A large randomized trial shows that electronic cigarettes are behind lower smoking cessation rates in smokers after half a year of smoking cessation efforts.
After six months, former smokers who vaped were less likely to quit smoking than their peers who smoked but never vaped.
The study which involved 237 pairs revealed that only 10.1% of former smokers who switched to e-cigs quit smoking after 6 months. By contrast, 26.6% of former smokers who did not use the electronic devices quit smoking during the same time period.
Around 28% of participants reported using e-cigarettes, of whom less than 50% said they used them regularly. The study appeared this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Lead author Nancy Rigotti noted that the smoking cessation rates were lower in e-cigarette users than in non-users. This comes as a surprise as e-cigarette makers advertise the products as a safe way to quit smoking.
Rigotti added that the study does not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between e-cigarettes and lower odds of quitting as the users less motivated to quit smoking probably used e-cigarettes the most.
Electronic Cigarettes Not a Surefire Way to Quit Smoking
Rigotti’s team also found that 70% of e-cigarette users said they used the devices to help them kick the habit. Some of participants used e-cigarettes daily, while others vaped once a week.
Researchers concluded that e-cigarette use or the mix of e-cigarettes and cigarettes does not help people quit. The team also thinks that e-cigarettes could be an effective smoke cessation method if people used them regularly.
All study participants underwent counseling before trying to quit smoking. They also had free access to a telephone quit-line and smoking cessation methods and medication during the trial.
Researchers assessed e-cigarette use after 1 month and 3 months, while tobacco abstinence was assessed half a year after the start of the study.
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