Scientists have found through a study that it is more likely for smokers to quit smoking if they spend time with vapers (people who use e-cigarettes).
The research by UCL scientists has been published in BMC Medicine. According to the study, smokers who were regularly exposed to vapers (as opposed to other smokers) were around 20% more likely to have reported both a high current motivation to quit and made a recent quit attempt. Scientists have said that their study also addresses concerns that coming in contact with vapers could ‘renormalise’ smoking in England and undermine smokers’ motivation to quit.”
Scientists say they have found no evidence of this and that their findings should help to alleviate concerns about the wider public health impact of e-cigarettes.
Study data indicates that around a quarter (25.8%) of smokers in the study said they regularly spent time with vapers. Of these, around a third (32.3%) had made an attempt to quit smoking in the previous year – a higher rate than was observed among smokers who did not regularly spend time with vapers (26.8%).
The study was conducted over a period of three and a half years, from November 2014 to May 2018. Data was provided by almost 13,000 participants of the Smoking Toolkit Study, an ongoing monthly study about smoking habits in England.
E-cigarettes are estimated to be around 95% safer than smoking tobacco, according to Public Health England. The authors say the findings should offer some reassurance in terms of the wider public health impact of e-cigarettes, particularly given evidence that the alternative, cigarette smoking, appeared to reduce other smokers’ motivation to quit.