Objectives To examine the association between electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) use and smoking cessation in the European Union (EU) in 2017 according to e-cigarette use frequency and smoking cessation duration.
Design Cross-sectional survey of EU citizens, representative of the population (Special Eurobarometer 458). Weighted proportions (95% CI) and adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) were calculated.
Participants 13 057 EU citizens aged ≥15 years (6904 current and 6153 former smokers).
Results Current daily e-cigarette use was reported by 2.4% (1.8%–3.1%) of current and 3.3% (2.5%–4.2%) of former smokers (p=0.002), while former daily use was reported by 5.6% (4.7%–6.8%) and 1.9% (1.3%–2.7%), respectively (p<0.001). More than half of all former smokers had quit for >10 years. Current daily e-cigarette use was rare among former smokers of >10 years (0.2%, 0.1%–0.6%) and was more prevalent in former smokers of ≤2 and 3–5 years (12.9%, 9.1%–17.9% and 9.0%, 5.8%–13.7%, respectively). Compared with never use, current daily e-cigarette use was associated with being a former smoker of ≤2 (aPR 4.96, 95% CI 3.57 to 6.90) and 3–5 years (aPR 3.20, 95% CI 2.10 to 4.87). Former daily e-cigarette use was associated with being a former smoker of ≤2 years (aPR 1.96, 95% CI 1.21 to 3.12). Current daily e-cigarette use was negatively associated with being a former smoker of 5–10 and >10 years.
Conclusions Current daily e-cigarette use in the EU in 2017 was rare among former smokers of >10 years and was positively associated with recent (≤5 years) smoking cessation. Former daily e-cigarette use was also positively associated with recent (≤2 years) smoking cessation.
- electronic nicotine delivery devices
- smoking topography
- harm reduction
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Contributors KF conceived the study. KF and AB performed the analysis and co-authored the manuscript. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests During the last 5 years, KF has published two studies funded by the non-profit association American E-Liquid Manufacturing Standards Association(AEMSA)
and one study funded by the non-profit association Tennessee Smoke-Free Association.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.