Smoking cessation hopes driving e-cigarette growth

The majority of electronic cigarette users in the UK are looking to kick existing smoking habits, new research shows.

After questioning more than 12,000 adult smokers, public health charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) found that 71 per cent cite cessation attempts as the main reason for using the devices.

The group also says that e-cigarette ownership has tripled since 2012, with more than half of all current and ex-smokers now regular users. The growth is even more significant when compared to 2010, when the proportion stood at just eight per cent.

According to, the sharp increase puts the country's user-base at approximately 2.1 million.

Interestingly, Ash's report shows that just one per cent of e-cigarette users have never smoked before. This contrasts with some recent claims that the emergence of the devices is encouraging people to smoke, instead of stopping them.

Ash's chief executive, Deborah Arnott, was quoted by as saying: "The dramatic rise in use of electronic cigarettes over the past four years suggests that smokers are increasingly turning to these devices to help them cut down or quit smoking. Significantly, usage among non-smokers remains negligible."

Of the survey's respondents, 48 per cent said they use electronic cigarettes in order to cut down on their tobacco consumption, while 37 per cent cited financial reasons.