New research looking at smoking cessation treatment by tobacco counsellors in Flanders has found that vaping produces “similar if not higher smoking cessation rates compared to those choosing other evidence-based smoking cessation aids.” The volume of supportive studies and the experience of British ex-smokers demonstrates how nonsensical the European Union is being to push to restrict access to products and flavours.
The work by Karolien Adriaens, Eline Belmans, Dinska Van Gucht and Frank Baeyens is published this month in Harm Reduction Journal.
Before detailing their work, the authors took a balanced look at similar studies and found:
- E-cigarette use is rare among people who never smoked
- Daily e-cigarette use is positively associated with smoking abstinence
- The increase in e-cigarette use is positively related to quit smoking attempts and to abstinence
- This positive relation has been confirmed in EU, UK and US data
- UK population data showed that e-cigarette users (and smoking cessation medication users) had higher odds to be smoking abstinent compared to those not using these aids
- Several well-conducted prospective and retrospective observational cohort studies from the US show that the likelihood of smoking abstinence is higher for those who smoke and self-select an e-cigarette in a quit attempt
- Quit rates from such studies vary (both UK and US data), going from 20 to 52%; with the best results in regular and daily e-cigarette use, while using efficient e-cigarettes
That on its own is a spectacular summary of the unbiased research to date and it didn’t even include the stunning Hajek study from 2019.
The Flanders study looked at 296 participants, with 251 participants continuing to participate in the first or second follow-up assessment.
They found that a third of the total group were verifiably abstinent of tobacco 7 months after quitting. This broke down as 40% of those who’d switched to vaping remaining smoke-free compared to just 23% of traditional NRT users.
The authors concluded: “This study provided evidence that in the context of smoking cessation treatment by tobacco counsellors, a majority of smoking adults chose to use e-cigarettes to quit smoking. Those having chosen to use e-cigarettes achieved similar if not higher smoking abstinence rates as those opting for commonly recommended (or no) smoking cessation aids. Therefore, health professionals can feel confident that providing e-cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid in addition to the range of other already available evidence-based aids should not undermine a person’s chance of achieving abstinence from smoking.”
Reported success with vaping has occurred after this investigation, as we have reported. A University of Salford study, researchers at Yale, a project from the Medical University of Vienna and a survey by the World Vapers’ Allianceall highlighted the power of safer flavoured vape products.