stop smoking e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes vs Traditional Nicotine Replacement

The most recent Cochrane review, co-led by a researcher in public health and health policy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, indicates that e-cigarettes containing nicotine are more effective in aiding smoking cessation than conventional nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT). The analysis, which encompassed 88 studies with over 27,235 participants, establishes high certainty evidence that using e-cigarettes, known as "vaping," is more conducive to quitting smoking compared to traditional methods such as patches, gums, or lozenges.

The study, available on the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, underscores the widespread recognition of e-cigarettes as a valuable tool for harm reduction in England, in contrast to global perspectives. Jamie Hartmann-Boyce, an assistant professor in health policy and promotion, emphasizes the need for diverse evidence-based options to aid smoking cessation, given the significant health impact of smoking, causing over seven million deaths annually.

E-cigarettes, distinct from conventional cigarettes, operate by heating nicotine-infused liquids and flavorings, allowing users to inhale a vapor containing nicotine rather than the harmful compounds found in tobacco smoke. Hartmann-Boyce points out that while e-cigarettes are not entirely risk-free, they are considerably less harmful than smoking for a lot of people, offering an alternative that has proven effective for individuals who struggled with other quit aids.

The review reveals that, on average, eight to ten out of 100 individuals using nicotine e-cigarettes successfully quit smoking, surpassing the success rates of traditional NRT (six out of 100) and attempts to quit with no support or behavioral assistance (four out of 100).

Hartmann-Boyce underscores the nuanced nature of the public health message, particularly in the U.S., where caution is advised for non-smokers regarding the potential negative health effects of e-cigarettes. However, she acknowledges that for individuals already smoking, transitioning to e-cigarettes can significantly improve health outcomes and reduce risks associated with traditional tobacco use.

Drawing a parallel to substance-use disorder treatment, Hartmann-Boyce likens the situation to using methadone for opioid addiction, emphasizing that while e-cigarettes may not be suitable for non-smokers, they can be a helpful tool for those seeking to quit smoking.


E-cigarettes vs traditional nicotine


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