Published: Sun, February 03, 2019
Health Care | By Cedric Leonard

Vaping Most Effective for Getting Smokers to Quit

Vaping Most Effective for Getting Smokers to Quit

One editorial, by Boston University researchers, said e-cigarettes should be used only when Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments don't work. The finding that e-cigarettes are nearly twice as effective as NRTs is similar to the results of a survey that health psychologist Robert West and his colleagues conducted several years ago.

The British research, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, could influence what doctors tell their patients and shape the debate in the US, where the Food and Drug Administration has come under pressure to more tightly regulate the burgeoning industry amid a surge in teenage vaping. He said the company won't offer its smoke-free products to people who have never smoked or those who have quit smoking.

Prior studies have shown that many teens don't know that the vapor from e-cigarettes contains the same addictive substance found in tobacco, Sadreameli said.

The findings may not be generalisable to smokers who are less dependent, or to first generation "cig-a-like" e-cigarettes, and further trials are needed to determine whether the results generalise outside the United Kingdom services.

In the trial, 886 smokers were randomly divided into groups to receive either up to three months' supply of nicotine replacement products such as patches, gum, lozenges and sprays, or an e-cigarette starter pack with one or two bottles of liquid and encouragement to buy their own choice of future supplies.

The problem with translating drug research to a consumer product like e-cigarettes is that the strict protocols of a drug trial (all participants use a certain drug at a certain dose and interval) may not translate to products that succeed by offering a wide range of possibilities to users.

E-cigarettes are placed on a shelf for sale in a store in Prague, Czech Republic, January 31, 2019.

Richard Miech from the University of MI, who was not involved in the study, told Reuters, "This is great news for cigarette smokers who want to quit".

"Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials", said lead researcher Peter Hajek, from Queen Mary University of London.

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However, people who switched to vaping were far more likely to keep vaping, indicating they may have exchanged one nicotine delivery device for another, without ever beating their addiction.

British experts said the findings could change the way health care providers talk about e-cigarettes, possibly leading more of them to encourage smokers to try vaping as a way to wean themselves off traditional cigarettes.

"Smokers have a range of options available to help them quit, including nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication or e-cigarettes". The trial compared the efficacy of e-cigarettes and licensed smoking cessation aids.

However, up until now there had been a shortage of evidence on how effective they were as stop-smoking tools. "One reason is that there are over 400 brands of e-cigarettes and they vary substantially".

More than 43,000 current young smokers started using tobacco after they had experimented with e-cigarettes during the two-year period of the study, the study authors estimated.

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.

But Jordt noted that newer devices like the Juul pod have only recently arrived in the UK. Przulj thinks that's a risk definitely worth taking.

By the one- and four-week point, people given e-cigarettes were less likely to feel a severe urge to smoke.

Armitage, who has smoked for 15 years, said he also tried nicotine patches but found they irritated his skin.

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