(HealthDay News) — A new study by British researchers suggests that e-cigarettes can help people stop smoking. The study is published May 21 in the journal Addiction.

The researchers found that people who wanted to quit smoking were about 60 percent more likely to succeed if they used e-cigarettes compared to would-be quitters who tried nicotine patch or gum. The same 60 percent statistic held when the study authors compared the use of e-cigarettes as a quit-smoking aid to people who tried to quit using willpower alone.

The vapor provided by electronic cigarettes contains nicotine but not tobacco smoke, thereby reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms in smokers, according to background information in the report. And use of e-cigarettes has risen significantly in recent years: Only 2 percent of U.S. smokers reported using them in 2010, but that number jumped to over 30 percent in 2012, the researchers said.

Results of other studies on e-cigarettes’ potential as a smoking-cessation aid have been mixed, however.

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