How Effective are Electronic Cigarettes for People Who are Trying to Quit Smoking?
Using an electronic cigarette is said to be a useful way to help people quit smoking, but how effective is it? The jury is still out on this subject, but studies show that many smokers benefit from using vaping devices in a bit to kick the habit.
It can be very difficult to quit smoking. Did you know that 7 out of every 10 American adults who smoke cigarettes want to quit? But, it is not easy. The act almost becomes second nature after some time. There are numerous products on the market (like nicotine patches and nicotine gum) that are purported to help people quit smoking cigarettes. While they may be effective for some people, the thing that sets vaping apart is that you get to satisfy the urge for that hand-to-mouth motion and also blow smoke-like vapor clouds from your mouth. Since the procedure is similar to smoking cigarettes, vaping satisfies that urge.
Earlier this month, an updated review of the Cochrane Library revealed that using electronic cigarettes with nicotine is one of the best ways for people to quit smoking cigarettes. Vaping nicotine-infused e-liquids were found to be more effective compared to nicotine replacement therapy (like nicotine patches and nicotine gums), vaping without nicotine, or not using any treatment at all. The reason vaping nicotine-infused e-liquids was more effective is the fact that it mimics the same experience as smoking a cigarette.
Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, a member of the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, and lead author of the Cochrane Review, explained the significance of the study. “The randomised evidence on smoking cessation has increased since the last version of the review and there is now evidence that electronic cigarettes with nicotine are likely to increase the chances of quitting successfully compared to nicotine gum or patches,” he said.
This review includes data from 50 different studies. In 2016, then the review was published, it included only 24 studies. The latest update includes 35 more studies with data that support the same findings.
The researchers highlighted three studies, in particular, involving 1498 people, which showed that using electronic cigarettes with nicotine was significantly more effective at helping people quit smoking compared to other nicotine replacement systems. If out of 100 people, six can successfully quit using only nicotine replacement therapy, the number of people who can quit increases to 10 when electronic cigarettes with nicotine are added to the mix.
Despite these promising findings and the fact that there is currently no evidence to show that electronic cigarettes may be harmful, the authors noted that more long-term studies are necessary.
Another study published in 2014 by British researchers came to the same conclusion. The researchers found that people were more likely to successfully quit smoking cigarettes if they used electronic cigarettes compared to those who used a nicotine patch, a gum, or just their willpower.
A study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also concluded that the use of electronic cigarettes is popular among people who sought to quit smoking. The researchers noted that up to 74.7 percent of the adults who sought to quit smoking cigarettes used multiple methods. About 65.3 percent of the people who participated in the study tried to give up cigarettes at once, 62 percent sought to quit by gradually cutting back, 35.3 percent substituted smoking cigarettes for vaping, 25.4 percent switched to nicotine patch or gum, while 20.4 percent made a transition from “regular” to “mild” cigarettes.
Another study published in the JAMA Network Open noted that a large percentage of cigarette smokers who also used electronic cigarettes said they picked up vaping as a way to quit smoking.
“We saw that a high proportion of people across age groups who are former smokers or current smokers and are also vaping report that they are using e-cigarettes to help them try and quit,” Margaret Mayer of the Tobacco Control Research Branch of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, said. She explained that most vapers who are current or former smokers tend to be older, while most younger adults who vaper have never smoked cigarettes.
Mayer explained that the purpose of their study is not to identify how effective electronic cigarettes are to help you quit smoking. Instead, the goal was to identify patterns of electronic cigarette use among adults.
Despite these promising studies, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet to officially approve the use of electronic cigarettes. However, the agency has sought to introduce some regulations for companies that operate in the segment to make vaping products safe.
Everyone who has been hooked on cigarettes knows it can be very difficult to quit. Our body gets used to nicotine, and this results in a sort of addiction. This is why you may experience withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit smoking cigarettes after using it for an extended period of time. The good news is that with the right support, you can kick the habit. Up to one million Americans quit smoking every year.
If you are turning to vaping as a way to quit smoking cigarettes, you’ll be glad to know that there are lots of products to choose from, and many are made especially for people like you. Nicotine salts e-liquids, for example, are designed to give you the same kind of nicotine buzz and throat hit that you get from smoking cigarettes. Another cool thing about opting for vaping as a way to quit smoking is that you have full control over your nicotine intake. E-liquids come with varying nicotine strength levels. Also, if you want to stop using nicotine completely, you have the option of gradually reducing the nicotine concentration levels in the e-liquid you vape until you are nicotine-free. Another advantage of vaping over smoking is the fact that you do not have to deal with that odor associated with cigarettes.
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