The Boston University School of Public Health released a study about electronic cigarettes, concluding that “Electronic cigarettes show tremendous promise in the fight against tobacco-related morbidity and mortality.” The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (online this month and should be in the next print version).
Even though electronic cigarettes aren’t designed to be used to quit smoking, the study found that 31 percent of respondents reported having quit smoking within 6 months of purchasing an electronic cigarette. This is about twice as effective as traditional nicotine replacement products like the patch or nicotine gum, which only have a 12-18% average 6-month abstinence rate.
In addition, the study found that almost 67% of respondents reported having reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked after using electronic cigarettes.
According Michael Siegel, on of the study’s authors and professor of community health sciences at Boston, “This study suggests that electronic cigarettes are helping thousands of ex-smokers remain off cigarettes.”
Siegel says that “while it is well-recognized that nicotine plays a role in smoking addiction, little attention has been given to the behavioral aspects of the addiction. These devices simulate the smoking experience, which appears to make them effective as a smoking cessation tool.”
A number of objective studies have suggested that electronic cigarettes are quite a bit better than tobacco cigarettes. Still, a number of states and municipalities have sought bans on the devices in an attempt to wipe anything even remotely associated with cigarettes off the face of the Earth. According to Siegel, “banning this product would invariably result in many ex-smokers returning to cigarette smoking,” and “would substantially harm the public’s health.”
If you’re interested, you can check out the original study here [hsph.harvard.edu]