Association of Prevalence of Electronic Cigarette Use with Smoking Cessation and Cigarette Consumption in England: A Time Series Analysis Between 2006 and 2017

Summary of Study

Bottom Line: The increase in the prevalence of e-cigarette use in England was positively associated with the success rates of quit attempts and overall quit rates. These findings on smoking cessation confirm those of previous time-series analyses showing a significant increase in smoking cessation rates among e-cigarette users. They contradict claims that e-cigarettes, as used by smokers in the population, undermine smoking cessation.

This study provides up-to-date estimates of how changes in the prevalence of e-cigarette use in England have been associated with changes in smoking cessation activities and daily cigarette consumption.

This study addresses the following questions:

  1. What is the association between prevalence of e-cigarette use in current smokers and a) prevalence of quit attempts among last-year smokers, b) overall quit rates among last-year smokers and c) mean cigarette consumption per day among last-year smokers? 
  2. What is the association between prevalence of e-cigarette use during a quit attempt among last-year smokers and a) quit success rate among last-year smokers and b) overall quit rates among last-year smokers?

In adjusted and unadjusted analyses, the data showed no clear association between the prevalence of e-cigarette use among current smokers and attempts to quit smoking. Nor did it show a clear association between prevalence of e-cigarette use among current smokers and cigarette consumption.

However, the prevalence of e-cigarette use during a quit attempt was positively associated with the quit success rate, with every 1% rise in use associated with a 0.060% increase in the quit success rate. In addition, there was evidence of an increase in the quit success rate following the increase in the age of sale of cigarettes, the smoking ban, and a positive association with mass media spending.

This 1 percentage point increase in e-cigarette use in quit attempts to 0.060 percentage point increase in quit success rate ratio has significant implications for smoking cessation efforts and public health. Assuming 34.3% of seven million current smokers in 2017 were attempting to quit and prevalence of e-cigarette use in a quit attempt was 35.2% in that year, it's estimated that 845,152 smokers used e-cigarettes during a quit attempt. This equates to 50,700 additional past year smokers who report that they are no longer smoking as a consequence of e-cigarette use in a quit attempt in 2017.

Read the full study here.

Feature Charticle

Prevalence of Quit Success Rate, Overall Quit Rate and Use of E-Cigarettes in a Quit Attempt in England

Addiction

Findings:

  • The prevalence of e-cigarette use during a quit attempt was positively associated with the quit success rate, with every 1% rise in use associated with a 0.060% increase in the quit success rate.
  • This equates to 50,700 additional past year smokers out of 7 million attempting to quit who report that they are no longer smoking as a consequence of e-cigarette use in a quit attempt in 2017. 
  • These findings on smoking cessation confirm those of previous time-series analyses showing a significant increase in smoking cessation rates among e-cigarette users.

Read the full study here.