Looking for the best way to quit smoking? A yearlong UK study published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine found that e-cigarettes were nearly twice as likely to help smokers quit than prevailing nicotine replacement products, including patches, gum, and lozenges.
The British study of 866 smokers was conducted and funded by National Institute for Health Research and Cancer Research UK. The smokers, who had sought out the services of the U.K. National Health Service to stop smoking were randomly assigned to use either e-cigarettes or traditional nicotine replacement therapies provided for up to three months. The e-cigarette group was given a starter kit with a refillable device and a single bottle of tobacco-flavored vape juice with 18 mg nicotine strength. Once the initial bottle of vape juice was used, the study participants could choose any flavor and nicotine strength to purchase they preferred.
The treatment also included weekly counseling sessions over the course of a month, which the researchers believed to be a critical element for success in quitting smoking. After a year, the researchers discovered that 18 percent of the e-cigarette users had quit smoking after a year, whereas only 9.3% of the nicotine replacement product users had. The researchers measured carbon monoxide quantities in the participants’ breath to confirm abstinence.
The results were clear – the best way to quit smoking was through e-cigarette use.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking causes nearly half a million deaths in the U.S. each year, including 41,000 deaths each year due to secondhand smoke exposure. Smokers, on average, die ten years earlier than non-smokers.
The CDC warns, smoking leads to death and disability and “causes harm to nearly every organ in the body” and is the direct cause of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and diabetes, among others. Smoking also increases risk for tuberculosis, immune system problems, certain eye diseases, as well as rheumatoid arthritis.
Vaping provides the nicotine hit most smokers crave, without subjecting them to the carcinogens of traditional combustible cigarettes.
Currently, more than 16 million Americans have a smoking-related disease.
The new findings reinforce what many in the vaping industry already know – that utilizing e-cigarettes is the best way to quit smoking.
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