In a recent blog on its website, Cancer Research UK advocated for the use of e-cigarettes with Stop Smoking services as an effective method of quitting smoking, which signals yet another English public health organisation which is pulling for e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation method.
Two e-cigarette users share their stories
The two e-cigarette users profiled for the blog stated that e-cigarettes were the closest behaviourally that they could get to smoking tobacco cigarettes, which made them more attractive as a smoking cessation method. One of them said that she used to bring an unlit cigarette out with her in situations where she would regularly smoke, and would have to ask her friends not to light it - it was at that point that she realised that vaping would be a good choice for her. One of the e-cigarette users also stated that she’d saved 100 pounds a month since switching to vaping from smoking.
“Far safer than smoking” - Cancer Research UK
The blog goes on to say that e-cigarettes are far safer than smoking, citing a link to the Royal College of Physicians’ report, Nicotine Without Smoke. Absent in this blog were the usual cautionary notes on e-cigarettes that are rote at this point with most government services. They even call out some Stop Smoking services for not wanting to recommend e-cigarettes because they don’t come with an approved medicine label from the MHRA - pointing to a January 2016 briefing document on e-cigarettes for Stop Smoking services. It is true that some consistency is needed among Stop Smoking services on e-cigarette recommendations, and the briefing does provide that consistency.
Ecigarettes + behavioural support = highest quit rates
In an infographic created from a 2014 study of smoking cessation methods, the blog states that vaping on its own is 60% more effective than quitting cold turkey. The same infographic goes on to tout stop smoking services paired with drugs as being 225% more effective than going cold turkey, but a similar statistic isn’t shown for e-cigarettes (e.g. pairing e-cigarettes and stop smoking services), likely because there was less medical support for vaping back in 2014, and stop smoking services would have been less likely to recommend e-cigarettes. We can find that statistic in the e-cigarette briefing given to stop smoking services; in 2014-2015, those who combined e-cigarettes and behavioural support had the highest quit rates out of any other method.
If you are trying to vape to quit this Stoptober, consider signing up for free local stop smoking services to bolster your quit attempt - that small extra step may tip you over the edge to quitting for good.