Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of death in America and for the 450 million smokers that exist today there are approximately 450,000 smoking-related deaths per year. While smoking is a definite risk, many people have chosen an alternate nicotine source: E-cigarettes.
E-cigarettes are electronic smoking devices that emit vapor from heated cartridges, which may or may not contain liquid nicotine and/or flavored liquid. So, while it mimics the same behavior of smoking a regular cigarette, users do not inhale the harmful chemicals and additives found in most tobacco.
The Journal of Addiction has recently published a study conducted in England regarding e-Cigarettes’ role in helping people quit smoking. The study surveyed 5,863 participants in England who had or were making attempts to quit smoking indefinitely. Each participant had reported on using e-cigarettes, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), or no aids in their attempt(s) to quit.
The study primarily relied on the participants’ self-reported smoking or non-smoking status at the time of the survey when they were asked how long their most recent attempt to quit smoking lasted before they went back to smoking.
The results had suggested that people who used e-cigarettes were about 1.6 times more likely to stay off cigarettes than those who used Nicotine patches or gum or no aids at all.
Though the long-term effects of using e-cigarettes are unknown as of yet because of its novel use, this study offers some hope to current smokers where the risks of smoking cigarettes are widely established.
Professor Robert West of the University College London stated his optimism for e-cigarettes in The New York Times. According to Prof. West, 5,000 lives would be saved for every 1 million people that switch over to e-cigarettes even if the devices proved to have serious health risks.
The long-term health outcomes for the e-cigarette is still a mystery and clinical trials may be difficult to conduct with the constant changes in electronic smoking device, but recent studies and research are revealing more benefits for the smoking community.