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Thursday, January 21, 2016

E-Cigarettes Don't Help Smokers Quit

There has been a lot of debate over whether or not e-cigarettes are an effective smoking cessation therapy, as many people have turned to the devices to either cut back or quit. A number of people in recovery are now using e-cigs, which many believe are a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products. While there have been reports of people actually giving up cigarettes in favor of vaping, there is little evidence to support the method.

Smoking cessation research is especially important for people in recovery because addiction studies indicate that people who smoke are at an increased risk of relapse. It turns out that e-cigarettes may not be the way to go for people working a program, new research indicates that e-cigarettes don’t help smokers quit, CBS News reports. People who used e-cigarettes were found to be 28 percent less likely to stop smoking cigarettes.

“E-cigarettes should not be recommended as effective smoking cessation aids until there is evidence that, as promoted and used, they assist smoking cessation,” said lead researcher Dr. Sara Kalkhoran.

The researchers analyzed 38 studies looking for an association between the use of e-cigarettes and smoking cessation among adult smokers, according to the article. The findings indicated that most adults don’t actually quit smoking but use both delivery systems in conjunction with each other.

"The irony is that quitting smoking is one of the main reasons both adults and kids use e-cigarettes, but the overall effect is less, not more, quitting," co-author Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, UCSF professor of medicine and director of the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. "While there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes."

If you are in recovery, and smoke cigarettes, then the new research should make you wary of e-cigarettes. You may find that you are using both e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes in conjunction with each, meaning you may actually be exposed to more nicotine on daily basis than from using just one or the other. The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor, and rely on currently accepted forms of smoking cessation.

The findings were published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

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