E-cigarette use decreases even as evidence shows they increase smokers’ chances of quitting
An international review published today finds e-cigarettes are 70 per cent more effective in helping smokers quit than nicotine replacement therapy. The findings come as public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) publishes figures showing e-cigarette uptake dropped in 2020 compared to 2019. The charity warns that unfounded concerns about health risks from e-cigarettes may mean thousands of smokers who could benefit from switching completely are missing the chance.
The review, produced by Cochrane, examined the best quality evidence on e-cigarettes for quitting smoking from around the world. They found that e-cigarettes were 70 per cent more effective at helping smokers quit than the use of nicotine replacement therapy, currently the most commonly used medication to help smokers quit.
These important findings reinforce existing evidence and strengthen the case for more smokers to be encouraged to use these products to help them quit. However, data from ASH from their annual survey with YouGov found that in March 2020 there were 3.2m e-cigarette users in Great Britain, down from 3.6m in 2019. Almost all users are smokers or ex-smokers with use among never smokers very low.