Health Team

Study: E-cigarettes helping people stop, reduce smoking

Posted December 17, 2014

— More teens now prefer electronic cigarettes over traditional cigarettes, according to an annual government drug use survey. Another study has now added to the evidence that electronic cigarettes can help stop or reduce smoking.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that produce a vapor. Some contain nicotine. New research out of London says smokers who use them may be more likely to reduce their smoking or quit altogether.

Mark Foster recently picked up electronic cigarettes and says he's close to kicking his regular cigarette habit.

“Since I got to using these more powerful e-cigarettes, my cigarette consumption is 2 percent of what it used to be,” he said. “As a replacement for a cigarette, they’ve really, for me, they’ve taken over.”

Peter Hajek, a clinical psychologist and the study’s author, said the main finding is that e-cigarettes can more than double the chances of stopping a person’s smoking.

The study looked at data on more than 650 current smokers. Researchers found nearly 10 percent of people who used e-cigarettes were able to stop smoking within a year. About 36 percent of e-cigarette users cut the number of traditional cigarettes they smoked in half.

Still, experts say, more study is needed on the long-term safety of the devices.

“We don’t always know what chemicals are in electronic cigarettes, said Dr. John Spangler, with Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “The problem is nobody is out there regulating the stuff.”

Researchers caution the number of people they looked at is small and that more study is needed. Experts say more study is also needed to see how e-cigarettes match up against other proven ways to quit smoking, including medications and nicotine patches.


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  • landoawd Dec 19, 2014

    I quit, in one day, last Febuary after more than 20 years of smoking, and had tried Chantix, gas station 'e-cigs', and various other methods over the last few years.

    A few points:

    1. The liquid is not always made in China, as THEFENSK mentions. I use a local manufacturer (Chapel Hill, local)
    2. Nicotine IS bad for you, PEDSRNDAD. That said, the countless other carcinogens, tar, and other cig ingredients are worse. Cutting those out and throttling down nicotine levels is a fantastic way to quit, much like a gum or a patch. The added bonus is the sensation of "smoking" that keeps people from switching back to analogs.

  • Norman Lewis Dec 18, 2014
    user avatar

    Teens are attracted to the fruit flavors of electronic cigarettes as the companies knew they would be. Since traditional tobacco companies have been losing their consumers through anti-smoking campaigns and by attrition due to cancer and heart disease deaths caused by smoking, they have sought to expand their customer base. Anyone remember Joe Camel from a few years ago? Nicotine is an addictive poison. No matter how you flavor it, no matter how you package it, you are ingesting a poison that will damage your body. Companies are trying hard, by deceptive but legal advertising, to imply that using vapor cigarettes is better than smoking without actually saying so. Deliberately ingesting a known poison is to my mind almost a suicidal act.

  • Black HelicoptersNFood Insurance Dec 18, 2014

    View quoted thread

    As opposed to American made and regulated cigarettes?

  • rocket Dec 18, 2014

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    How did we ever survive before the government regulated EVERYTHING?

  • SusanandAaron Tambot-Blankenship Dec 18, 2014
    user avatar

    They helped me, I no longer smoke and there are regulating bodies - just not in the USA. I do however purchase USA products that are the best quality world-wide. The company independently lab tests for ingredients as an audit measure. Best thing is the non nicotine I use often at work and when I want it - nicotine.

  • Thomas Fenske Dec 18, 2014
    user avatar

    If they help you quit, good, but there are two warning bells for me: they're unregulated and they are made in China.