More Americans Stop Smoking, May be Attributed to E-Cigarettes

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The study claimed it used the largest representative sample of e-cigarette users among the U.S. population, and the impact was studied on a larger scale than previous studies.

"It was the e-cigarette users who quit at a clearly higher rate (8.2%) that brought the overall population cessation rate to a higher level", Professor Zhu-Hong Zhu wrote.

According to a new study out of UC San Diego, during 2015 the annual quit rate went up to about 6% from its long-time average of 4.5%.

The data, obtained in 2014-15, revealed a substantial increase in e-cigarette use compared to 2010-11, and demonstrated a "statistically significant increase in the smoking cessation rate".

The report, which surveyed 161,054 people in the U.S. across nearly 15 years, also found that substantially more people in the States are using e-cigarettes, and that this was linked to a "statistically significant increase in the smoking cessation rate at the population level".

E-cigarettes have appeared in the 2007 and have been promoted as a less risky alternative to regular cigarettes.

"The people who say that use of e-cigarettes inhibits cessation should be sobered by this paper", said Dr. Steven Schroeder, a physician and tobacco researcher at the University of California, San Francisco. It's based on the largest representative sample of smokers and e-cigarette users available.

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The authors also admit that anti-tobacco campaigns, such as TIPS, is helping people quit just as much as vaping is. The latest research done in the USA has looked into the habits of people who do use them and found out that they played a bit role in helping them quit. Smoking cessation rates were determined from participants who reported smoking cigarettes in the past year (n = 23,270).

A total of 65 percent of smokers who used e-cigs within 12 months had attempted to quit smoking traditional cigarettes, compared to 40 percent of smokers who didn't use e-cigs.

For the study, Zhu and colleagues collected data on more than 160,000 people who took part in five surveys between 2001 and 2015. This supports the thesis that less strict control over e-cigarettes would be positive. This is the first statistically significant increase observed in population smoking cessation among U.S. adults in the past 15 years.

Among these, almost half of recent quitters had tried e-cigarettes, the researchers found.

"We are pretty confident that e-cigarettes are less risky, but that is only because cigarettes are so bad", he said. As vaping becomes more popular, there's been a lot of debate over the role of e-cigs.

"This study suggests that we should be receptive to the kind of approach that health authorities in England have taken, encouraging smokers who can not quit otherwise to try e-cigarettes", Warner said.