Around 900,000 people last year used e-cigarettes instead of behavioural support or prescriptions to stop smoking, a revealing new study has found.

A new study published by the Addiction journal has estimated that e-cigarettes are now responsible for 22,000 people quitting each year, raising the long-term success rate from 5% to 7.5%.

University College London, who conducted the research, says that 28.2% of quitters used the e-cigarette – so there’s still a long way to go until every quitter tries vaping.

Professor Robert West, who led the research team, said that whilst previous numbers had been exaggerated by pro-vapers, the new evidence is “significant”.

Prof West also commented on speculation that e-cigarettes could act as a gateway back to smoking.

“These claims stem from a misunderstanding of what the evidence can tell us at this stage, but this is clearly something we need to watch carefully.”

With all of this evidence considered, it’s hard to see why smokers seeking to quit would avoid e-cigarettes. They’ve been established as safer than regular cigarettes, and will even be prescribed by GPs this year.