WASHINGTON, D.C. (DZS) – The main new study provides the strongest evidence that steaming can help smokers stop smoking while e-cigarettes are almost twice as effective as nicotine gums and patches.
British research, published on Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, could affect what doctors say to their patients and shape a debate in the US where the Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to tighten the growing industry more heavily due to the teenagers' vaping.
"We know patients are asking for e-cigarettes, and many doctors are not sure what to say," said Dr. Nancy Rigotti, a Tobacco Specialist at Harvard Medical School who was not involved in the study. "I think they now have more evidence to support e-cigarettes."
At the same time, Rigotti and other experts warned that no smokeless smoking products were approved in the United States.
Smoking is the number 1 cause of death that can be prevented worldwide, and the blame for nearly 6 million deaths per year. Abandonment is notoriously difficult, even with decades of old nicotine aids and newer prescription drugs. More than 55 percent of smokers in the United States are trying to quit every year, and only about 7 percent make up for government data.
Electronic cigarettes, which have been available in the US for about $ 7 billion a year ago in the industry, are battery powered devices that typically heat an inhaled steam-nicotine solution.
Most experts agree that steam is less harmful than cigarette smoke because it does not contain most of the by-products of tobacco incineration. But there is practically no research into the long-term effects of chemicals in pairs, some of which are toxic.
At the same time, there has been conflicting study of whether e-cigarettes actually help smokers escape the habit. Last year, an influential panel of experts from the United States concluded that there was only "limited evidence" of their effectiveness.
In a new study, researchers surveyed nearly 900 mid-term smokers who were randomly selected to receive e-cigarettes or nicotine replacement products, including patches, gums, and lozenges. After one year, 18 percent of e-cigarette users were smoke-free, compared to 9.9 percent of those who used other products.
"Everything that helps smokers avoid heart disease and cancer and lung disease is a good thing, and e-cigarettes can do that," said Peter Hajek, co-author of study and addiction specialist at Queen Mary University in London.
The study was more rigorous than the previous one, which mostly questioned smokers about the use of e-cigarettes. Participants of this experiment are subjected to chemical breath testing.
Smokers in the e-cigarette group received a $ 26 start-up kit, while those in the nicotine replacement group received a quarterly inventory of their product at their own choice, which cost about $ 159. Participants were responsible for the purchase of subsequent aids.
"If you have a method of helping people with smoking cessation, which is more effective and cheaper, it should be of great interest to anyone who provides health services," says Kenneth Warner, a retired public health professor at the University of Michigan who was not involved in the study.
Several factors could trigger results: All participants were recruited from the government's smoking cessation program and were probably motivated to quit. They got four weeks of smoking counseling.
Researchers have not tested e-cigarettes against new drugs such as Pfizer's Chantix, which showed higher rates of success than older nicotine-based treatments.
Research funds came from the British government, which adopted e-cigarettes as a potentially anti-smoking drug through state health services. Some authors are paid consultants to anti-smoking manufacturers.
US healthcare institutions have been more reluctant to support products, partly because of unknown long-term effects.
"We need more studies on their security profile and I think no one should change the practice on a single study," said Belinda Borrelli, a psychologist specializing in smoking cessation at Boston University.
The American Heart Association supported e-cigarettes in 2014 as the latest aid to smokers after they tried consulting and approved products. The American cancer society last year had a similar position.
The editorial who followed the study and who wrote Borrelli recommended e-cigarettes only after smokers tried to stop using products approved by the FDA. Also, doctors should have a clear time frame to stop the use of e-cigarettes.
Borrelli noted that after one year, 80 percent of e-cigarette users in the studio still use devices. Nine percent of the participants in the second group were still using the right and other products replacing nicotine.
No steaming company has announced plans to seek FDA approval from its products as smoking cessation. Conquering such approvals would require great studies that could take years and cost millions of dollars.
The FDA has largely taken over the approach to shaving. It did not scientifically review any e-cigarettes in the market and postponed some key regulations by 2022. FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he did not want to over-regulate an emerging industry that could provide a safer option for adult smokers.
The delay came under intense criticism in the midst of explosions in teens crypts, driven mostly by devices like Juula, which reminded of a flash drive. The federal law prohibits sale to persons under the age of 18, but has reported 1 out of 5 high school students last year, according to a government study. It turned out that the use of teenagers increased by 78 percent between 2017 and 2018.
Matthew Myers of the Tobacco-Free Campaign noted that in the British study, so-called " E-cigarettes on a container base that allow users to adjust their taste and nicotine levels. These devices have largely taken over Juul and similar devices in the US that have pre-filled nicotine cartridges or pumice. Every benefit of an e-cigarette depends on a particular product and the way it is used, he said.
"It's a basic mistake to think that all e-cigarettes are similar," Myers said. "And in the absence of FDA regulations, the consumer has no way of finding out whether the product he has has the potential to help or not."
Myers Group is one of several anti-smoking organizations sued by the FDA to immediately begin examining e-cigarettes.
Ian Armitage was skeptical of e-cigarettes as a way to quit smoking, saying he tried to vapor several years ago, but resigned after shaking and chirping for nicotine withdrawal.
"I tried it all month, but it just did not work for me," said Armitage, an audio-visual technician in Washington. "After that I still wanted a cigar."
Armitage, who smoked for 15 years, said he had also tried nicotine patches but found that irritated skin.