People are almost twice as likely to stop smoking if they use e-cigarettes, rather than relying on nicotine replacement patches and gums, a new research has shown.
The research, targeted at nearly 900 long-term smokers seeking break-in assistance, was rated as a milestone in UK public health experts who believe e-cigarettes have already helped reduce smoking rates. However, there has been less enthusiasm in the United States, where there is concern that nicotine is causing dependence and can cause smoking.
Prof. Peter Hajek of the Queen Mary University in London conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine whether e-cigarettes were a better help in nicotine substitution therapy. Their research has been published in the journal New England Journal of Medicine. Smokers, mostly middle-aged, are randomly assigned to receive a starter kit for e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, pastilles, sprays or gums. Everybody got support in behavior. At the end of the year, 18% of respondents no longer smoke, compared to nearly 10% of the others.
It is the first trial to compare licensed cigarette smoking aids that are not licensed for medical use. Hajek believes that the results could change the counsel of smokers.
"Although a large number of smokers reported having successfully stopped smoking using e-cigarettes, health professionals reluctantly recommend their use due to the lack of clear evidence from randomized controlled trials. This is likely to change now, "he said.
Early smoking habits in smoking attempts, such as irritability and inability to concentrate, were lower in those using e-cigarettes. Vapors reported irritation of the throat and mouth, but nicotine replacement therapists reported more nausea.
By the end of the year, nearly 80% – the vast majority – those who used e-cigarettes were still lime, while only 9% of the other group still used rubber and other forms of nicotine replacement therapy.
"I think it can be seen as potentially problematic and potentially useful," Hajek said. "There are both sides and I think the useful side is stronger. Negative is that they still use something, and e-cigarettes will probably not be completely safe. It is unlikely that it will have more than 5% of the risk of smoking, but there is still a certain risk and if you use it for a year it means 30 years of it and if it creates a certain health risk then it would be better. Do not use it.
"Now is a positive aspect of what we know from a substitute nicotine therapy study that some heavy smokers need to do this longer to protect them from relapse.
"It will benefit quite well in avoiding the feeling of misery and feeling the need for smoking and feeling that something is missing in their life and will not increase the weight that these types of heavy smokers are doing, putting them at risk of diabetes and so on.
Public Health England and many UK researchers involved in tobacco research have strongly supported the potential of e-cigarettes to help people quit.
"This major research suggests that switching to e-cigarettes can be one of the most effective ways to stop smoking, especially in combination with direct support. All smoking stunts should be welcomed by smokers who want to quit smoking with the help of e-cigarettes, "said Martin Dockrell, head of tobacco control at Public Health England.
– Smokers trying to give up for some time opt for e-cigarettes in relation to other types of support. Research has shown that health professionals and Stop Smoking services should reach smokers who want to use e-cigarettes and support them in this life-changing step, "said Ann McNeill of Kings College, London.
Professor Robert West from the University of London said the study was "of great importance. It gives the clearest indication that e-cigarettes are probably more effective than products such as nicotine gums and patches. It fits into previously published trend data showing a rise in England and US success rates associated with more people using e-cigarettes.
Everyone agreed that more research was needed on long-term potential e-cigarette potentials.
However, the commentary article that American scientists have been studying in the journal take a more cautious stance. Belinda Borrelli and George T O Connor from the dental medicine Henry M. Goldman of Boston University say there is a possibility of long-term damage – and the fear that children will learn the behavior of addiction by looking at adults – means that e-cigarettes should not be tried before nicotine therapy products licensed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
"We recommend that e-cigarettes be used only when FDA-approved treatments (combined with behavioral counseling) fail to advise patients to use the lowest dose needed to manage their craving and to have a clear time line and" exclusion "for using" , they write.