Vaping is more effective for quitting smoking than nicotine patches and gums. Major new study finds.

2 July 2019

If you’re wanting to quit smoking but are finding it difficult? Vaping may be the answer for you.

A major new study published on 14 February 2019 UK National Health Study by researchers at Queen Mary University (Funded by the National Institute for Health Research and Cancer Research UK) concluded that vaping was nearly twice as effective in helping people quit smoking than nicotine-replacement therapy; nicotine patches, gums and related products.

A total of 886 randomly selected adults attending the UK NHS stop-smoking services took part in the study at the Queen Mary University. They were divided into two equal groups. One group was provided nicotine-replacement products of their choice, including product combinations. And the other provided with a second generation refillable e-cigarette starter pack with 18mg/ml nicotine e-liquid of their choice.

The primary outcome was sustained abstinence from smoking for 1 year, which was validated biochemically.

For those validated participants that had quit smoking for one year. The 1-year abstinence rate for the e-cigarette group was 18.0% as compared with 9.9% for the nicotine-replacement therapy group.

The study concluded that vaping is more effective for smoking cessation than nicotine-replacement therapy products when both products were accompanied by behavioural support.

 

E-cigarettes 95% less harmful to health than smoking.

 

An expert independent evidence review published 19 August 2015 by Public Health England (PHE) concludes that e-cigarettes are significantly less harmful to health than tobacco and have the potential to help smokers quit smoking.

Key findings of the review include:

  • the current best estimate is that e-cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking
  • nearly half the population (44.8%) don’t realise e-cigarettes are much less harmful than smoking
  • there is no evidence so far that e-cigarettes are acting as a route into smoking for children or non-smokers

The review, commissioned by PHE and led by Professor Ann McNeill (King’s College London) and Professor Peter Hajek (Queen Mary University of London), suggests that e-cigarettes may be contributing to falling smoking rates among adults and young people. Following the review PHE has published a paper on the implications of the evidence for policy and practice.

The comprehensive review of the evidence finds that almost all of the 2.6 million adults using e-cigarettes in Great Britain are current or ex-smokers, most of whom are using the devices to help them quit smoking or to prevent them going back to cigarettes. It also provides reassurance that very few adults and young people who have never smoked are becoming regular e-cigarette users (less than 1% in each group).

However, the review raises concerns that increasing numbers of people think e-cigarettes are equally or more harmful than smoking (22.1% in 2015, up from 8.1% in 2013: ASH Smokefree GB survey) or don’t know (22.7% in 2015, ASH Smokefree GB survey).

Despite this trend, all current evidence finds that e-cigarettes carry a fraction of the risk of smoking.

Emerging evidence suggests some of the highest successful quit rates are now seen among smokers who use an e-cigarette and also receive additional support from their local stop smoking services.

 

Smoking and cancer.

 

From the article Together we will beat cancer by Cancer Research UK, it states smoking is the largest cause of cancer in the UK.

Smoking causes at least 15 different types of cancer: lung, larynx, oesophagus, oral cavity, nasopharynx, pharynx, bladder, pancreas, kidney, liver, stomach, bowel, cervix, leukaemia, and ovarian cancers.

Tobacco is the largest preventable cause of death in the world. Tobacco smoking caused an estimated 115,000 deaths in the UK in 2015 – almost a fifth (19%) of all deaths from all causes.

Why is quitting smoking so difficult?

 

Quitting smoking is difficult because of the effects nicotine has on your brain. According to the article, Why is Smoking Addictive? by the NHS, nicotine alters the balance of 2 chemicals called dopamine and noradrenaline in your brain. This produces feelings of pleasure and reduces stress and anxiety.

When you stop smoking the loss of nicotine changes the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline making you feel anxious, depressed and irritable. As a result, you will crave nicotine which provides an immediate fix to these unpleasant feelings.

Nicotine cravings can be very strong, making it difficult to quit using willpower alone.

 

Get support.

 

Smoking can be challenging to quit but with the right support and help quitting can be a bit easier.

Check out Prepare to Quit on the smokefree.gov website to begin your smoke-free journey.

You can also reach out to an Expert to get the support you need to finally give up smoking for good.