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Despite Controversy E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit

Despite numerous recent concerns about e-cigarettes, a study just published in the journal Addiction demonstrates that they are better for people who wish to quit smoking. Robert West, Ph.D., from University College London said: “E-cigarettes could substantially improve public health because of their widespread appeal and the huge health gains associated with stopping smoking.”

e-cigarettes

Woman smoking e-cigarette/Image: StockPricesNow

When considering the actual data, it is obvious that death and other health issues related to smoking cigarettes originate from taking in toxins found within the smoke. Smoking can be a psychosomatic kind of addiction as well. Nicotine is addictive, of course, but the act of smoking becomes a behavior.

E-cigarettes provide users with a dose of the addictive chemical while also satisfying the “behavioral aspect of smoking.”  They provide users with the “simulated effect of smoking a cigarette but without the danger. The vapor is heated so it has the feel of smoking and the nicotine dose reportedly aids in fighting cravings.

The study involved 5,863 smokers who were surveyed between 2009 and 2014. While all the participants wanted to quit, they didn’t want to get professional help or take prescription drugs.

Research revealed that 20 percent of the subjects who used e-cigarettes were able to quit smoking. This translates to a 60 percent higher success rate over those using nicotine replacement therapies like gum or patches or will power alone. West stated: “It is not clear whether long-term use of e-cigarettes carries health risks but from what is known about the contents of the vapor these will be much less than from smoking.”

Woman smoking e-cigarette/Image: SmokeFreeRevolution

Woman smoking e-cigarette/Image: SmokeFreeRevolution

West also addressed the recently publicized concerns: “Some public health experts have expressed concern that widespread use of e-cigarettes could ‘re-normalize’ smoking. However, we are tracking this very closely and see no evidence of it. Smoking rates are declining, quitting rates are increasing and regular e-cigarette use among never-smokers is negligible.”

Jamie Brown, Ph.D., co-author of the UCL study concluded: “We will continue to monitor success rates in people using e-cigarettes to stop smoking to see whether there are improvements as the devices become more advanced.”

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.