Vapers tend to smoke less, are more likely to quit - study

An exhibitor staff member uses an electronic cigarette at Beijing International Vapor Distribution Alliance Expo (VAPE CHINA EXPO) in Beijing, July 24, 2015. According to the organizer, the Expo, which is held in Beijing from July 23 to 25, attracts over 120 companies, including global high-end e-cigarette and e-liquid brands. China s capital city unrolled ambitious new curbs on smoking in early June. Under the new rules, anyone in Beijing who violates the ban, which includes smoking in restaurants, hotels, schools and hospitals as well as in certain outdoor public places, must pay a 200 yuan ($32.25) fine. REUTERS/Jason Lee       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1LLW7
Photo credit: Reuters

Smokers who use e-cigarettes tend to smoke less and are more likely to quit altogether, a new study has found.

The research, from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), found people using e-cigarettes smoked an average of 37 percent fewer cigarettes than those smoking combustible cigarettes.

E-cigarettes could reduce harm and the risk of cancer and other diseases to smokers.

MUSC tobacco control and addiction expert Dr Matthew Carpenter stressed that non-smokers should be discouraged from starting to consume any nicotine-containing products, Science Daily reports.

Dr Carpenter said e-cigarettes are safer than traditional cigarettes but that doesn't mean they are completely safe, and as e-cigarettes are relatively new to the market, there is still plenty of research to be done.

Massey University professor of public health Marewa Glover told Newshub in November she believes the upfront cost of vaping remains a barrier for reducing inequalities and said subsidising the initial cost for those trying to quit could help.

In December, health officials told MPs that emerging evidence shows that vaping helps people to quit smoking.

Data has shown the risks of second-hand vapour are small because of low levels of toxicants compared to smoking, Ministry of Health officials said.

There's also evidence vapour doesn't kill as many cells as cigarette smoke.

Health officials recommended that the Government ban vaping in areas where smoking is banned.

The previous National Government proposed new regulations around e-cigarettes to legalise their sale and set regulations around displays.

The Government hasn't decided whether the proposed changes will get its backing.  

Newshub.