Can e-cigarettes help you quit?
Clinical studies so far indicate that ECs reduce cigarette cravings and withdrawal symptoms and are effective for helping smokers to quit or reduce smoking.
Most of the research to date has used now-obsolete first generation models with low nicotine delivery. Newer devices (second, third and fourth generation) deliver nicotine more effectively and have higher quit rates.
In the United Kingdom, ECs are now the most common aid used to help people quit smoking and are used in 38% of quit attempts. One large study found that smokers who used ECs in a quit attempt were approximately 60% more likely to be non-smokers 12 months later than those who tried to quit unaided or by using an over-the-counter nicotine product, such as the nicotine patch.
The effectiveness of ECs for quitting smoking can be improved by using them in conjunction with counselling and support from a health professional and in combination with other stop smoking medications, such as the nicotine patch or Champix.
Millions of smokers overseas are reporting having quit smoking using ECs.
What about harm reduction?
Some smokers are not willing or able to give up nicotine or the 'smoking' habit. These smokers can achieve enormous health benefits by changing to vaping (using an electronic cigarette) rather than continuing to smoke.
ECs provide nicotine without the products of combustion such as tar and carbon monoxide that cause most of the harm from smoking. Long-term use of nicotine can help prevent relapse to smoking and carries low risk, except in pregnancy, childhood and adolescence.
If you do change over to using an EC, it is important to stop smoking completely. Even several cigarettes per day are a significant health risk.
Last Modified: 18-02-2016