e-Cigarettes Are Tied to Continued, Not Less Smoking

The war of words seems to go on and on, but the facts remain the same: e-cigarettes are not a proven tool to stop people from smoking, nor to help them give up the habit.

What are the Statistics on Smoking Cessation, Using e-Cigarettes?

A European study revealed these telling numbers: Smokers of traditional cigarettes who also use e-cigarettes daily are 48% less likely to quit smoking as those who smoke only regular cigarettes. Those who only occasionally used e-cigarettes in addition to their tobacco cigarettes were even less likely to quit smoking – 67% less likely, in fact.

Senior author of the study, Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, points out that e-cigarettes keep many more people smoking than those who are able to quit by using the electronic devices. In fact, smokers who vaped actually smoked a larger quantity of regular cigarettes than those who didn’t; an average of 16 cigarettes a day for smokers who also vaped versus 14 a day for traditional smokers.

Data from a survey of more than 13,000 current or former smokers in the European Union was analyzed for this study.

Says Samir Soneji, a health policy researcher at Dartmouth College, “The findings are concerning because they suggest the idea that e-cigarettes are an even more effective cessation tool than nicotine replacement therapy – an idea aggressively marketed by e-cigarette and tobacco companies – may not be true in practice.” Nicotine gum or patches, she says, may be more effective.

Are e-Cigarettes Safer Than Traditional Cigarettes?

Then there’s the question of the safety of e-cigarettes themselves. Although touted by tobacco companies as a safe alternative to smoking regular cigarettes, in fact they are not proven to be so. First, the nicotine that they contain is known to be addictive. And second, some research suggests that flavorings and other ingredients in e-liquids used for vaping could be linked to serious breathing problems.

Information for this article was obtained from Reuters Health, which reported on a study reported in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.