Over the years, we have seen the vaping community share their stories about how vaping has helped them improve their lives. Many vapers are former smokers who turned to vaping as a way to escape the nasty habit of smoking cigarettes. On top of that, many vapers also acknowledge flavored e-liquid and its lack of lingering smell as a reason why it was fairly was for them to ween off cigarettes.
While there has been debate about the practicality of vaping and its ability to help smokers quit, there is one new study that is proving that vaping could in fact beat out other Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) as the best way to achieve smoking cessation.
According to the results of a recent clinical trial (of nearly 900 smokers) published in the New England Journal of Medicine, e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective in helping smokers quit compared to replacement treatments such as patches and gum.
The study found that of the nearly 900 smokers, the rate of smoking-cessation was higher in the group of electronic cigarette users, at 18 percent, compared to those who used traditional nicotine-replacement therapy at only 9.9
This leads one to believe that with a nearly doubled successful smoking cessation rate than traditional nicotine-replacement therapy, e-cigarettes may once and for all cement itself as a legitimate way for smokers to kick the habit.
What are Electronic Cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes or better known as “vapes” or “vaping” use nicotine infused liquid, also known as e-liquid. E-Liquid contains tobacco sourced nicotine, federally categorizing it as a tobacco product, this is why the FDA has been franticly trying to find the right way to regulate them. Although e-liquid contains tobacco sourced nicotine, none of the other harmful carcinogens and chemicals found in tobacco leafs are present in e-liquid. In fact, one study by Public Health England actually found vaping to be 95% less harmful than smoking cigarettes.
The electronic cigarette industry has seen rapid growth during the past few years, this has led to big dips in tobacco stocks. So much so in fact that many large tobacco companies are beginning to sell e-cigarettes to fit into a changing market. More and more people are turning to e-cigarettes to quit smoking, or as a safer alternative to smoking,
and cigarette companies need to keep up.
Whats the Debate?
Some health experts believe that e-cigarettes are a great way for those who smoke to give up tobacco, but the scientific community has been divided on their beliefs of e-cigarette benefits. Many in the scientific community are unsure if e-cigarettes truly have any benefits.
It was noted in the New England Journal of Medicine study that the e-cigarette group had a “greater decline in the incidence of cough and phlegm than the nicotine-replacement group”, meaning not only did the vaping group have better success in smoking cessation, but they also had reduced symptoms of smoking.
The trial, done by Queen Mary University of London and funded by Britain’s National Institute for Health Research was vigorous and well-conducted according to independent experts. Previous research had suggested that e-cigarettes may help smokers reduce the amount of smoking or quit altogether, while other research has focused on the increase in teenagers use.
Smoking Cessation Results
The study found that there was a stronger e-cigarette effect than that of previous studies, believed to be because of the inclusion of smokers seeking help. The study had face-to-face support and allowed the e-cigarette users to choose their own vape liquids, which may help prove that flavored e-liquids play a role in increased smoking cessation.
A total of 886 smokers were divided randomly into 2 groups, those who would used an e-cigarette and those who would use nicotine-replacement treatments. For the group of e-cigarette users, they were given an e-cigarette starter pack with 1 to 2 bottles of liquid and later encouraged to purchase their own supplies.
As for the group of nicotine-replacement, they had a choice between the patch, gum, lozenges or sprays to help quit smoking.
All 886 participants were tested to see if they were still smoking tobacco cigarettes while they also received one on one support for a minimum of four weeks. The researchers believed that those who used e-cigarettes may have had more success since electronic cigarettes and e-liquid allow the user to easily adjust the nicotine dose to fit their own desire.
A group at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (Health and Medicine Division, Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice) came to a consensus “that e-cigarettes likely confer lower risk compared to combustible tobacco cigarettes, because they do not expose users to toxicants produced through combustion”.
This is a step in the right direction for those who are trying to quit, as e-cigarettes may bet a better option in quitting compared to nicotine-replacement options. Though e-cigarettes are not FDA approved for smoking cessation, the result show they may be more effective than treatments that are currently FDA approved.