Vaping 2x better for quitting smoking than patches, gum

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A major new study provides the strongest evidence yet that vaping can help smokers quit cigarettes, with e-cigarettes proving almost twice as effective as nicotine gums and patches.

But the figures are just the latest in a series of studies being published around the world, and comes just a week after an alarming study pointed to a growing public health concern around young Australian women trying vaping, many who had never smoked a real cigarette.

However, people who switched to vaping were far more likely to keep vaping, indicating they may have exchanged one nicotine delivery device for another, without ever beating their addiction. They typically compare two or more therapies with each other, or test drugs against a control group that receives a placebo.

They said the findings were likely to be valid for dependent smokers seeking help, but may not apply to smokers who are less dependent or who try e-cigarettes for reasons other than quitting smoking.

Grant funding for the research was provided by the National Institutes of Health, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, and the National Cancer Institute.

E-cigarette arm abstainers experienced less severe urges to smoke at 1 and 4 weeks post-quit date.

"The UK specialist stop smoking services will now be more likely to include e-cigarettes among their treatment options, and health professionals will feel more comfortable in recommending e-cigarettes as a stop-smoking intervention".

Despite the impressive findings, Levy and the other experts Gizmodo spoke to said more research is still needed in the US and elsewhere, using newer devices, before doctors here can wholeheartedly endorse vaping as a superior cessation aid over the standard treatment (likely with regular counseling to boot).

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Just nine percent of those who had quit cigarettes for a year in the nicotine replacement group were still using patches, gum or other substitutes. It's true, e-cigarettes do contain nicotine, and sometimes in equivalent quantities as to what is found in a combustible cigarette.

A second survey in 2015-2016 assessed how numerous kids had tried either vaping or smoking in the interim.

Those who used nicotine replacement therapies of their choice (including patches, gum, lozenges, sprays, inhalators, or a combination of products).

Yet, sadly, polls show that of the 37.8 million adults in the United States who now smoke, roughly 65 percent think e-cigarettes are just as harmful as smoking traditional cigarettes.

Participants using e-cigarettes reported more throat/mouth irritation (65.4 per cent vs 50.8 per cent), while nicotine replacement participants reported more nausea (37.8 per cent vs 31.4 per cent). There is no evidence that nicotine use causes health problems, but considerable evidence that many ex-smokers relapse long after they quit cigarettes. "But whatever the method, it's clear that using the support available from local Stop Smoking Services gives smokers the best chance of quitting". The findings may deal a blow to the vaping industry, which has come under fire by the FDA for allegedly marketing to teenagers by using fruit flavors.

"While e-cigarettes are "safer" than traditional cigarettes, they are not without risks", wrote Belinda Borrelli, professor of health policy at Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine, and George O'Connor, professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She further stressed that very few studies have actually explored the pros and cons of using e-cigs to assist with quitting. It has not scientifically reviewed any of the e-cigarettes on the market and has put off some key regulations until 2022. It showed teenage use surged 78 percent from 2017 to 2018. Those devices have largely been overtaken in the U.S.by Juul and similar devices that have prefilled nicotine cartridges, or pods.

"Adult use may not only expose children to e-cigarette vapor but also models addictive behavior", and boosts the risk that kids will take up combustible cigarettes themselves one day, the editorial said. "I still wanted a cigarette afterward".

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