Research conducted by a group of scientists from the University of East London into electronic cigarettes has found that almost 75 per cent of the people who participated in the study reported using the devices as a safer option to tobacco and as a way of quitting smoking altogether.
As part of the study, University of East London researchers contacted some 1400 e-cigarette users between September 2011 and May 2012 through an online survey.
The research findings, which were published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Addiction on 28 March 2013, demonstrate that approximately 75 per cent of survey respondents started using electric cigarettes as an alternative to smoking, while 22 per cent reported they had started using the devices for other reasons, such as to avoid smoking bans in clubs and other places.
Probably the most significant finding of the study is that 86 per cent of the participants reported not having smoked tobacco cigarettes for several weeks or months since using the electronic cigarette. Furthermore, the amount they smoked had decreased dramatically. The researchers also discovered that most of the survey respondents felt their health had improved greatly since using the e-cigarette.
Doctor Lynne Dawkins, who headed the study on behalf of the University of East London, said that “despite the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, little is known about who uses e-cigarettes and why. We know that the majority of people reported great health benefits: a reduction in coughing and improved breathing for example. The benefits are most likely from people smoking fewer cigarettes, rather than as a direct effect of the devices.”
She added that the “public need[s] to be better informed about what we know and what we don’t know about e-cigarettes. This survey is just a starting point, and further research is clearly needed to evaluate their effectiveness and long-term safety.”
The effectiveness rate of electric cigarettes found in the most recent study is much greater than that of a similar study conducted at the Boston University School of Public Health which found that 31 per cent of e-cigarette users quit smoking after a six-month period. The University of East London study is more scientifically sound because its survey population is much greater (1341 people) than the Boston University study (222 people).
These studies provide more evidence that the electronic cigarette is the most effective way to quit smoking.