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05

Feb

2019

Experts Estimate: E-Cigarettes Help Nearly 20,000 People Quit Smoking

Ah, yes, quitting smoking. Millions of people have tried, but only a small fraction of them were successful in the end. Most smokers would probably prefer to quit, but many of them don't even try. After all, they know beforehand how difficult it will be and how poor their chances of success are.
Aids like nicotine patches or chewing gum have also proven to be ineffective over the years. The most likely reason is that the physical addiction to nicotine is only part of the problem. Unfortunately, these aids don't satisfy the need for actually dragging on a cigarette and inhaling the smoke. Even though physical dependence on nicotine is a crucial factor in fighting addiction, our minds play a similarly important role.
However, for some years now there has been a new aid for smokers who want to kick their habit: the e-cigarette. And unlike all previous aids, the new technology manages to cover both components of addiction at the same time. Those who use liquids with nicotine content get both a dose of nicotine and the satisfaction of inhaling smoke (or in this case vapour).
What sounds good in theory seems to work well in practice too. First studies have now revealed  how effective e-cigarettes really are as a stop smoking aid. Today we will look at the results of one of these studies. How effective is the new technology really? And is vaping really as safe as we think it is? The following article will tell you more.
 

What were the results of the study?

The study was conducted in 2015 by University College London (UCL) and Cancer Research UK. It examined how many smokers succeed in overcoming their addiction in the long term. More importantly, what were the differences between those who were successful and those who were not?
Based on the results of this study, the researchers estimate that around 18,000 people in England managed to become “long-term ex-smokers” in 2015 through the help of e-cigarettes. They further said that the share of smokers who tried to quit was roughly the same as in the previous years. The fact that more of them were successful was therefore clearly due to the help of e-cigarettes.
According to Alison Cox, director of prevention at Cancer Research UK, quitting smoking is incredibly hard. Stop smoking services are still the most effective method for quitting, and every smoker looking to quit should use them. At the same time, the study shows that electronic cigarettes are also a great tool.
In the UK alone, around 100,000 people die every year from the consequences of using tobacco products, which are the leading preventable cause of cancer. The number of e-cigarette users in the UK was estimated at 2.8 million in 2015. Combined with the results of the study, these figures clearly show the wide-ranging effects that the new technology can have.
 

Are e-cigarettes really safe?

In spite of all the positive findings, many people still have concerns about e-cigarettes. One fear, for example, is that many non-smokers would start using electronic cigarettes. According to Prof. Robert West of the UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre, England often has a reputation for having too positive of an opinion of e-cigarettes. When looking at the results of the study, however, we can now see that the relatively liberal regulation of e-cigarettes is probably justified.
Dr Mike Knapton, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said that almost one in five adults smoke in the UK. This greatly increases their risk of cardiovascular disease. Stopping smoking is by far the most important step one can take to improving their heart health. Since many people are finally able to do this with the help of e-cigarettes, the technology should be promoted and not condemned.
At the same time, he stressed the importance of long-term studies on the impact of e-cigarette use on human health. Only studies of this kind can prove once and for all that the devices are really safe.
However, it should already be proven that electronic cigarettes are far less harmful than tobacco cigarettes. After all, researchers know exactly what happens in our bodies when we smoke a cigarette. And they have a pretty good idea what happens when we inhale e-cigarette vapour as well.

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