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“Combustible cigarettes are the most harmful form of nicotine delivery. Alternative delivery of nicotine, through e-cigarettes, could significantly reduce harm and the risks of cancer and other diseases to smokers,” said study author Matthew Carpenter, Ph.D., a tobacco control and addiction expert at the cancer center at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

The collected data indicated that the group given e-cigs, smoked less and were more likely to quit smoking, in comparison to those in the control group.
For the purpose of the study, Carpenter looked at the attitudes and behaviour of sixty-eight smokers. Forty six of them were evaluated in relation to e-cigarettes in terms of usage, product preference, changes in smoking behaviors and nicotine exposure. While a random sample of 22 were selected as a control group.

The participants in the e-cigarette use group, were given devices with either 24 or 16 mg of nicotine, which allowed the researchers to examine results from two different doses when comparing with the control group. Both groups were followed over a period of four months.

“All ENDS participants tried product at least once, with 48% of 24 mg and 30% of 16 mg using their assigned product for the entire sampling period. Within the 24 mg ENDs group, 57% made an independent purchase of ENDS, versus 28% of 16 mg, and 14% of control participants (P= 0.01). Smokers in both ENDS groups significantly reduced their smoking, whereas control participants did not (P = 0.03),” read the study Abstract. Therefore the collected data indicated that the group given e-cigarettes, smoked less and were more likely to quit smoking, in comparison to those in the control group.

“Combustible cigarettes are the most harmful form of nicotine delivery. Alternative delivery of nicotine, through e-cigarettes, could significantly reduce harm and the risks of cancer and other diseases to smokers.”Matthew Carpenter, Ph.D., Study Author

“The results are consistent with trials done outside the U.S.,” Carpenter said. “Many people rated the e-cigarettes similar to their usual product, which further suggests that these products might promote switching. Anything that gets smokers off combustible cigarettes is a good thing.”

Larger numbers, similar findings

To date, numerous studies have indicated the relative effectiveness of the devices for smoking cessation. In fact, a recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, reported similar findings but on a larger scale.

“The results are consistent with trials done outside the U.S.. Many people rated the e-cigarettes similar to their usual product, which further suggests that these products might promote switching. Anything that gets smokers off combustible cigarettes is a good thing.”Matthew Carpenter, Ph.D., Study Author

The above study analyzed data from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Survey from 2013 and 2014, and found that e-cigarettes were used by 2.2 million smokers, NRTs by 1.47 million, prescription drugs by 418,000 and smokeless tobacco by 124,000. However, besides being the most commonly used cessation tools, e-cigarettes also had the most success, leading to 540,000 smokers managing to quit successfully, while NRT and prescription drugs combined, helped about 354,000.

Read Further: EurekAlert