Electronic cigarettes brought on a change in smoking habits. They started as a popular way around smoking bans. Since it is nearly impossible nowadays to light a conventional cigarette in a public space. A convenient way to still get nicotine into your system without actually smoking cigarettes.
Sales of e-cigarettes are higher than they have ever been. Sales figures have been rising at a steady pace since electronic cigarettes first were available on sale in the United Kingdom That was in 2007. Now there are nearly three million people using them in the UK.
E-cigarettes Make Quitting Easier
The electronic cigarette was designed to replace conventional cigarettes. But, surprisingly they are being used now by people who no longer want to smoke.
People have started using e-cigarettes as a way of phasing out nicotine as they attempt to quit smoking altogether. In the past few years, smokers have chosen them to get their nicotine fix without smoking. Replacing nicotine patches and nicotine gum as the most popular way of quitting.
The e-cigarettes may have resulted in attempts to quit smoking being successful. Their popularity could have had a positive effect on overall health.
A recent study published in The British Medical Journal found good news about the use of electronic cigarettes. They looked at trends in rates regarding quitting smoking. From data collected in England from the year 2006 to 2015. They used data from the Smoking Toolkit Study. And data collected through the NHS Stop Smoking Service.
The team responsible for the study is comprised of researchers from Cancer Research UK and from University College London. Their work is an observational study. So there is no hard data to prove direct cause and effect. However, even observationally, the trend is a positive one. It looks like there has been no effect regarding the number of people that are trying to quit. But out of those trying, more have managed to stop smoking.
After compiling data, the authors of the study say that e-cigarettes probably helped around 18,000 more people in England give up smoking for good. The numbers are for the year 2015.
Quitting Smoking the Old-Fashioned Way
Health professionals still advise that the most efficient way to quit smoking is the old school way of doing it. The National Health Service in the UK provides local services to help stop smoking. Such as prescription medication and professional support.
Electronic cigarettes are not as of yet widely available through the National Health Service.
John Britton is the director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham. He said that the results of the study suggest that the use of e-cigarettes could contribute to smoking rates going down.
From the year 2014 to 2015, the smoking rates went down by 1%. That is the same percentage of people that took up smoking electronic cigarettes.
Public Health England says that electronic cigarettes are 95 percent less harmful for your health than conventional cigarettes. Also, combined with support from a service to help you quit smoking, most smokers that at first replace cigarettes stop smoking altogether.
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