According to a new study from the Center for Survey Research, smokers who used electronic cigarettes every day for one month (intensive users) were six times more likely to stop smoking combustable cigarettes, as compared to smokers who had never used e-cigs.
“This study provides strong support for the potential harm-reducing value of electronic cigarettes, which allow smokers to get the nicotine they want without exposing themselves to the 4,000 toxic chemicals in tobacco cigarettes,” said lead author Lois Biener, PhD, University of Massachusetts.
Researchers wanted to learn if there was an association between use of e-cigarettes and motivation to quit smoking traditional cigarettes. They followed up on 695 participants who used e-cigs over a three year period and found that 13 percent of users — all in the ‘intensive use’ category — had quit smoking entirely.
Intermittent users (people who used e-cigarettes regularly but not daily) and non-users/triers (those who used e-cigarettes at most once or twice) did not see any benefit from, or smoking cessation success, using e-cigs.
“Policy makers need to think carefully before enacting any laws that make adult smokers less likely to try these products,” such as taxing e-cigarettes as heavily as tobacco or eliminating flavors, Biener said.
But it is more likely that further regulation of electronic cigarettes will occur as more health studies show negative effects of nicotine addiction resulting from use of e-cigs.
Wasim Maziak, M.D., professor at Florida International University, recently said that proponents of e-cigarettes “need to move from wishful thinking to protecting the health of people based on clear and comprehensive evidence.”The manufacture and marketing of a highly addictive product such as e-cigarettes has one primary goal: to hook as many people as possible on it.”
“Nicotine is one of the most addictive substances in nature,” said Maziak in the Orlando Sentinel. “It produces stronger dependence than heroin or cocaine — and has lifelong psychological, social, economic and health consequences.”
Other recent studies have found that the vapor, in particular, emanating from electronic cigarettes may be harmful to users.
“The vapors contained diethylene glycol (antifreeze), tobacco-specific nitrosamines (a cancer-causing byproduct) and other contaminants found in tobacco may be harmful to humans,” according to Dr. Smita Desai, Kaiser Permanente pulmonary and critical care group, San Diego. “Tobacco smokers with chronic lung conditions who consider switching to e-cigarettes to improve their lung health should know that a small study on healthy smokers showed that inhaling e-cigarette vapor for five minutes causes brief, reversible decreases in airflow and increases in airway resistance.”
(Photo courtesy of www.ecigclick.co.uk via Creative Commons)