E-cigarettes don't Help Smokers Kick the Habit, Says New Study

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By Roshni Mahesh | March 25, 2014 8:44 PM EST

Electronic cigarettes cannot help quit smoking, a new study reveals.

E-cigarette, a device that works by vaporising a liquid solution containing nicotine and other flavours, was first introduced to the world in 2004, by a Chinese company named Ruyan. Since then, it has been promoted as a safer option for the regular cigarettes that are packed with nearly 4,000 toxic chemicals and have been linked to a wide range of deadly diseases including cancer and heart disease.

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A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine couldn’t find any solid evidence to prove the smoking-cessation ability of electronic cigarettes.

Unlike the traditional cigarettes,  the battery- operated device mostly provides less nicotine and does not produce the tar and carbon monoxide associated with smoking real cigarettes. Tar has been associated with lung damage and carbon monoxide can reduce the oxygen levels in the body.  

E-cigarettes have also been widely promoted as an effective medium to help people quit smoking. However, a new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine couldn't find any solid evidence to prove the smoking-cessation ability of electronic cigarettes, Health Day reported.

For the study, Dr. Pamela Ling, from the University of California, San Francisco and colleagues looked at 949 smokers, including 88 people who reported using e-cigarettes. At the beginning of the study, researchers interviewed the participants and recorded their smoking habits. On contacting the participants after one year, researchers couldn't find any major difference in the number of people who kicked the habit, from both the groups.  Nearly 14 percent of the people reported that they had stopped smoking in both groups.

"We found that there was no difference in the rate of quitting between smokers who used an e-cigarette and those who did not," Ling told Health Day.

However, the findings have invited wide criticism from experts.

"It's an example of bogus or junk science," Dr. Michael Siegel, a professor of community health sciences at Boston University School of Public Health, said.

"That's because the study does not examine the rate of successful smoking cessation among e-cigarette users who want to quit smoking or cut down substantially on the amount that they smoke, and who are using e-cigarettes in an attempt to accomplish this," he added. "Instead, the study examines the percentage of quitting among all smokers who have ever tried e-cigarettes for any reason."

Similar to the current study, last year, a team of American researchers found that youngsters who tried e-cigarettes to quit smoking were smoking more nicotine and were not able to fully quit smoking.

E-cigarettes have been a controversial topic lately. Experts have claimed that switching from traditional cigarettes to electronic could help reduce smoking - related deaths across the world. Contradicting this, research has shown that e-cigarettes provide more toxins than real cigarettes.

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(Photo: lindsay-fox/Flickr / )
A new study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine couldn’t find any solid evidence to prove the smoking-cessation ability of electronic cigarettes.
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