Smokers who use e-cigarettes are 60% more likely to succeed in quitting than those using other nicotine replacement therapies such as patches or gum, according to a report.
A University College London (UCL) study surveyed 5,863 smokers attempting to quit without the aid of medicinal support or professional help.
Results suggest 20% of people trying to quit with the aid of e-cigarettes report having stopped smoking conventional cigarettes at the time of the survey.
This compares with just 10.1% of people using over-the-counter aids such as nicotine patches and gum.
The ‘cigarettes’ come in a variety of flavours
Of those using willpower alone, 15.4% managed to stop smoking.
Author of the report, Dr Jamie Brown, said: “We will continue to monitor success rates in people using e-cigarettes to stop smoking to see whether there are improvements as the devices become more advanced.”
The news will further boost the already growing industry in the UK which is estimated to have tripled in the last two years to two million users.
A new cafe has opened in east London aimed specifically at e-cigarette users. There are dozens of different flavours with varying concentrations of nicotine, such as Custard or Cuban Tobacco.
Just over 15% of smokers manage to quit using willpower alone
Smokers – or ‘Vapers’ as they are known, because of the water vapour they exhale – told Sky News the devices are massively popular. “It’s a lifestyle choice,” one vapour explained.
“I used to smoke two or three packs of cigarettes a week but this is much healthier. There is no tar and I feel better.”
The Department of Health says there are still a lot of unknowns with e-cigarettes. A spokesperson said: “E-cigarettes are not risk-free, but they carry a lower risk to health than smoking tobacco and may help people who want to stop smoking.
“We will continue to closely monitor all emerging research.”
There are fears e-cigarettes are also seen by young people as a gateway into cigarettes. Ministers in Wales have spoken of concerns that the popular devices are re-normalising the act of smoking.