Research estimates that Ecigarettes have helped 16,000 – 22,000 smokers in England to quit in 2014


The research was conducted by University College London who estimate that 16,000 – 22,000 smokers quit for at least a year due to e-cigarettes.


Professor Robert West led the research team that tracked “Electronic Cigarettes In England – Latest Trends”. He claims that “E-cigarettes appear to be helping a significant number of smokers to stop who would not have done otherwise – not as many as some e-cigarette enthusiasts claim, but a substantial number nonetheless.”


Ecigarettes Helping Smokers Quit

Image Credit: Vaping360

In the conclusion of the research, UCL claims “Current use of e-cigarettes by never smokers remains very rare and similar to use of licensed nicotine products; use among long-term ex-smokers appears to be increasing”


The use of e-cigarettes in England has increased since 2014 with ASH (Action On Smoking & Health) estimating that 2.6 million adults in Great Britain currently use them as of May 2015. Many reports from the media claim that this will renormalize smoking and people who have never smoked before will start to use Ecigarettes. Wales’ Health Minister Mark Drakeford described e-cigarettes as a “gateway” to deadly tobacco and wants to bring the devices in line with existing smoking laws.


However, research from ASH claims that the number of people who are non-smokers using e-cigarettes is “negligible”. Of the 2.6 million adults using ecigarettes, ASH said “approximately 1.1 million are ex-smokers while 1.4 million continue to use tobacco alongside their electronic cigarette use. Regular use of the devices is confined to current and ex-smokers and use amongst never smokers remains negligible”. They also stated that “the increase in the numbers of people using electronic cigarettes between 2014 and 2015 came almost entirely from ex-smokers”.


The research shows the claims that renormalising tobacco usage because of the rise of e-cigarettes is unfounded and research shows that e-cigarettes are being used by smokers and ex-smokers. As for ex-smokers, ASH used a sample size of 12,171 adults to ask ex-smokers for their reason to start vaping. To quote ASH:


“Among current vapers, the principal reasons given by ex-smokers are “to help me stop smoking entirely” (61%) and “to help me keep off tobacco” (53%). The principal reasons given by current vapers who still smoking are to “to help me reduce the amount of tobacco I smoke, but not stop completely” (43%) and “help me stop smoking entirely” (41%).”


The following graph shows people’s reasons for using e-cigarettes:


Reasons for using an electronic cigarette among current vapers (2015)


Source: ASH – Use of electronic cigarettes among adults in Great Britain


The graph clearly shows that people are using e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation to help them stop smoking entirely. It also shows that people have made attempts to quit smoking possibly through nicotine patches or gum but failed are now trying e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking.


People are also concerned about the second hand smoke caused by smoking traditional cigarettes and with no evidence to show that second hand vaping is harmful, they are wise to switch to e-cigarettes as a method to eradicate the risks of second hand smoke. The IEC (Info about Electronic Cigarettes), after reading a number of studies came to the conclusion that “the overwhelming consensus is that second hand vapour is not only safer, but some believe that it is even, for all intents and purposes, non-existent”. This statement Is backed up by a study from BMC Public Health who stated, “There was no evidence of potential for exposures of e-cigarette users to contaminants that are associated with risk to health at a level that would warrant attention.”