Researchers have reaffirmed the general scientific perspective that e-cigs help smokers quit the habit, and do not pose serious side effects in the short-term or mid-term.
The research was carried out by the medical group Cochrane Collaboration and was published in the British Medical Journal. The study deciphered the best possible evidence available with e-cigs.
Despite seemingly irrefutable evidence that e-cigs are helping thousands quit in the UK, there have been suggestions that e-cigs are unsafe and have adverse effects, suggestions that have been largely disproven.
In 2014, Cochrane conducted a review that found e-cigs containing nicotine help smokers quit, with 9% of smokers quitting, and only 4% managed to quit without nicotine.
The Cochrane committee concluded that there is no evidence of serious side effects over a two-year period.
Robert West, Professor of Health Psychology believes that for every 10,000 people who used an e-cig to quit, 580 would have quit who wouldn’t have otherwise.
“There is no evidence that it is making any difference to the rate at which people are trying to stop – it is increasing the rate at which they succeed,” said West.
The survey reviewed data from over 170,490 subjects aged 16 and over between 2006 and 2015, 23% of which had smoked in the past year, and 21% were current smokers.
John Britton, the director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol studies at the University of Nottingham, said: “The evidence is very clear, smoking kills. If you can’t stop smoking, if you can switch to another form of nicotine and that lets you stop smoking then that is great.”
“The bottom line is that any smoker who is still smoking tobacco should try an electronic cigarette and try to drop the tobacco completely and do so as quickly as possible.”