Posted on 5/20/2011 by meg
Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers report that electronic cigarettes may be more efficient than more common nicotine replacement methods. Their research has demonstrated that electronic cigarettes produced abstinence rates that nearly doubled success rates among other types of tools that help to quit smoking.
Specifically, researchers found that 31% of participants reported having quit smoking 6 months following having purchased an electronic cigarette. This device is battery-powered and provides doses of nicotine in a vaporized solution without the use of tobacco. In comparison, between 12% and 18% of participants that tried other methods, such as nicotine patches and gum, claim to have remained abstinent for at least 6 months.
The researchers conducted an online survey of 222 first-time purchasers of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes, from a leading electronic cigarette distributor. Of those who were not smoking at six months, 34.3 percent reported not using electronic cigarettes or any nicotine-containing products. Almost 67 percent of respondents reported having reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked after using electronic cigarettes.However, the validity of this study remains questionable as researchers claim to have a low response rate. Apparently, only 4.5% of people respond. This, of course, leads one to believe that the more likely respondents are those that have successfully quit smoking. If this were true, then the entire study may be flawed because electronic cigarettes may not be any better than other smoking-cessation treatments.
Although the study may not provide concrete evidence that this method is more effective, it does focus on an important aspect of treatment for this addiction. The electronic cigarette focuses on the behavioral aspect of smoking by simulating the act. This alone may improve success rates.
Electronic cigarettes have proven controversial since coming onto the market more than three years ago. A number of anti-smoking groups have argued that e-cigarettes should not be sold because they have not been shown to be effective for smoking cessation, and several states -- including New York -- are considering banning e-cigarettes altogether.It is obvious that more rigorous research is needed before real conclusions can be drawn, however an outright ban on this product might actually place people at a greater health risk since many people that may have exhausted all other treatment options will simply resort to smoking real cigarettes, which are clearly more harmful than e-cigarettes.
Electronic Cigarettes Hold Promise as Aid to Quitting, Study Finds
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