E-cigarettes are everywhere these days, and studies demonstrating their effectiveness and safety seem relatively few and far between compared to their popularity — but a new bit of research stacked the devices up with the patch to see which was better at helping users ditch tobacco smoking.
E-cigarettes, unlike the patch, are part of a larger trend often called “vaping,” which resembles actual smoking very little. “Vapers” often take up the practice not as a smoking cessation aid, but simply because they enjoy using PVs, or personal vaporizers.
However, smoking cessation or reduction is often observed in the vaping population, and a new study looked at the effects of vaping versus another popular method of nicotine delivery — the patch.
The findings of new research regarding e-cigarettes and the patch was published in The Lancet, and presented at the European Respiratory Society’s (ERS) Annual Congress in Barcelona.
Lead researcher Chris Bullen of the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland said of the study:
“Our study establishes a critical benchmark for e-cigarette performance compared to nicotine patches and placebo e-cigarettes, but there is still so much that is unknown about the effectiveness and long-term effects of e-cigarettes.”
Bullen also said:
“Given the increasing popularity of these devices in many countries, and the accompanying regulatory uncertainty and inconsistency, larger, longer-term trials are urgently needed to establish whether these devices might be able to fulfill their potential as effective and popular smoking cessation aids.”
More than 650 adult smokers were divided into three groups and one third were given a nicotine patch to quit. Another third were given an e-cigarette, and the final third received a placebo e-cigarette.
After 13 weeks measuring e-cigarettes vs. the patch for smoking cessation, 7.3 of electronic cigarette users had quit completely, versus 5.8 of nicotine patch users and 4.1 percent placebo e-cigarette users. It’s not clear how many of the e-cig smoking third had developed habits for tricking out their PVs and buying e-liquids twice a week, however.