Research

E-Cigarettes: Recent study shows the product actually lowers smokers' chances to quit tobacco

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January 17
5:06 AM 2016

Despite being endorsed as an alternative for smokers to quit conventional cigarettes, a recent study shows that electronic cigarettes didn't actually help smokers quit smoking. In fact, e-cigarettes may also have the opposite effect and hinder smokers to escape nicotine.

According to HealthDay, an evidence review published by The Lancet Respiratory Medicine proves that e-cigarette lowers adult smokers' chances to quit tobacco by about 28 percent. The study was led by University of California professor Stanton Glantz. He said that the number in that finding is significant. "We found that e-cigarette use was associated with significantly less quitting. E-cigarettes are being promoted as means of quitting, but they're actually having the opposite effect," Glantz stated.

To acquire empirical evidence on the study, Glantz and his team reviewed 38 studies on the association between e-cigarette use and cigarette termination in adult smokers. About the papers being reviewed he added, "We looked at every single paper out there we could find. We did not do any cherry-picking at all."

Furthermore, Glantz explained the irony in using e-cigarettes as a mean to help smokers quit smoking. "While there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarette is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes," he stated. The argument is based on the fact that one of the main reasons people use e-cigarettes is to quit smoking altogether.

E-cigarettes or vapes are battery-powered metal tubes fitted with liquids typically laced with nicotine and flavorings but without tobacco. When it's inhaled, the e-cigarettes will heat the liquid and produced vapor. The process is meant to simulate the feeling of smoking without actually smoking.

Previously, e-cigarette or vape have been promoted as an alternative to getting smokers quit smoking. After that, the sales have been rising and peaked at 2013, when about 22 percent of smokers and ex-smokers were using the product.

The numbers dropped slowly throughout the years to come until now due to various reasons, but e-cigarette still has a significant number of regular users worldwide. Independent reported that vaping has created a global market worth over $6 billion.

E-cigarette upholders have argued that the product has helped users quit smoking. Despite that, controversies have been building around whether the new alternative is safe and effective. Contradicting studies and arguments have revolved around the product until now.

This review study also faces criticisms. Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Queen Mary University of London told CBS News that the study is "grossly misleading". He criticized the  methodology and approach used by the study in question.

Even so, some experts argued the fact remains that vaping have undeniable potential harms and it's still not a surefire way to get out of smoking habits. Some also confirmed that e-cigarette use is sometimes just a complementary to using the conventional cigarettes.

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