Many smokers successfully give up e-cigarette transport (vaping), but doctors can not recommend this treatment without good evidence from clinical trials. They now have this proof. Our latest study confirms that e-cigarettes are a really effective way to help smokers quit.
In the trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 900 smokers who want to give up randomly were assigned to one of the two groups. One group was given nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) – usually combinations of nicotine patches with shorter-acting drugs such as nicotine gum, inhaler, or spray. The other group was given the opportunity to reload an e-cigarette, with one or two e-fluid bottles, and learn how to use the device. They were then encouraged to buy more groceries by their choice, with strong strengths and nicotine tastes that they liked. Both groups also received weekly face-to-face support during the first four weeks of the study.
When heavy smokers try to give up, they often feel miserable, struggling with smoking, irritability, and mood disorders. The group that used e-cigarettes experienced less than these symptoms from the group that used NRT. They also believe that e-cigarettes are more useful and satisfying, although they did not find e-cigarettes or NRT as gratifying as cigarettes.
Vapers retained their first advantage during the study. At the end of the year, almost twice as many people in the group of e-cigarettes were abstained during the year compared to the NRT group (18% versus 10%).
A strong difference
At the beginning of the study, both groups used their treatments almost every day. But over time, there was a strong difference. About 40% of smokers in the e-cigarette group were still one year old, while only 4% in the NRT group still used the nicotine replacement product. Among those who did not smoke a year, the percentage of using e-cigarettes was 80%, and using the NRT was 9%.
Among smokers who failed to retreat, there were both study groups that reduced smoke intake by at least 50%, but there was significantly more of them in the group of e-cigarettes (13% versus 7%).
However, in long-term abstinents that continue to be maintained, it can be considered a bad thing if the use of e-cigarettes for one year leads to going out for many more years, and if it causes health problems. Although the risks of long-term health outcome are estimated to be less than 5% of the risks of smoking (in a gold-standard study over two years of e-cigarette use no vapor health risks were found), this can nevertheless is a risk that can be avoided.
But the fact that many of the heavy smokers in our study who stopped smoking have been starving can be considered a good thing. Dependent smokers who give up NRT and continue to use these products in the long run know that they reduce the risk of relapse, so the extended use of e-cigarettes can also reduce the risk of relapse. Also, current gadgets protect these heavy smokers from the usual side effects of abandonment, such as feeling irritable and gaining weight. And a question that is rarely discussed is that some smokers actually enjoy smoking, and pollution can help them to maintain this enjoyment.
These ex-smokers, of course, still continue to use nicotine by parting, but this does not have major adverse effects on the health of cigarettes. The risks to smoking health are mainly from combustion chemicals free from tobacco burning. People who use non-combustible nicotine, such as Swedish snus users and short-term or long-term nicotine replacement products, do not look like negative health effects, while smoking causes premature death in about half of smokers of middle age.
We continue to monitor the participants in the research and in the end we will have data on how long the long-term singers will continue to apply and what effect this has on their health and their recurring rate. In the meantime, doctors can tell smokers that there is good evidence that they can help with giving up.