Teens Who Use E-Cigarettes More Apt to Start Smoking, Study Says

Teens Who Use E-Cigarettes More Apt to Start Smoking, Study Says

Teens Who Use E-Cigarettes More Apt to Start Smoking, Study Says

Those who used e-cigarettes to quit smoking succeeded at almost double the rate of those using methods like nicotine patches and gum, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"That's not to say it couldn't be an effective cessation device, but we're just not there yet".

Officials last night called for health professionals to start recommending the devices far more widely. Juul's rapid popularity among teens in the USA -which has sparked fears that it could lead more young people to pick up tobacco smoking and reverse the success we've seen with lowering teen smoking rates - might explain the more reluctant attitude of doctors in the U.S.to enthusiastically embrace e-cigarettes as a cessation aid.

"Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials".

Professor Hywel Williams, Director of the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme, said: "This groundbreaking NIHR-funded study provides clear evidence that e-cigarettes are nearly twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy for helping smokers to quit". "The Royal College of Physicians has noted that the harm caused by smoking does not come from nicotine - but rather from other components of tobacco smoke, stating that "...the health and life expectancy of today's smokers could be radically improved by encouraging as many as possible to switch to a smoke-free source of nicotine".

The new findings are "pretty consistent with what we've seen before in this area in terms of demonstrating that people who experiment with electronic cigarettes, even if they swear at baseline that they would never smoke regular cigarettes, are at much more risk of transitioning to regular cigarettes", said Dr. Brian Primack, director of the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.

The researchers found that, after one year, 18.0% of participants in the e-cigarette group had stopped smoking, compared with 9.9% in the NRT group (relative risk 1.83; 95% confidence interval 1.30-2.58; P 0.001).

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The study was more rigorous than previous ones, which largely surveyed smokers about e-cigarette use.

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb proposed measures in November for restricting sales of most flavored e-cigarettes and limiting them to specialized shops and online retailers that can verify a purchaser's age.

Responding to this latest research, Public Health England said: "All stop-smoking services should welcome smokers who want to quit with the help of an e-cigarette".

Despite all this, there's something about either e-cigarettes or the experience of vaping that appears to open the doorway for these particular kids, making them more likely to light up in the future, Stokes said.

Both treatment groups also received weekly behavioural support for at least four weeks.

Participants using e-cigarettes reported more throat/mouth irritation (65.4 per cent vs 50.8 per cent), while nicotine replacement participants reported more nausea (37.8 per cent vs 31.4 per cent).

"The scientific consensus is that it is far less harmful than smoking", he said.

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Professor Robert West of University College London, said: 'This study is of huge significance.

"Smokers have a range of options available to help them quit, including nicotine replacement therapy, prescription medication or e-cigarettes".

After one year, 18 percent of the vaping group was abstinent from cigarettes - nearly twice as many as those who used the pharmaceutical nicotine products (9.9 percent). "I think they now have more evidence to endorse e-cigarettes".

But critics have repeatedly warned that the United Kingdom is "way out of step with the rest of the world" in its approach to the devices.

"This is the first trial to test the efficacy of modern e-cigarettes in helping smokers quit".

The British research, published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, could influence what doctors tell their patients and shape the debate in the USA, where the Food and Drug Administration has come under pressure to more tightly regulate the burgeoning industry amid a surge in teenage vaping.

A total of 8.6% reported e-cigarettes as their first tobacco product, while 5.0% reported using another non-cigarette product first (3.3% reported using cigarettes first). These effects were mostly mild.

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Myth #4: Vaping is not effective in helping people quit smoking.

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