E-cigarettes lower the chances of quitting tobacco by about 28% when compared to those who do not use them.
E-cigarettes have been introduced as a mean to cut down traditional smoking, but new research says that this strategy has backfired.
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According to a latest study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, e-cigarettes don’t help smokers quit at all, in fact, they have lowered the chances of stopping smoking by about 28%.
“As currently being used, e-cigarettes are associated with significantly less quitting among smokers,” said lead author Dr. Sara Kalkhoran from UCSF School of Medicine.
“E-cigarettes should not be recommended as effective smoking cessation aids until there is evidence that, as promoted and used, they assist smoking cessation.”
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that contain nicotine-based liquid instead of tobacco. When nicotine is heated, it changes into vapor and inhaled by the user, stimulating the experience of smoking tobacco.
E-cigarettes have become a popular product among kids and youth and its use among teens especially high and middle school students have increased drastically over the years.
To find out the link between e-cigarette and quitting smoking, researchers have reviewed 38 studies. Then, they selected 20 studies that had controlled groups of smokers not using e-cigarettes and combined the results. Researchers found that quitting smoking was 28% lower in people who used e-cigarettes compared to those who did not.
“The irony is that quitting smoking is one of the main reasons both adults and kids use e-cigarettes, but the overall effect is less, not more, quitting,” said Stanton A. Glantz, co-author of the study. “While there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes.
Researchers suggest that restricted marketing of e-cigarettes and smoke-free laws can decrease the use of e-cigarettes as a substitute of conventional cigarettes and may prove effective for smoking cessation as well.
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“The way e-cigarettes are available on the market – for use by anyone and for any purpose – creates a disconnect between the provision of e-cigarettes for cessation as part of a monitored clinical trial and the availability of e-cigarettes for use by the general population.” Authors conclude.