E-cigarettes are the most effective quit smoking aid, study finds

E-cigarettes are the most effective quit smoking aid, study finds

"E-cigarettes are nearly twice as effective at helping smokers give up tobacco than other alternatives such as nicotine patches or gum", Sky News reports.

The study team acknowledged, however, that prior research has demonstrated that when nicotine replacement products are paired with prescription medications - such as the nicotine receptor blocker Chantix (varenicline) and/or bupropion one year abstinence rates are the same or higher as the e-cig results.

It has been one of the most pressing unanswered questions in public health: Do e-cigarettes actually help smokers quit?

But he added: 'Given that ecigs may cause some harm when used over many years I would encourage users to think of them as a stop-gap, but they are far better than smoking - ex-smokers should not stop using them if they are anxious they may go back to cigarettes'. The FDA has been aggressive in taking vaping products out of the marketplace and has even threatened to harm companies that can't "prove" they don't market or sell to kids when it's already illegal for these companies to market and sell e-cigarettes to kids.

The American Heat Association backed e-cigarettes in 2014 as a last effort to help smokers quit after counseling and approved stop-smoking aids. However, there's been controversy about the safety of e-cigarettes and a lack of research about how effective they are in helping people to stop smoking.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that in addition to having higher rates of quitting, more e-cigarette users reduced their smoking by at least 50 percent. It found that people trying to quit smoking were nearly twice as likely to succeed over a year's time if they used electronic cigarettes compared to people who stuck to typical nicotine replacement therapy.

Borrelli also warns people not to look at e-cigarettes as a magic cure to quit smoking tobacco cigarettes.

Only 10 per cent of those who tried nicotine patches, gum or sprays managed to quit - along with just three per cent of those who attempted to give up smoking unaided.

Prof Hajek said he hoped the results of the study would lead to stop-smoking services offering quitters an e-cigarette starter pack and guidance on how to vape, after which they could pay for their own supplies.

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For now, Borelli added, "the best way to quit smoking right now is to use FDA-approved evidence-based treatment as a first-line choice".

"Another "side effect" of e-cigarettes is the potential for "renormalization" of addiction", Borelli said.

"The youths initiating cigarettes through e-cigarettes represent a substantial public health challenge that may warrant stricter regulation of youths' access to e-cigarettes", the report says.

Electronic cigarettes, which have been available in the US since about 2007 and have grown into a $6.6 billion-a-year industry, are battery-powered devices that typically heat a flavored nicotine solution into an inhalable vapor.

While nicotine plays a part, Stokes thinks the influence of vaping is "more complex than just nicotine".

But Jordt noted that newer devices like the Juul pod have only recently arrived in the UK. More e-cigarette users, however, reported increased throat and mouth irritation (65.3%,) than nicotine replacement users (51.2%). Any benefit of e-cigarettes depends on the individual product and how it is used, he said.

"We know that if we can keep our youth from starting to smoke, and particularly over the age of 21, we know that they're not likely to become addicted to the substance, and they're not likely to become regular, daily smokers", Strother said.

Because of the nature of the treatments, it wasn't possible to disguise from people whether they were using e-cigarettes or NRT products.

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