Probably the most complete research to this point investigating whether or not e-cigarettes inspecting if e-cigarettes function a gateway into or out of smoking, reveals that, on a broader scale, e-cigarettes and comparable different nicotine supply programs don’t encourage smoking.
This research, performed by Queen Mary College of London and funded by the Nationwide Institute of Well being and Care Analysis (NIHR), additionally means that these merchandise is likely to be accelerating the decline of smoking by competing with conventional cigarettes. Nevertheless, this statement is preliminary, and extra information is required to determine the magnitude of this influence.
Research Methodology and Comparisons
The research in contrast the time course of use and gross sales of digital cigarettes with that of smoking charges and cigarette gross sales in international locations with traditionally comparable smoking trajectories, however differing present e-cigarette rules.
It in contrast the UK and the US with Australia, the place gross sales of nicotine-containing e-cigarettes are banned. It additionally checked out interactions between smoking and nicotine alternate options which can be in style in different international locations, together with the usage of oral nicotine pouches in Sweden and merchandise that warmth somewhat than burn tobacco in Japan and South Korea the place they’re broadly used.
Findings and Implications
The decline in people who smoke in Australia has been slower than within the UK, and slower than in each the UK and the USA amongst younger individuals and in decrease socioeconomic teams. The decline in cigarette gross sales has additionally accelerated sooner within the UK than in Australia. The rise in heated tobacco product gross sales in Japan was accompanied by a big lower in cigarette gross sales.
Researchers word that as a result of individuals might use each cigarettes and different merchandise, prevalence figures for these merchandise overlap, and so longer time intervals are wanted to find out any results of unique use of the brand new merchandise on smoking prevalence. In addition they say that the indications that different nicotine merchandise are changing smoking – particularly the scale of this impact – have to be confirmed when extra information turn out to be accessible. As additional prevalence and gross sales information emerge, the analyses will turn out to be extra informative.
Professor Peter Hajek, Director of Well being and Way of life Analysis Unit, Wolfson Institute of Inhabitants Well being, Queen Mary College of London, mentioned: “The outcomes of this research alleviate the priority that entry to e-cigarettes and different low-risk nicotine merchandise promotes smoking. There isn’t a signal of that, and there are some indicators that they the truth is compete towards cigarettes, however extra information over an extended time interval are wanted to find out the scale of this impact.”
Co-author, Professor Lion Shahab, Co-Director of the UCL Tobacco and Alcohol Analysis Group, mentioned: “This complete evaluation offers reassurance that international locations which have adopted a extra progressive stance in direction of e-cigarettes haven’t seen a detrimental influence on smoking charges. If something, the outcomes counsel that – extra seemingly than not – e-cigarettes have displaced dangerous cigarettes in these international locations up to now. Nevertheless, as that is fast-moving discipline, with new applied sciences getting into the market yearly, it stays vital to proceed monitoring nationwide information.”
Professor Brian Ferguson, Director of the Public Well being Analysis Programme (NIHR) commented: “The preliminary findings from this research are helpful however no agency conclusions might be drawn but. Extra analysis is required on this space to grasp additional the influence that different nicotine supply merchandise, similar to e-cigarettes, might need on smoking charges.”
Reference: “Results of reduced-risk nicotine-delivery merchandise on smoking prevalence and cigarette gross sales: an observational research” by Francesca Pesola, Anna Phillips-Waller, Emma Beard, Lion Shahab, David Sweanor, Martin Jarvis and Peter Hajek, September 2023, Public Well being Analysis.
This analysis was funded by the Nationwide Institute for Well being and Care Analysis.