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Vaping is the most effective and popular quitting method. Study

Posted on May 23, 2019

A large study from England suggests that vaping is helping more smokers to quit than any other method - and by a long way. Vaping was the most effective quitting aid and is by far the most popular method of quitting.

The most effective quitting aid

The study published in the journal Addiction reported on 18,929 smokers who had made a serious quit attempt in the previous 12 months over the period 2006-2018. Vaping increased quit rates by 95% and varenicline increased quit rates by 82% compared to no treatment.

Of all the available treatments, the highest quit rates were from vaping and varenicline

Nicotine replacement therapy (nicotine patches, gum etc) on prescription increased quit rates by 34% but when these products were purchased over-the-counter they were not effective at all.

This study builds on the evidence from a large randomised controlled trial recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine which found that vaping was almost twice as effective as combinations of nicotine patch and gum or lozenge.

These studies show that vaping work in the closely controlled artificial environment of a clinical trial as well in the real-world where smokers make their own choices and get their own advice.

Based on these studies and other research, it is now clear that vaping is an effective quitting aid for smokers

Enormous public health impact

The public health impact of vaping is by far the greatest of any quitting aid. The impact of any treatment is determined by its effectiveness and uptake.

In England now, vaping is by far the most popular quitting method. According to the monthly Smoking Toolkit surveys, over the last few years over 30% of quit attempts use vaping and less than 10% use a prescription medication.

The public health impact of vaping is substantial. It is at least as effective as any other quitting aid and is 3-6x as popular

Another advantage is that vaping involves no cost to the taxpayer. Unlike prescription medication, vapers purchase their own supplies and generally do their own research.

Australia has a de facto ban on vaping. Australian smokers should not be denied easy and convenient access to this lifesaving strategy any longer.


Jackson S. Moderators of real-world effectiveness of smoking cessation methods: a population study. Addiction 2019
Analysis of this study by 3 experts via Science Media Centre UK

The study was funded by the charity Cancer Research UK.

Posted by Colin Mendelsohn,

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