E-cigarettes might help smokers quit


Associated Press

People who used e-cigarettes were more likely to kick the habit than those who didn’t, a new study found.

Nicotine patches, gums and medications are known to aid smoking cessation, but there’s no consensus on whether vaping devices can help anti-smoking efforts. The U.S. research is the largest look yet at electronic cigarette users, and it found e-cigarettes played a role in helping people quit.

“It’s absolutely clear that e-cigarettes help smokers replace cigarettes,” said Peter Hajek, director of the health and lifestyle research unit at Queen Mary University in London, who wasn’t part of the study.

Smoking rates have been generally declining for decades. Health experts have credited taxes on tobacco products and anti-smoking ads for the drop.

E-cigarettes have been sold in the U.S. since 2007. Most devices heat a liquid nicotine solution into vapor and were promoted to smokers as a less dangerous alternative since they don’t contain all the chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes.

Researchers analyzed and compared data collected by the U.S. Census from 2001 to 2015, including the number of adult e-cigarette users from the most recent survey.

About two-thirds of e-cigarette users tried to quit smoking compared with 40 percent of nonusers, the study found. E-cigarette users were more likely to succeed in quitting for at least three months than nonusers – 8 percent versus 5 percent.

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