According to vapingpost, a study by Otago University in Wellington, New Zealand, found that smokers are increasingly using e-cigarettes to quit smoking.
The lead author of the study, Professor Richard Edwards of the University's Department of public health, found that the use of e-cigarettes was most common among people aged 18-24 and those who had recently quit smoking. The study also showed that awareness levels and e-cigarette use among smokers and recent quitters increased between 2016 and 2018.
As part of the New Zealand division of the international tobacco control policy assessment (ITC) project, the study included surveys of 1155 people who smoked or recently quit smoking between 2016 and 2017 and 1020 people (400 of them Maori) in 2018. Participants were recruited from a representative national health survey in New Zealand. They were asked about their smoking behavior, their views on e-cigarettes and the reasons for their use.
The 2018 survey found that most smokers (98%) were aware of the existence of e-cigarettes. A total of 77% of the respondents said they had tried e-cigarettes, 22% said they currently use e-cigarettes at least monthly and 11% use e-cigarettes every day. Professor Edwards points out that the use patterns of Maori and non Maori participants are generally similar.
Among the recent quitters, 23% used e-cigarettes every day; 78% used e-cigarettes to quit smoking and 81% used e-cigarettes to reduce harm. In terms of age, 19% of the users are 18-24 years old, while 10% of the users are from the older group, which is not surprising because young people know more about technology.
Professor Edwards said it was encouraging to note that the use of e-cigarettes was prevalent among recent smokers and those who wanted to quit. "This shows that e-cigarettes can help reduce smoking rates and help to achieve the goal of making otoroa smoke-free by 2025," he said
On the other hand, he added, the fact that it is widely used among the younger generation is worrying. "However, it is worrying that e-cigarettes are more common among people aged 18-24. If e-cigarettes are to make a substantial contribution to reducing smoking, there is a need to increase the use of e-cigarettes among the elderly. "
Another finding that worries researchers is that a large number of smokers report that they only try e-cigarettes instead of using them regularly. "The most common potential obstacle was that 68% of the subjects thought e-cigarettes were not as satisfactory as smoking, and 39% mistakenly believed that e-cigarettes were as harmful or more harmful as smoking, or were uncertain (15%).
He added that such beliefs indicate the need to educate the public about e-cigarettes through such channels as vaping facts. "This will enable smokers to understand the relative costs and hazards of smoking and e-cigarettes, encourage smokers to quit smoking or switch entirely to smoking, and encourage smokers to seek expert advice from professional retailers to provide them with the best e-cigarette products."
Edwards also pointed out that the most common motivation for people to start using e-cigarettes was to save money, so it proved that a tax system that made cigarettes more expensive than using e-cigarettes was effective.
With regard to achieving New Zealand's smoke-free goal, the authors of the study said that at present, it is unlikely to be achieved by 2025, especially for Maori and Pacific people, which requires more action. "E-cigarettes are making a useful contribution, but more needs to be done to provide smokeless atroa to all new Zealanders. A comprehensive strategy is needed to make smoked tobacco products less attractive, addictive and more accessible to complement the impact of alternative products such as e-cigarettes in reducing smoking rates. "