Success rates for quitting smoking are at their highest level for a decade, according to a new report.

Nearly one in five (19.8%) quit attempts were successful in the first half of 2017, up from an average of 15.7% over the last decade. The figures come from researchers at University College London with Cancer Research UK supporting the study. 

George Butterworth, Cancer Research UK’s tobacco policy manager, welcomed the report and said some of the success can be attributed to e-cigarettes. “Research has shown that e-cigarettes are the most popular way to quit. The evidence so far tells us they’re much safer than smoking, and are helping many people to beat their addiction.” 

In 2016, 15.8% of adults in the UK smoked. Smoking accounts for more than one in four UK cancer deaths, and nearly a fifth of all cancer cases.

The report was published alongside the launch of the Government stop smoking campaign, Stoptober. The October challenge is based on evidence that giving up for this length of time means someone is more likely to stop smoking for good. 

More than half (53%) of those taking part in Stoptober last year used e-cigarettes as a quitting aid.

Popularity of e-cigarettes is suggested as one of the main reasons why so many people have successfully stopped the habit since Stoptober 2016. For the first time, they feature heavily in the 2017 campaign as a way to encourage smokers who are keen to try e-cigarettes to help them stop smoking.

E-cigarettes are the most popular quitting method in England and local Stop Smoking Services are the most effective way to give up. But Stop Smoking Services have suffered from cuts to funding and many have closed. 

New draft guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence(NICE) suggests health professionals should tell smokers interested in using an e-cigarette as part of a quit attempt, that they can be used to help them move away from tobacco for good.