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e-cigarette ‘vapers’ using them to quit smoking

2017-04-21T11:13:32+00:00 April 15th, 2013|NHS, Smoking|

“Electronic cigarettes have helped almost nine out of ten smokers quit tobacco completely” the Metro reports. The claim is based on the results of an online survey on e-cigarette use and their effects on tobacco consumption. The survey’s participants were mainly recruited via the websites of two leading manufactures of e-cigarettes. The survey responses report an overall positive experience of e-cigarettes, for example: 75% of the sample said it had been several weeks or months since their last cigarette 91% said that use of the e-cigarette had ‘substantially decreased’ their craving for tobacco cigarettes 70% didn’t have as much of an urge to smoke A significant limitation to the study is that the survey was self-selecting; people using the brand’s websites chose to take part. It could be the case that people with a positive experience of using e-cigarettes were more likely to take part than people with negative experiences. So the results may not be representative. Also, the study did not assess whether these people actually quit smoking as a result of e-cigarette use. This means the results cannot be compared to the effectiveness of stop-smoking treatments that have been properly tested and does not prove that e-cigarettes are an effective method of helping people to quit smoking. Further research comparing e-cigarettes with other forms of ‘quitting tools’ (such as nicotine patches) in the form of a large randomised controlled trial or cohort study is required. Where did the story come from? The study was a cross-sectional survey carried out by researchers from the University of East London and was published in the peer-reviewed medical journal Addiction. The study received no sources of financial support. The Metro’s headline that ‘Electronic cigarettes ‘help nine out of ten smokers quit tobacco completely’ appears to have been wrongly interpreted from the results [...]