National statistics confirm the increase in smoking cessation rates in the UK, a scientific argument against allegations of anti-vaping advocates

The Smoking Toolkit Study, a periodic study of smoking cessation trends in England, released the last figures on February 9, 2016.

The survey shows for 2016:

  • an overall decrease of cigarette smoking prevalence down to 17%,
  • the rate of decrease in smoking prevalence is high (+1.7%),
  • stop smoking in the last 12 months has been rising since 2011 and reaches 7.5%,
  • stop smoking attempts in past year reaches 32%,
  • success rate for stopping (successful try) is at its highest level (23%).

UK data refute argument that e-cigarettes are useless for smoking cessation

The analysis of these figures by M. Siegel points out the most striking finding of this study: the success rate for smokers who tried to quit in the past year has increased from below 14% in 2011 to 23% in 2016. The main hypothesis under this trend is, according to the expert, a shift in methods used for quitting from nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) to e-cigarettes.

Support used in quit attempts (from 09/02/2016)
Support used in quit attempts by adult smokers in the UK (from 09/02/2016)
“There is no basis for anti-vaping advocates to continue to claim that there is no evidence that e-cigarettes can be effective for smoking cessation.” -M. Siegel
As shown by the monthly figures, a shift away from the use of NRT in quit attempts towards the use of electronic cigarettes initiated in 2011. The year 2011 corresponds to the introduction of the e-cigarette on the UK’s market, says the expert. NRT use represented more than 30% of the attempts prior to 2011 and fell to only 10% five years later. In the meantime, e-cigarette use grew up to 40% in 2016.


A negative slope of GP-triggered quit attempts since 2011 may indicate that most quitters try on their own, without the help of practicians, using commercial e-cigarettes.

One can expect that this latter trend reverses in the coming months, if GPs can effectively provide e-cigarettes under prescription to their patients. Up to now, the legal frame is set up but the licensed e-cigarette is still not available.

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PhD in science and journalist for the Vaping Post. Specialised in scientific topics.
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Martin smith
Martin smith
6 years ago

I’m so glad I live in England when it comes to vaping, we are pretty much free to do as we like with vaping although more and more places won’t let us vape inside, but compared to other counties were fairly free, so this new evidence / statistics if not proves, it certainly shows that if they keep vaping free from interference, if they all stop this smear campaign against ENDS and give the people freedom of choice, the people will quit on there own, exactly what article 20 of the TDP is trying to stop !!