Vaping Popularity Is Driving Scores Of Smokers To Quit

Steve Birr | Vice Reporter

A new study shows a record number of Americans are ditching cigarettes with the aid of vaping devices, bolstering the image of e-cigarettes as an important tool for improving public health.

Researchers at the University of California released a study Wednesday showing 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, which the researchers largely attribute to the rising popularity of vaping, reports Reuters.

The study also revealed roughly 65 percent of people who use vape devices are likely to attempt quitting smoking, compared to only 40 percent of smokers who do not. The researchers conclude e-cigarettes give smokers trying to quit a leg up on their peers.

“Other interventions that occurred concurrently, such as a national campaign showing evocative ads that highlight the serious health consequences of tobacco use, most likely played a role in increasing the cessation rate,” Shu-Hong Zhu, the lead researcher, said in the study, according to Reuters. “But this analysis presents a strong case that e-cigarette use also played an important role.”

The study adds to a growing body of research showing vaping can be a key tool for smokers looking to quit. Despite the positive impact the devices are having, local government across the U.S. continue to restrict the practice, arguing they are a gateway to smoking cigarettes. (RELATED: Anti-Vaping Officials Use Smoking Tactics To Push E-Cigarette Ban)

Nationally, the trends suggest teens and young adults are largely giving up e-cigarette use. A survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released June 15 shows 11.3 percent of high school students used a vaping device in 2016, down from 16 percent in 2015.

The new study from the University of California further supports the argument that there is no gateway effect from the devices, and that vaping actually leads smokers away from cigarettes.

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