42.4% of the American population smoked at the time of the first US Surgeon General’s smoking report in 1964. While this figure has steadily declined to just over 15%, four hundred thousand Americans die every year from smoking-related illnesses.
“Evidence on the efficacy of e-cigarettes as smoking cessation aids remains limited and inconclusive,” the team write. “Our study aims to estimate how the uptake of e-cigarettes is associated with cigarette cessation and changes in cigarette smoking intensity in adults in the USA.”
The team is one that is fully aware of Stanton Glantz’ claims as it includes Michael Siegel, a former colleague of Glantz who has become one of his greatest critics.
The study used 5,832 current smokers over the age of 25. Current smokers were defined as respondents who reported smoking more than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently smoked every day or on some days. Data was also collected on age, sex, race/ethnicity, household income, education and region.
The team found: “Among cigarette smokers, those who began using e-cigarettes every day had 5.7 times the odds of reducing their average daily cigarette use by at least 50% compared with e-cigarette non-users.”
They continued: “We also observed cigarette smokers who initiated daily e-cigarette use had 7.9-fold higher odds of having quit smoking cigarettes for at least 30 days than e-cigarette non-users.”
They discovered that their findings mirrored those elsewhere: “Similarly, recent data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) indicate recently quit smokers were more than four times as likely to be daily users of e-cigarettes compared with daily cigarette smokers.”
Also, “Our results agree with data from the Current Population Survey-Tobacco Use Supplement (2014– 2015) suggesting that compared with non-users, e-cigarette users were more likely to attempt to quit smoking cigarettes and to succeed in quitting.”
They concluded: “We found daily e-cigarette initiators were more likely to have quit smoking cigarettes or reduced use compared with non-users. However, less frequent e-cigarette use was not associated with cigarette cessation/reduction. Our findings add to the growing evidence suggesting adult smokers in the USA are using e-cigarettes to help themselves quit smoking cigarettes or reduce their cigarette use.”