Can E-Cigarettes Help People Quit Smoking?

The number of Americans who smoke is an estimated 45 million. It is a habit that kills and is the leading cause of cancer and lung disease. While as many as 70% of smokers want to quit, they are unable to do so, as smoking is a notorious tough habit to kick. This has led recent research into the effectiveness of electronic cigarettes, as a potential tool for quitting smoking.

How Do E-Cigarettes Work?

E-cigarettes contain nicotine, but not tobacco smoke, thereby apparently reducing cravings and withdrawal symptoms in smokers. The use of e-cigarettes has risen significantly over the past few years. In 2010 only 2% of smokers in the United States were using them, while by 2012 that number had jumped to 30%.

Using e-cigarettes as a tool for quitting smoking is believed to address smoking triggers. Individuals who use e-cigarettes inhale small doses of nicotine. Carcinogen levels in e-cigarette cartridges are about one thousandth the level of regular cigarette smoke. However, e-cigarettes are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Studies On E-Cigarettes

An e-cigarette trial study was conducted with the aim to show their effectiveness as a tool for smoking cessation. The study was conducted in Italy with a group of 300 smokers. 9 of those 300 smokers gave up smoking entirely and out of those 9, 6 had used e-cigarettes. It was a follow up to a different Italian study where two thirds of participants had expressed an interest in continuing the use of e-cigarettes to quit smoking.

Another study conducted by British researchers found that individuals who wanted to quit smoking were about 60% more like to succeed if they used e-cigarettes, as compared to using anti smoking patches or nicotine gums. The statistic remained at 60% when the same study authors compared using e-cigarettes a quit smoking aid to those individuals who tried to quit with no aids and through willpower alone.

Although these initial results show some promise, there is still a long way to go in researching the effects of e-cigarettes. More research on a larger scale needs to be done to determine the degree of effectiveness of e-cigarettes as a tool for smoking cessation.

However, it seems that e-cigarettes are much more effective at getting individuals to quit smoking, if the individual starts using e-cigarettes for that particular purpose. If the individual is just smoking e-cigarettes for pleasure, then they don’t seem to have much of an impact on the individual’s urge to continue smoking.

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