Health Day - ONLINE EDITION
Posted: 09/9/2013 6:00 AM | Comments: 0
SATURDAY, Sept. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic cigarettes and nicotine patches are equally effective at helping smokers quit, according to findings from what's thought to be the first clinical trial to compare the two methods.
However, e-cigarettes were more effective in reducing cigarette use among smokers who didn't quit.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that deliver nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals. They turn these substances into vapor that is inhaled by the user.
The new study included 657 smokers who used either e-cigarettes, fake e-cigarettes (they didn't contain any nicotine) or nicotine patches for 13 weeks. At the end of the six-month study, about 6 percent of the participants had successfully quit.
Rates of those who successfully quit were 7.3 percent in the e-cigarette group, 5.8 percent in the nicotine patch group and 4.1 percent in the fake e-cigarette group.
These differences were not statistically significant, according to study leader Chris Bullen, director of the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and colleagues.
The findings suggest that e-cigarettes are comparable to nicotine patches in helping people quit smoking for at least six months.
Among participants who did not quit smoking, 57 percent of those in the e-cigarette group had reduced their daily consumption of cigarettes by at least half after six months, compared with 41 percent of those in the nicotine patch group, according to the study published online Sept. 7 in The Lancet and presented at the annual meeting of the European Respiratory Society, held in Barcelona, Spain.
About 90 percent of those who used e-cigarettes -- including the fake version -- would recommend them to family and friends, compared with 56 percent of those in the nicotine patch group, the researchers said. They also concluded that e-cigarettes are comparable to nicotine patches in terms of safety.
"While our results don't show any clear-cut differences between e-cigarettes and patches in terms of quit success after six months, it certainly seems that e-cigarettes were more effective in helping smokers who didn't quit to cut down," Bullen said in a journal news release.
"It's also interesting that the people who took part in our study seemed to be much more enthusiastic about e-cigarettes than patches, as evidenced by the far greater proportion of people in both of the e-cigarette groups who said they'd recommend them to family or friends, compared to patches," he added.
Bullen continued: "There is still so much that is unknown about the effectiveness and long-term effects of e-cigarettes. Given the increasing popularity of these devices in many countries, and the accompanying regulatory uncertainty and inconsistency, larger, longer-term trials are urgently needed to establish whether these devices might be able to fulfill their potential as effective and popular smoking cessation aids."
This is a "pioneering study" that suggests e-cigarettes have the potential to increase the number of smokers who quit and to reduce costs to quitters and health care systems, Peter Hajek, a professor and director of the tobacco dependence research unit in the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine at Queen Mary University of London, wrote in an accompanying journal commentary.
The American Cancer Society offers a guide to quitting smoking.
Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories? Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
Survey finds sharp increase in teen use of HGH
Saskatchewan teenager swims English Channel
Keep Your Teens Safe on the Road This Summer
Tips for Beating BBQ Burns
American Red Cross Issues Urgent Call for Blood Donations
Obesity During Pregnancy Linked to Raised Asthma Risk in Kids
2 Courts, 2 Different Decisions on Key Obamacare Provision
High-Salt Diets Could Double Risk of Heart Woes for Diabetics
Injuries on the Increase in High School Lacrosse, Study Shows
Study Casts Doubt on Costly Treatment for Leg Clots
Former Alberta health exec flagged for conflict
Ontario plans to ban paying donors for blood
Obamacare Dealt Setback by Federal Appeals Court
Technique Used in Some Hysterectomies May Help Spread Cancer: Study
Gene Discoveries Could Shed New Light on Schizophrenia
Sleepless Nights After Divorce May Be Tied to Blood Pressure Rise
Health Highlights: July 22, 2014
HIV pills show more promise to prevent infection
Parents of Children With Autism Need Help, Too
Blood Test Might Help Predict Survival With Lou Gehrig's Disease
MERS Virus Found in Air in Camel Barn
Health Tip: Working Out at Work
Health Tip: Soothing Bug Bites
Newfoundland reaches tentative ambulance deal
Labour group wants changes after teen death on job
Residents allowed back home, but on alert
No Change in Heart Attack Rates for Younger U.S. Adults
Scientists Snipped HIV Out of Human DNA
Life Skills, Parenting Classes May Cut Inflammation in Poor Kids
Could Probiotics Help Tame High Blood Pressure?
Asthma Drug May Help Those With Chronic Hives
Animal Experiments Shed Light on HIV's Ability to Hide
Scientists Discover New Way to Make Human Platelets
Irregular Heart Rhythm Ups Stroke Risk Soon After Heart Surgery
Health Highlights: July 21, 2014
Swimmers warned of soaring E. coli count
Metal heavy? Should you stay out of MRIs?
Waistlines of U.S. Kids Seem to Be Holding Steady, Study Finds
Good Schools May Be Good for a Teen's Health, Too
Smoking While Pregnant Linked to ADHD in Children