Stop smoking services are vital for smokers quitting with e-cigarettes

Rachael from our policy team shares the latest news about e-cigarettes and quitting smoking. 

Vaping e-cigarette

A new study shows you have a better chance of quitting when you get emotional support from a stop smoking service and use an e-cigarette.

Smokers who wanted to quit took part in a randomised control trial where they were given face-to-face emotional support from stop smoking services. People given an e-cigarette were almost twice as successful at quitting as people who chose a nicotine replacement therapy (NRT).

The trial also found that a year after quitting, people who had used an e-cigarette had fewer respiratory problems, like coughing.

One of the largest trials to date

The trial was carried out by researchers at Queen Mary University of London and involved almost 900 smokers. Everyone who took part was either given an e-cigarette or their choice of NRT. They could choose patches, gum, lozenges, sprays, inhalators or a combination of these products. They were also given one-to-one support.

It was one of the largest trials to date, and the first one looking at how useful modern e-cigarettes are when used with a specialist stop smoking service.

We already know that smokers are 4 times as likely to quit when using one of these services. But this research shows they’re also vital for smokers choosing e-cigarettes.

We shouldn't cut funding for stop smoking services

This study shows just how useful stop smoking services are for people who want to quit, which is why it's very worrying that we're hearing funding for these services is still being reduced.

We already know that smokers are 4 times as likely to quit when using one of these services. But this research shows they’re also vital for smokers choosing e-cigarettes.

NICE says people who want to quit should be given advice about vaping from their health care professional. But lots of GPs and other health care professionals remain unsure about recommending vaping as they’re concerned there's not enough evidence. This study backs up NICE's advice.

What does this mean for smokers?

Unlike NRT and other stop smoking treatments, you can't be prescribed e-cigarettes on the NHS - yet. As this study shows that using e-cigarettes is an effective way to quit, this might change in the future.

Its findings make clear that to have the best chance of quitting, you need advice on e-cigarettes as well as emotional support and counselling.

We need to give smokers choice and support

These days, there are more and more tools to help people beat the habit, and they’re all most helpful when supported by trained professionals.

It's clear we need to give smokers a choice about ways to quit, as well as the right support. That way, the greatest number of people can live free from tobacco


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11 February 2019