Study Finds 74% of Smokers Quit with Ecigs AND that E-Cigarettes are Less Addictive than Tobacco Cigarettes

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by: James Dunworth

Over 70% of smokers surveyed in a recent University of London survey quit smoking using e-cigarettes, and 38% had not had a cigarette for more than a year.

Less Addictive

An arm is handcuffed to cigarettes.

Just 18% of ecig users thought e-cigs were as addictive as tobacco cigarettes.

The study also found that electronic cigarettes were less addictive than tobacco cigarettes.

Only 18% of users said cravings for e-cigarettes were as strong as for cigarettes, and vapers (e-cigarette users) also said that they were waiting longer  before having their first puff of the day.

This is not the first study to find e-cigarettes are less addictive – see A Clinical laboratory assessment of the abuse liability of an electronic cigarette.

Health Benefits

A woman stands on a beach, facing the sea, her arms held out.

Users reported improved breathing.

The study also found that smokers who had switched to vaping found a number of benefits:

  • greater ability to breathe
  • fewer cravings
  • less throat irritation and jaw aching

A survey we carried out in 2008 with the University of Alberta also found a number of health benefits to switching.

Zero Nicotine and How the EU Ban Would Send Ex-Smokers Back to Cigarettes

man smoking cigarette

The EU limit on nicotine could send vapers back to cigarettes.

Only one percent of users surveyed used zero nicotine ecigarettes – most used 0.8%.

The EU tobacco directive aims to allow a maximum of 0.4% nicotine in electronic cigarettes, which Chris Price of the Electronic Cigarette Consumer Association (ECCA UK) believes would make it would make it useless for about 93% of electronic cigarette users.

Despite what the EU claims, the tobacco directive remains, in effect, a ban.

Possible Bias

Unfortunately, the results are likely to be somewhat skewed as they were recruited using a link from an e-cigarette retailer’s website. People who have tried and failed to use electronic cigarettes are obviously less likely to visit a website than people who are continuing to use electronic cigarettes.

Nevertheless, the survey adds weight to the growing number of studies (including this one and this one) which show that electronic cigarettes are more effective than other methods.

For the full study, see Vaping profiles and preferences, an online survey of electronic cigarette users (purchase required.) For why e-cigarettes might be more effective, see our posts on why ecigs work here and here.

Did ecigs help you stop smoking – and do you find them less addictive? Let me know what you think in the comments!

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6 Responses to “Study Finds 74% of Smokers Quit with Ecigs AND that E-Cigarettes are Less Addictive than Tobacco Cigarettes”

  1. Elissa millar April 4, 2013 at 7:22 pm #

    I stopped smoking on 1st February 2012 thanks to ecigs. I am healthier and wealthier and wouldnt have been able to do it without them.

  2. James Dunworth April 5, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    Well done, Elissa, glad it is working for you too!

  3. Scott McKirahan April 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    For sure, the study is skewed. Tons of people have tried a convenience store model, decided ecigs suck and never tried a decent one. They’d never end up at a vaper’s forum or blog.

    That’s the reason I think celebrity endorsements are a double edged sword. Sure, it gives ecigs exposure but they are all endorsing the crappiest models out there.

    I think I’ll make that the subject of my next post on the blog!

  4. James Dunworth April 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    The tesco one used to be awful – I tried it and thought no one would be convinced by that. The study was interesting (shame about its method of recruitment) – I was interested in the comments about ecigs being less addictive, which I instinctively thought was true but hadn’t heard of any studies that backed it up before.

  5. Ern April 8, 2013 at 7:51 am #

    Gotta be kidding James! The first phrase of the study report abstract states: ‘Seventy-four percent of participants reported not smoking for at least a few weeks since using the e-cigarette’.

    Is there any need to over-egg your pudding? You’ve got me wondering now.

  6. Chris Needham April 15, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    I think it is a case of finding the right electronic cigarette that suits you and your needs but as with all things you still need to have the will power to stop, but in my experience I cut out half of my normal tobacco cigarettes straight away after starting with the Smoke Relief electronic cigarette.

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