E-cigarettes are considerably more effective than over-the-counter treatments such as nicotine gum and patches at helping people to quit smoking, according to a story in The Independent quoting the results of a new study by researchers at University College London (UCL).
One leading expert was quoted as saying it would be “perfectly reasonable” for the devices, which would soon be licensed as medicines, to be prescribed on the National Health Service (NHS).
Despite concerns that the recent rise in popularity of e-cigarettes might be renormalizing smoking, UCL professor Robert West said that these devices had proven to be highly efficient quit-smoking aids, which could “substantially improve public health.”
The UCL study looked at the success rate of nearly 6,000 quitters. Those who used e-cigarettes were 60 percent more likely to report succeeding than either those who tried to quit with over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies, or those who quit without help.
E-cigarettes were found to be as effective as prescription medicines, but the group of smokers with the highest quitting success rate were those who used free NHS stop-smoking services.