However, they point to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which shows e-cigarette use among young people is rising but smoking rates are not.
Nicotine patches, gums and medications are known to aid smoking cessation, but there is no consensus on whether vaping devices can help anti-smoking efforts. Even so, the higher rates for e-cigarette users drove up the overall cessation rate for all smokers from 4.5 percent to 5.6 percent.
Peter Hajek, director of the health and lifestyle research unit at Queen Mary University, who was not involved in the study, said: 'It's absolutely clear that e-cigarettes help smokers replace cigarettes'. Health experts have credited taxes on tobacco products and anti-smoking ads for the drop.
The deadline for e-cigarettes and all ENDS has now been pushed back to August 2022. Most devices heat a liquid nicotine solution into vapor and were promoted to smokers as a less risky alternative since they do not contain all the chemicals, tar or odor of regular cigarettes. Dr. Steven Schroeder from the Univesity of California in San Francisco, head of the Smoking Cessation Leadership Center mentions that if people use a lot of e-cigarettes, the rate of quitting smoking will increase and thus numbers will decline in the adult smokers.
The findings were published in the journal BMJ. It was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
The results revealed that 65 per cent of vapers try to quit smoking versus 40 per cent of non-users. Increasing successful quit rates is hard, and the authors note this was the first "first time in nearly a quarter of a century that the smoking cessation rate in the USA has increased at the population level".
"Our analysis of the population survey data indicated that smokers who also used e-cigarettes were more likely to attempt to quit smoking, and more likely to succeed", said Shu-Hong Zhu, a UC San Diego professor.
Hajek, who wasn't part of the research, said vaping devices shouldn't be strictly regulated, but instead be allowed to compete directly with cigarettes.
Anti-smoking advocates have never liked the devices and have anxious that they will hook a generation of non-smokers on nicotine. In 2016 the Food and Drug Administration from the USA wanted to regulate e-cigarettes but it was postponed by the Trump Administration.
Introduced about a decade ago, e-cigarettes provide some of the same effects as smoking a cigarette. The extension is a welcome development and part of what the agency says is "demonstrating a greater awareness that nicotine - while highly addictive - is delivered through products that represent a continuum of risk and is most harmful when delivered through smoke particles in combustible cigarettes".
"If every smoker was to change over to e-cigarettes completely, there would be a dramatic and nearly immediate public health benefit", he said in an email.