(LONDON) -- Smokers are more likely to succeed in quitting the habit if they use electronic cigarettes, compared to those who attempt to stop cold turkey or use replacements such as patches or gum, a new study finds.
A survey of 5,863 people discovered that those attempting to quit without professional help are approximately 60 percent more likely to stop with the help of e-cigarettes. The study, published in the journal Addiction on Wednesday, also found that 20 percent of smokers trying to kick the habit were successful when they used the devices.
Experts suggest that e-cigarettes could play a positive role in reducing smoking rates.
“E-cigarettes could substantially improve public health because of their widespread appeal and the huge health gains associated with stopping smoking,” said Robert West, professor at University College London and senior author of the study.
Still, the strongest evidence for success remains in government services offered for smoking cessation, he added, saying that they almost triple a smoker's odds of quitting.
Another survey from the same team found that most e-cigarette users are partial toward "cigalike" products, instead of devices that use refillable cartridges and flavor variations.
"It is not clear whether long-term use of e-cigarettes carries health risks but from what is known about the contents of the vapour these will be much less than from smoking,” West said.
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