roughly 22,000 people, based on a new study printed in the journal called ‘Addiction.’
The leader of UCL’s research team, Professor Robert West, suggested that the technology seems to assist a “significant” amount of smokers in quitting, and that they may not have otherwise done so without the device.
The professor also added that the research contradicts the concept of e-cigarettes being a gateway to cigarettes for non-smokers. While he suggests the misconception is something to consider, West says the evidence doesn’t support the gateway theory.
The director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, Professor Peter Hajek, who wasn’t present during the study, suggested that e-cigarettes show promise in decreasing fatalities associated with traditional smoking.
Hajek suggested that smoking cessation services be inclusive of e-cigarettes to be used an aid, while also noticing a decline in interest for the device. He believes smokers would be more inclined to convert to vaping if e-cigarettes if the devices were paired with behavioral counseling services. The professor holds hope that UCL’s ongoing research will lead to an encouragement of e-cigarette use as a part of a long-term toolkit in the future.
Research dubbed the “Smoking Toolkit Study” was gathered during the second quarter of 2011 by the Department of Health and Cancer Research UK, among other organizations.
Another study conducted by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) revealed e-cigarettes are used by approximately 2.2 million people in the UK.
Assembled using the ONS “Opinion and Lifestyle Survey”, over half of e-cigarette users cited the desire to quit smoking as the reason for using the device. Over 1/5th of those people felt that e-cigarettes weren’t as dangerous as tobacco cigarettes. In spite of vaping being less expensive than cigarettes, only 9% noted this as justification for using the device.
An identical number of users claimed to vape because it allowed then to smoke indoors.