Can e-cigs actually help smokers kick the butt?

e-cigaretteCan puffing electronic cigarettes help smokers quit the habit? If the findings of a new study are anything to go by, then the odds are loaded in favor of e-cigs! “Vaping” facilitates in smoking cessation and may actually help smokers kick the butt, an exploratory e-cig study finds.

Lead author of the study, Jean-Francois Etter at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Geneva in Switzerland said,”Our results may not be generalizable to all vapers. We had a majority of ex-smokers at baseline whereas in the general population, most vapers are current smokers.”

E-cigs, also known as electronic cigarettes, vaporizer cigarettes or smokeless cigarettes, are an electronic device intended to substitute for tobacco smoking. These are designed to look like regular cigarettes to mimic traditional smoking, but they do not contain the harmful chemicals associated with smoking tobacco cigarettes, such as carbon dioxide and tar.

Study details

In a bid to establish whether electronic cigarettes are helpful in smoking cessation and can be used as quit-smoking devices, the researchers conducted a survey.

Given that most vapers buy e-cigs online, the researchers posted a questionnaire on a French stop-smoking website to assess any behavior changes in e-cig users. As a part of the study, the enrolled subjects answered a baselineone a month later and a third after a year. The queries pertained to e-cigarette use, tobacco use and the date of quitting.


Revelations of the study

Though more than 1000 e-cig users responded only 367 completed all three surveys. The participants included 72 percent former smokers and 76 percent who were using e-cigs on a regular daily basis. The study found amid former smokers who started using e-cigs only six percent lit cigarettes after one month and again the same number smoked tobacco after one year.

Among subjects who were smoking and using e-cigarettes simultaneously when the study began, 22 percent had quit smoking tobacco after a month and 46 percent had kicked the butt after a year. The group that was given to smoking on an average 11.3 tobacco cigarettes every day at the onset of the study had cut down their habit to six smokes per day after one month.

Professor Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, UK stated, “Internet surveys are more likely to attract people who had a positive experience with e-cigarettes. The study is nevertheless innovative in that it did not just ask for a one-off information as a number of previous studies did, but it followed the e-cigarette users up to see what happens to their e-cig use and to their smoking one year later.”

The results were published in Addictive Behaviors.