While the number of smokers in the US who are switching from smoking to vaping has declined over the last three years, this PATH study has indicated that e-cigarettes are still the most popular cessation tools.

To conduct their research, Tarik Benmarhnia and colleagues looked at data from Waves 1 and 2 of the FDA-funded PATH Study to evaluate “the influence of [e-cigarettes] and pharmaceutical cessation aids [varenicline, bupropion and nicotine medicines, NRT] on persistent abstinence (=30 days) from cigarettes, and reduced cigarette consumption” between 2013 to 2015.

“Our results indicate that [e-cigarettes] are a more popular choice than approved pharmaceutical products as a smoking cessation aid among US quit attempters, over three quarters of whom were daily smokers. In the future, as [vapor] products continue to evolve to make nicotine delivery more similar to that obtained from a cigarette, it is possible that they may play a bigger role in assisting smokers to quit combustible tobacco,” concluded the researchers.

In line with the above, another study based on the PATH survey and published in The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in December 2017, reported similar findings. The latter looked at data from 2013 and 2014, and reported that e-cigarettes were not only the most commonly used cessation tools by American smokers, but more importantly, the most successful.

E-cigs are also the most effective cessation tool

Lead author of the 2017 study, and renowned tobacco harm reduction expert Brad Rodu, and his colleague Nantaporn Plurphanswat, found that e-cigarettes were used by 2.2 million smokers, NRTs by 1.47 million, prescription drugs by 418,000 and smokeless tobacco by 124,000.

From the above-mentioned smoking cessation aids, e-cigarettes produced the best results with 540,000 managing to quit successfully, while NRT and prescription drugs combined, helped only about 354,000.

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