E-Cigarettes Linked to Quitting Smoking

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A new study published by The BMJ has found that the growth of e-cigarettes in England has been linked with a higher rate of successful attempt to quit smoking.

The authors found that in 2015 an addition of 18,000 e-cigarette smokers in England were “significant because of the huge health gains from stopping smoking.”

The results “conflict with the hypothesis that an increase in population use of e-cigarettes undermines quitting in general.”

The E-Cigarette or Vaping Industry

According to Euromonitor International, globally sales of vapor devices grew by 59pc to £3.9 billion ($5.1 billion). The US more than doubled to £1.7 billion ($2.2 billion)

Photo Credit: E-Cigarettes Euromonitor
Photo Credit: E-Cigarettes Euromonitor

Andries Verleur, CEO and co-founder of e-cigarette maker V2 Cigs said, “If the technology continues to innovate the way that it has been, in the 10-15 years from now, we are the replacement to big tobacco.”

Bloomberg asserted that e-cigarettes sales are predicted to pass traditional cigarette sales by 2047.

Tobacco shares like BAT fell to 2.pc, while Imperial Tobacco went down to 2.9pc. The falls erased more than £2.5 billion ($3.3 billion) off the market values of the companies.

E-Cigarettes, NRT and Health Risks

E-cigarettes are negatively associated with Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) on prescription, as patients using the e-cigarettes may have already tried the NRT.

The researchers examined the relation between e-cigarette use and the number of quit attempts, the successfulness of those attempts. They looked at licensed and prescribed medication on prescription, over the counter, and behavioral support.

The researchers explained that a 40 year-old smoker who quits smoking permanently could expect to gain nine years compared with a continuing smoker.

Smoking Statistics and Health

Data was collected from 43,0000 smokers between 2006-2015 using the Smoking Toolkit Study, which involves individuals aged 16 years and older in England.

According to Action on Smoking and Health (ash.org.uk), the cost of smoking to the National Health Service is estimated to be £2 billion ($2.6 billion) a year.

Photo Credit: highcharts
Photo Credit: highcharts

Smoking kills more people each year than the following preventable causes of death combined:

  • Obesity (34,100)
  • Alcohol (6,592)
  • Road traffic accidents (1,775)
  • Illegal drugs (1,605)
  • HIV infection (613)

Furthermore, in2014, 17 percent (77,800) of all deaths of adults aged 35 and over in England were estimated to be attributable to smoking (around one in six). 

E-Cigarettes and the Falling Number of Smokers

Photo Credit: highcharts
Photo Credit: highcharts

John Britton from the University of Nottingham said, “Successful quitting through substitution with electronic cigarettes is a likely contributor to the falling prevalence of smoking.”

Even though further investigation is needed in order to establish a strong link between e-cigarettes and quitting smoking, Britton acknowledged the challenge for public health was to, “embrace the potential of this new technology, and put it to full use.”