Cigarettes Really Can Help You Quit Smoking, Large New Study Finds


E-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine gum or patches at helping people quit smoking, a landmark trial found.

"E-cigarettes were nearly twice as effective as the "gold standard" combination of nicotine replacement products". People using NRT were more likely to report feeling sick (37.9% compared to 31.3% of e-cigarette users) while e-cigarette users were more likely to report throat or mouth irritation (65.3% compared to 51.2% of NRT users). They don't involve burning tobacco, which causes much of the health damage from smoking cigarettes. At the end of the year, 18 percent of the vapers were no longer smoking. In other words, e-cigarettes save lives.

Based on the findings, the American Lung Association recommended that Arizona put more funding toward prevention programs and increase the minimum age of sale for tobacco products from 18 to 21.

The New York Times reports that a yearlong, randomized trial conducted in the UK shows that e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as smoking cessation products like patches or gum, which in the United States are the only two smoking cessation products approved by the FDA.

Philip Morris International Inc., whose sister company Altria seeking FDA approval to sell its "heat-not-burn" IQOS tobacco device, said a balance must be struck between seeking to prevent teens from using nicotine products and helping to move adult smokers away from cigarettes.

"More research is needed on the effects of long-term electronic cigarette use, but experts agree e-cigarettes are considerably less harmful than smoking, so likely to bring substantial health gains", she said.

E-cigarettes are nearly twice as effective as nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT) for smoking cessation when both are accompanied by behavioural support, according to a study from researchers at Queen Mary University of London.

However, up until now there had been a shortage of evidence on how effective they were as stop-smoking tools.

People assigned to e-cigarettes reported less severe urges to smoke in the first 4 weeks of the study.

Myth #4: Vaping is not effective in helping people quit smoking.

"E-cigarettes provide nicotine, which is important when someone is trying to quit smoking", said study author Dunja Przulj.

After one year the participants were assessed for smoking status, including biochemical tests to ensure that those who claimed to have quit smoking really had.

"We really isolated a very low-risk group of youth, and within that group experimentation with e-cigarettes had a pronounced effect on subsequent cigarette uptake", Stokes said.

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

The Harvard study published in Scientific Reports determined that two chemicals commonly used to flavor e-cigarettes may be harming the cilia, the antennae-like protrusions that line human airways to help keep them clean.

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. Those devices have largely been overtaken in the Juul and similar devices that have prefilled nicotine cartridges, or pods. The goal, they say, is to eliminate all nicotine use.

Despite the impressive findings, Levy and the other experts Gizmodo spoke to said more research is still needed in the US and elsewhere, using newer devices, before doctors here can wholeheartedly endorse vaping as a superior cessation aid over the standard treatment (likely with regular counseling to boot). "One reason is that there are over 400 brands of e-cigarettes and they vary substantially".