A new study has claimed that smokers using electronic cigarettes find it easier to kick their nicotine habits than non-vapers. The study, which is based on survey data pooled from over 160,000 people over an almost 15-year time-span, also found that 65% of e-cig users attempted to quit smoking, as opposed to 40% of regular smokers.
The BMJ study, titled "E-cigarette use and associated changes in population smoking cessation: evidence from US current population surveys" was undertaken to find whether the dramatic increase in vaping between 2010-2014 had any connection with an overall drop in smoking in the US.
"This study, based on the largest representative sample of e-cigarette users to date, provides a strong case that e-cigarette use was associated with an increase in smoking cessation at the population level," it reads.
"We found that e-cigarette use was associated with an increased smoking cessation rate at the level of subgroup analysis and at the overall population level. This is the first statistically significant increase observed in population smoking cessation among US adults in nearly a quarter of a century."
The cigarettes vs. e-cigarettes debate has reached far beyond public opinion and into the scientific community since the latter's popularity has spiked in recent years. Previous studies have found that vaping is a "safer" alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, but that they carry their own health risks.
While the BMJ study does not address the number of current smokers who adopted the habit via e-cigarettes, it does support the notion that quitting is easier for e-cigarette smokers. The survey details that around 8% of e-cig smokers managed to quit for at least three months compared to roughly 5% of regular smokers.
The study posits that "these findings need to be weighed carefully in regulatory policy making and in the planning of tobacco control interventions".