E-Cigarettes Growing as NHS Prescriptions Kick In

As prescriptions for vaping technology begin to kick in, the latest evidence suggests that in the region of one-million smokers in England are utilising e-cigarette with the intention of ceasing nicotine addiction.

However, it is interesting to note that the number of people using these devices in order to stop is actually less than the total number of e-cigarette smokers.

A separate study by the Office for National Statistics indicated that 2.2 million people in the UK use e-cigarettes.

Researchers at University College London believe that 891,000 people have utilised e-cigarettes in an attempt to stop smoking during 2014.

This was opposed to using prescription medicine or receiving behavioural support.

The figures acquired by the university would seem to be approximately 10% of the total number of the cigarette smokers in Britain, with this figure thought to be around 8.5 million.

This latest piece of research follows on the back of another study which suggested that the chance of quitting is increased significantly by using vaping technology.

A previous study suggests that the chances of quitting smoking rises by 50% when e-cigarettes are utilised in comparison to traditional products such as nicotine gum and patches.

The long-term rate of quitting smoking cigarettes rises from around 5 per cent to 7.5 per cent when e-cigarettes are used – amounting to around 22,000 people, according to the new study published in the journal ‘Addiction.’

Professor Robert West, who led the research team, believes that the study does indicate that e-cigarette technology is helpful in aiding smokers to stop the habit.

On the other hand, West also asserted that the numbers are not as high as some e-cigarette manufacturers claim.

West also believes that the research is contrary to the concept that e-cigarettes undermine quitting if smokers use them to cut down slowly, and it also disproved the idea that they could be a gateway into smoking conventional tobacco products.

“These claims stem from a misunderstanding of what the evidence can tell us at this stage, but this is clearly something we need to watch carefully,” West asserted.

Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London, commented that the devices could be an effective tool in reducing the number of deaths from smoking.

Hajek seemed to support the concept of e-cigarettes being made available to the general public via prescriptions.

“This is unfortunate, as it is likely that even more smokers would switch to vaping successfully if e-cigarettes were combined with behavioural support that the services provide. Hopefully, findings like this will encourage the services to start offering e-cigarettes as a part of their overall toolkit.”

The data was compiled since the second quarter of 2011, by The Smoking Toolkit Study backed by organisations including the Department of Health and Cancer Research UK.


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