E-cigarettes help smokers to stop smoking in the long term

Cochrane Library

Hartmann-Boyce J. et al., ‘Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020,’ Issue 10.

  • Cochrane Reviews are high-quality, authoritative systematic reviews carried out by topic experts. 
  • 50 vaping studies were analysed as part of the review. The studies compared vaping with NRTs, varenicline, nicotine-free e-cigarettes, behavioural support, such as advice or counselling, and no support (cold turkey). 
  • Key findings: 
    • More people stop smoking for at least six months using vaping than NRT. 
    • Vaping is 70% more effective in supporting smokers to successfully quit than nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) like patches and gum.
    • There is no evidence that vapers have more serious health problems than people using nicotine-free vapes, NRT or no therapy at all.
    • If six people in 100 quit by using nicotine replacement therapy, 10 people in 100 would quit by vaping. This means an additional four people in 100 could potentially quit smoking using vaping.
    • The most commonly reported side effects reported by vapers were throat or mouth irritation, headache, cough and nausea, but these declined over time.