Some studies in England figured out that smokers who want to quit smoking are more successful when using electronic cigarettes that other therapies like nicotine patches or gum. The studies gave results that encouraged evidences that were used in debates about health risks and benefits of the increasingly popular electronic cigarettes.
Around 6,000 smokers were interviewed by researchers. They had tried quitting on their own without help from health professionals. Results have shown that about a fifth of them who said they were using electronic cigarettes had stopped smoking at the time of the interview, compared to another group of around a tenth of the smokers who used patches and gum instead.
According to Thomas J. Glynn, who is a researcher at the American Cancer Society, although electronic cigarettes may have been said to help smokers who would want to quit smoking completely, this still wouldn’t settle the issues on risks of electronic cigarettes, but that in true context, they can be a useful, but not that revolutionary, tool in helping some smokers to completely quit.
The number of electronic cigarette users in Europe and the United States has been growing rapidly, and regulators have been trying to figure out how to respond to questions and issues without proper evidence. In the United States, there have been debates everywhere, and some experts even say that electronic cigarettes may lure children to smoking. Other people, on the other hand, think that electronic cigarettes are the best hope in generations to get smokers to switch to something less dangerous than regular tobacco cigarettes.
480,000 people out of 40 million American smokers die every year from illnesses that are related to smoking, which could be the leading causes of death that are preventable. The only question that people keep asking is if electronic cigarettes could help lessen the smokers, or will it make them crave smoking more.
There have been researches and studies that want to answer this question, but the answer remains unknown up until today. It has been said by a clinical trial in New Zealand that people who are given electronic cigarettes only had a slightly better rate in quitting that those who use patches. Long-term health effects of electronic cigarettes also remain to be unknown, but researchers believe that the chemicals and toxins that electronic cigarettes contain could be much lower than that in regular tobacco cigarettes. The researchers of the said clinical trial said that many factors have been controlled, which include the social class, age, level of nicotine dependence and time since the attempt to quit was made. The study also offered insights about real experiences of smokers.
The director of tobacco studies at the University College London and the senior author of the said study, Prof. Robert West, said that not even clinical trials can answer most of the questions that people have about electronic cigarettes, and what effect they have on smokers who want to quit. People who want electronic cigarettes that are put in a group usually tend to drop out, according to him. “The medical model is great for cancer drugs, but it doesn’t really work for this situation because there’s nothing to stop participants in the patches group from just going out and buying an e-cigarette,” Professor West said. Chantix is one of the medications that are recommended to be prescribed for helping people to quit smoking. It could also be a combination of nicotine patch and gum together with counseling from a health professional. In England, these options are advertised widely, but most of the smokers there rely on willpower and nicotine products from stores, but their success rates are fairly low. The rate at which smokers quit by using electronic cigarettes or those who used prescribed nicotine therapy with counseling are both very similar to each other.
Prof. Stanton A. Glantz from the medicine department at the University of California, San Francisco, said that the limitation of the study was that it tried to find out the effect of electronic cigarette use only among smokers who were trying hard to quit, not smokers in general. He responded that the goal of the study was to find out if electronic cigarettes helped people who were trying hard to stop smoking. Data are still being analyzed, but the study provides clues to the wider effects on smokers.
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