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E-cigarettes may help smokers quit, but research is insufficient

Date:
June 4, 2014
Source:
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International
Summary:
E-cigarettes are a potential smoking cessation aid and they may also be able to lower the risk of nicotine dependency in high-risk groups. The available scientific evidence, however, remains insufficient. According to an international survey e-cigarettes were used by younger people, those with higher incomes, and heavier smokers in particular. Among e-cigarette users, 85% reported that they used them to stop smoking.

E-cigarettes are a potential smoking cessation aid and they may also be able to lower the risk of nicotine dependency in high-risk groups. The available scientific evidence, however, remains insufficient. This is the conclusion reached by Dennis Nowak et al. from Munich in this issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International.

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The authors performed a systematic literature search for data on e-cigarettes’ mechanism of action, their emissions, how they are seen by groups of potential users, their efficacy in smoking cessation, and their addiction potential. According to an international survey e-cigarettes were used by younger people, those with higher incomes, and heavier smokers in particular. Among e-cigarette users, 85% reported that they used them to stop smoking. According to repeat surveys in the U.K., the number of people who were aware of e-cigarettes doubled between 2010 and 2012, and the number of users increased four-fold. An online survey of e-cigarette users found that 74% of those asked had not smoked tobacco for at least several weeks since using e-cigarettes, and 70% reported reduced cigarette cravings. However, there is evidence that people who have never previously smoked also use e-cigarettes. The rates among Polish and US students, for example, were 3% and 9% respectively.

Only two controlled trials show e-cigarettes as having similar effects to nicotine replacement therapies as smoking cessation aids; these effects were almost independent of nicotine content. The authors call for more randomized trials to be conducted.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nowak D, Jörres RA, Rüther T. E-cigarettes—prevention, pulmonary health, and addiction. Dtsch Arztebl Int, 2014; 111: 349%u201355 DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2014.0349

Cite This Page:

Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "E-cigarettes may help smokers quit, but research is insufficient." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604093531.htm>.
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. (2014, June 4). E-cigarettes may help smokers quit, but research is insufficient. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604093531.htm
Deutsches Aerzteblatt International. "E-cigarettes may help smokers quit, but research is insufficient." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140604093531.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

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