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New Study Reports Ecigs are as Good as Nicotine Patches to Help Quit Smoking

18th September 2013

According to a new study by the medical researchers of New Zealand's University of Auckland, electronic cigarettes that provide nicotine without the cigarette smoke toxins, work just as well as nicotine patches in helping people to quit smoking. The study was published in the medical journal The Lancet.  It is worth noting that e cigarettes are not marketed or sold as quit smoking products, they are a tobacco cigarette alternative. However it is always good to see other viewpoints on the use of ecigs which are helping smokers to cut the amount to tobacco that they use.

The biggest finding of this study is that the smoking cessation success rate was about the same for smokers who really tried to quit with electronic cigarettes and those who tried with nicotine patches. Similar results were even found for would-be quitters given placebo e-cigarettes, i.e. without nicotine. Study participants who were unable to quit smoking completely still reduced their use of tobacco cigarettes when they were also using the electronic version more than those who used nicotine patches.

After the study was over, those who had been assigned to electronic cigarettes were more likely than the patch users to recommend the product to other users.

This study is definitely a source of evidence as to whether the use of ecigs leads to an increase or reduction in tobacco smoking. This can be evaluated through the sales of both ecigs and tobacco cigarettes. On one hand, if the growing sales of ecigs coincide with an increased sales of tobacco cigarettes, then the arguments and debate going on for the restriction and regulations on the availability of ecigs in UK and other parts of the world would be vindicated.

On the other hand, if the sales of the tobacco cigarettes decline and the sales of ecigs increase, it would suggest that the electronic cigarettes are helping to tackle smoking and that it can be in the interest of public health to promote and support their development rather than trying to restrict them.

The popularity of ecigs in the UK and elsewhere suggests that here is a product that is heralding the possibility that cigarette smoking could be phased out altogether.