By Steve Birr
The latest research on e-cigarettes is adding to the large swath of evidence showing the devices are a key tool to helping smokers ditch the habit.
A study released Wednesday by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the Rutgers School of Public Health reveals vapers who use an e-cigarette on a daily basis vastly strengthen their chances of quitting over those relying on the patches and gum approved by the Food and Drug Administration, reports News Medical.
The researchers found more than half of daily vapers quit smoking within the past five years. Only 28 percent of smokers who did not try a vaping devices were successful in their efforts to quit.
“Smokers, like others, are able to make better informed decisions as they get better information and are offered better choices,” David Sweanor of the Center for Health Law, Policy and Ethics at the University of Ottawa told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We have succeeded brilliantly in increasing dissonance among smokers. Most wish to quit smoking and have been held back from using far less hazardous products due to misinformation and lack of options. As that starts to change, the rate of people switching off cigarettes can be expected to soar.”
A study from the University of California released July 26 showed that a record number of Americans are ditching cigarettes with the aid of vaping devices. The rate of Americans quitting smoking jumped from 4.5 percent between 2010 and 2011 to 5.6 percent between 2014 and 2015. That means roughly 350,000 smokers gave up the habit between 2014 and 2015.
In countries where vaping is still banned or greatly restricted, smoking rates are actually increasing. Australia is experiencing a historic surge in the number of smokers, despite having the “most expensive cigarette prices in the world.”
Smokers in Australia are legally allowed to buy vaping devices but are barred from using the fluid necessary to successfully quit.
“Basically I’m a criminal for quitting smoking the only way I could,” Alison Paul, a smoker for 30 years who recently quit using a vape, told ABC Australia in July. “There’s many people, particularly older people, who aren’t willing to break the law to be vaping nicotine. I’m firmly of the belief that the Government has got people’s lives in their hands right now.”
Public health experts argue access to vaping is key if policymakers are serious about attaining the goal of a smoke free generation in the future. A study commissioned by the European Union in 2014 found roughly six million European smokers had quit cigarettes by using vaping devices.