Three quarters of Dutch e-cigarette users would still smoke without the e-cigarette

Nine in ten vapers see health improvement after switching from smoking to e-cigarette

Three quarters of e-cigarette users would still be smoking if they had not encountered the e-cigarette. That is the outcome of a large survey among 2,981 Dutch e-cigarette users by consumer organization Acvoda and trade association Esigbond. On average, vapers attempted 5.1 cessation attempts before switching from regular cigarettes to the e-cigarette. Furthermore, almost nine out of ten vapers experience health improvements such as a better condition and less coughing after switching. The Netherlands has about 400 thousand e-cigarette users who are on average 45 years old.

The desire to quit is the most important reason for switching

The vast majority of e-cigarette users have switched because they want a less harmful alternative to smoking regular cigarettes (63%) or because they want to quit smoking (54%). Of those surveyed, 46% believe they will not be able to quit smoking without an e-cigarette. Also, 81% of vapers say that flavors in e-cigarettes have played an important role in their switch from regular cigarettes to the e-cigarette.

Many failed quit attempts with other aids

More than three quarters of vapers have tried other smoking cessation aids before switching, but they are very dissatisfied with them. Former smokers are most negative about nicotine chewing gum (44%), followed by nicotine patches (43%) and nicotine sprays (28%). This also explains why many quit attempts with these products have failed in the past. Over 31% of respondents said they had started smoking again after stopping with the help of nicotine gum, sprays or patches.

Three quarters were heavy smokers and few dual users

The survey also found that nearly all e-cigarette users (96%) smoked before starting the e-cigarette. In fact, the majority (70%) of vapers were heavy smokers, meaning they smoked more than 20 cigarettes per day. Furthermore, it appears that not all e-cigarette users have completely switched to an e-cigarette. A small group of e-cigarette users (13%) still smoke tobacco or cigarettes.

Nearly all vapers experience health benefits – many confirmed by doctors

More than 90% of e-cigarette users are experiencing health benefits from switching from regular cigarettes and rolling tobacco to the e-cigarette. Most respondents report a decrease in coughing (70%), improved condition (69%), increased smelling/tasting (64%), and less shortness of breath (62%). About 29% of e-cigarette users say their health improvement has also been confirmed by a doctor.

Emil ’t Hart, chairman of the vapour shop trade association Esigbond: “This study shows that many ex-smokers would actually continue to smoke if it were not for the e-cigarette. We also see that the e-cigarette is much more appreciated by smokers than other cessation aids. Flavours in e-cigarettes explain part of the success, as for many quitters, the flavours are essential in switching from the regular cigarette to the less harmful e-cigarette. This research shows that the e-cigarette deserves a place in anti-smoking policy and that it is very unwise to make the e-cigarette unattractive by banning flavours.”

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