E-cigarettes could be the most important factor in hundreds of thousands of people quitting smoking, according to a study published in the International Journal of Public Health.
France’s 2014 Health Barometer, using responses from 15,635 people, aimed to investigate the relationship between tobacco and e-cigarette use.
The research found that just over a quarter of French people between the ages of 15 and 75 have used an e-cigarette. In total, roughly 1.5 million people are using e-cigarettes on a daily basis.
The vast majority of vapers are also smokers, but 15 percent were non-smokers. Furthermore, 80 percent of vapers who smoked said they cut their cigarette consumption by an average of 8.9 per day thanks to e-cigarettes.
The central reasons for using e-cigarettes were higher tobacco prices, harm reduction and desire for nicotine.
The total number of ex-smokers in France who are now vaping came to 400,000. The study’s authors concluded that “this figure represents an initial estimate of the number of smokers who have successfully stopped smoking, at least temporarily, thanks to e-cigarettes.”
France’s smoking and vaping habits differ sharply from the U.S. where ex-smokers are four times more likely to use e-cigarettes than current smokers, while those who’ve never taken a puff of tobacco are unlikely to ever start vaping, according to a study published in November.
The paper by Rutgers School of Public Health and the Schroeder Institute, used some of the latest government data and suggested e-cigarettes could be a critical ingredient in getting smokers to quit.
The research called into question the claim that e-cigarettes are more likely to be used in conjunction with regular cigarettes, rather than as a smoking cessation aid.
The study’s authors found that 13 percent of those who recently quit smoking were likely to use e-cigarettes daily compared to just 3.5 percent of current smokers.
“This is in line with other recent evidence that regular, daily e-cigarette use may help some smokers quit cigarettes,” said Cristine Delnevo, a researcher at the School of Public Health and lead author of the study.
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