Findings from US observational study suggest E-cigarettes appear to have helped to increase smoking cessation at the population level.| OnMedica |BMJ
Researchers have looked at whether the increase in the use of e-cigarettes in the US was associated with a change in overall smoking cessation rate.
They drew on responses to five population surveys from 2001 to 2015. E-cigarette users were identified from the most recent survey (2014-15) and smoking cessation rates were obtained from those who said they had smoked cigarettes in the preceding 12 months. Rates from this most recent survey were then compared to those of four earlier surveys.
Of 161,054 respondents to the 2014-15 survey, 22,548 were current smokers and 2,136 recent quitters. More than a third (38%) of current smokers and nearly half (49%) of recent quitters said they had tried e-cigarettes.
E-cigarette users were more likely than non-users to make a quit attempt (65% vs 40%) and more likely to succeed in quitting for at least three months (8.2% vs 4.8%).
The overall population quit rate for 2014-15 was significantly higher (5.6%) than that for 2010-11 (4.5%), and higher than those for all other survey years.
The 1.1 percentage point difference might appear small, but it represents approximately 350,000 additional US smokers who quit in 2014-15, emphasise the researchers.
Full story at OnMedica
Full reference: Shu-Hong Zhu et al. E-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation: evidence from US current population surveys BMJ 2017; 358 (Published 26 July 2017)
Related BMJ editorial: Rise in e-cigarette use linked to increase in smoking cessation rates