E-cigarettes don’t help smokers quit, a new study finds. In today’s market, electronic cigarettes are advertised as a means of helping smokers kick the nicotine habit of traditional cigarettes. Upon further examination, it may have the opposite effect.
According to a CBS News report, a new study published online in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine revealed that adults who used electronic cigarettes are surprisingly 28 percent less likely to quit smoking traditional cigarettes.
The e-cigarettes study is the largest one to date that shows shocking statistics about the effectiveness of the vaporized product in relation to helping people stop smoking.
Co-author Dr. Sara Kalkhoran of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School was at the UCSF School of Medicine when the study was conducted. She wrote that “e-cigarettes are associated with significantly less quitting among smokers.” She advised that 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 also known as e-cigs and heat up liquid nicotine and flavorings through battery power. They deliver inhaled vapor to the user, which is designed to give the same feeling of smoking, minus the tobacco.
The notion behind electronic cigarettes is to promote a healthier option to traditional cigarettes since those smoking them aren’t inhaling carcinogenic smoke. It’s been labeled as something that aids in helping people to stop smoking.
In 2015, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force declared that there wasn’t substantial enough evidence over recommending the vaporized products as a device to help adults stop smoking.
It’s noted in the study that none of the companies that manufacture e-cigarettes has submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve the devices for smoking cessation. By the same account, the FDA hasn’t pursued action against companies claiming e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking. It does recognize that the products aren’t regulated and contain unknown chemicals and toxic substances.
In this latest study on e-cigarettes not helping smokers, Kalkhoran and her team of colleagues analyzed 38 studies that examined the link between electronic cigarette use and cigarette cessation among adult smokers. A selection of 20 studies had control groups on using e-cigarettes and gathered the results in a meta-analysis.
It was learned that the chances of quitting smoking were 28 percent lower among smokers who used e-cigarettes compared to those who did not, according to the report.
Co-author Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, said in a statement that the “irony” is that quitting smoking is one of the key reasons adults and youth alike turn to e-cigarettes.
“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 on a streak of smoking conventional cigarettes,” Glantz said.
Other experts argue that electronic cigarettes may do more harm than good for people who want to stop smoking regular cigarettes.
“It tells us simply switching from one nicotine delivery system to another nicotine delivery system doesn’t lead to quitting the first nicotine delivery system,” said Dr. Norman Edelman, senior scientific advisor to the American Lung Association. “People will not naturally give up cigarettes, even though in most venues e-cigarettes are cheaper and people consider e-cigarettes to be safer.”
Information assembled in the study came from “real-world observational analyses as well as clinical studies.” It also factored in demographics, previous attempts to quit, and level of dependence on nicotine for users.
Dr. Daniel Neides at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute believes that e-cigarettes take users on a path to smoke traditional cigarettes in the end. He says patients using e-cigarettes may use higher amounts of nicotine with them and eventually seek stronger nicotine content by transitioning to conventional cigarettes.
The authors said that regulation of e-cigarettes may improve better results if they’re included in smoke-free laws and voluntary smoke-free policies. This would further assist in decreasing electronic cigarettes as a cigarette substitute. In turn, it could be more effective in helping smokers to quit.
[AP Photo/Elaine Thompson]