VAPING helps smokers quit even if they don’t want to because it’s more enjoyable, new research suggests.
It means smokers who ditch fags in favour of vaping may be better able to stay away from cigarettes in the future, experts from the University of East Anglia said.
About 17 per cent of the study group said they enjoyed smoking and had never tried to quit until trying e-cigarettes
They also asked out times they had relapsed to smoking fags.
“They hadn’t intended to quit smoking and had tried vaping on a whim, or because they had been offered it by friends.
“They went on to like it, and only then saw it as a potential substitute for smoking.
“Many people talked about how they saw vaping was a no pressure approach to quitting.”
Most of the group admitted they switched quickly from smoking to vaping, while others found themselves gradually moving towards ditching fags for good.
“We found that people did occasionally relapse with a cigarette, mainly due to social or emotional reasons, but it didn’t necessarily lead to a full relapse,” Dr Notley added.
“This study suggests that vaping is a viable long-term substitute for smoking, with substantial implications for tobacco harm reduction.”
Vaping is thought to be less harmful than smoking and last year Public Health England endorsed them as a quit smoking aid in 30-second TV adverts.
“E-cigarettes are at least 95 per cent less harmful than tobacco smoking, and they are now the most popular aid to quitting smoking in the UK,” Dr Notley said.
“However the idea of using e-cigarettes to stop smoking, and particularly long-term use, remains controversial.
“We found that vaping may support long-term smoking abstinence.
“Not only does it substitute many of the physical, psychological, social and cultural elements of cigarette smoking, but it is pleasurable in its own right, as well as convenient and cheaper than smoking.
“But the really interesting thing we found was that vaping may also encourage people who don’t even want to stop smoking, to eventually quit.”