A new study which was recently carried out by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and published in the American Journal of Public Health puts forward the claim that smokers who hope to kick the habit through the use of e-cigarettes will find attaining their target harder than they think.
This claim is put forward because researchers say they found that smokers using e-cigarettes are 49% less likely to decrease their cigarette use, as well as 59% less likely to quit smoking completely, when compared to those smokers who have never used an e-cigarette.
According to the leader of the study Dr Wael Al-Delaimy, ‘Based on the idea that smokers use e-cigarettes to quit smoking, we hypothesised that smokers who used these products would be more successful in quitting. But the research revealed the contrary. We need further studies to answer why they cannot quit. One hypothesis is that smokers are receiving an increase in nicotine dose by using e-cigarettes.’ Dr Al-Delaimy went on to argue that he believes that the findings of his study will be informative and useful for the United States Food and Drug Administration and other regulators as they create guidelines for e-cigarettes.
However, many have criticized the particular study and its findings saying that it offers little useful evidence and information saying that since it was not actually a study on the effectiveness of e-cigarettes in helping people quit smoking, it should not be interpreted as such.
Moreover, to substantiate their criticism, they refer to a review carried out last December by the Cochrane Library, the world’s leading producer of systematic reviews, which clearly proved that almost one in 10 smokers using e cigarettes had been able to quit the habit up to a year later, and around one-third had cut down.
UK authorities seem to be accepting that e-cigarettes may be helpful for smokers trying to quit and this is why they have decided as from 2016 to regulate e-cigarettes as medicines, in an effort to them safer and more effective as products. This position was taken in view of estimates that two thirds of ‘vapers’ are current smokers, many of whom are trying to quit, while most of the remainder one third are ex-smokers who have succeeded to kick the habit.
In any case, the controversy over the Battery-powered devices, which allow users to inhale nicotine while avoiding the harm caused by tobacco smoke and whether due to this they have net benefits is set to continue because many point to fears that if the use of e-cigarettes in public places is allowed to continue, this could potentially ‘re-normalise’ smoking, especially among young people, and reverse declining smoking rates.