28 May 2014
Those trying to quit smoking without the aid of medication or support could be around 60 per cent more likely to succeed if they use electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), compared to using nicotine patches and gum, or relying on willpower alone, suggests a new study.
The findings come from a survey - undertaken by University College London - involving 5,863 smokers in England who had attempted to quit without using medication or support.
One in five of those using e-cigarettes said they had stopped smoking normal cigarettes by the time the research began.
Professor Robert West, lead author of the study, believed the devices could be useful, but said stronger evidence suggested he NHS’s stop-smoking service helped more people to successful kick the habit.
“These almost triple a smoker's odds of successfully quitting compared with going it alone or relying on over-the-counter products," he said.
However, the professor said some people may want to use e-cigarettes indefinitely, which was worrying as it is not known whether the vapour emitted carries long-term health risks.
Smoking is the by far the biggest preventable cause of cancer and accounts for more than one in four deaths relating to the disease in the UK, according to Cancer Research UK. This means helping people to quit is important for the health of the country.
Posted by Edward Bartel
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