A study conducted in Auckland, New Zealand has revealed that e-cigarettes work as well as one of the most popular smoking cessation aids on the market: the nicotine patch.
Study Finds E-Cigs as Good as Patches for Curbing Smoking
In addition to suggesting e-cigarettes are just as effective as the nicotine patch, results of the Lancet study show also showed that even when certain participants failed to quit completely, they smoked fewer tobacco cigarettes on the whole when using e-cigs. This groundbreaking research lends itself to a conclusion that many vapers and vaping advocates have held for years – that using e cigarettes is a unique and effective tool in smoking cessation.
Though further clinical studies must be conducted in order to convince health officials and regulators of their potential worth, this evidence stands to prompt further inspection of the electronic cigarette’s role in cessation on a much larger scale.
Patches and E-Cigs Go Head to Head
The landmark study, entitled “Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation: A Randomised Controlled Trial,” was published on September 7 in The Lancet, the world’s premier medical journal with specialties in oncology and neurology.
In 2011, study author Chris Bullen and his colleagues set out to investigate whether or not the use of electronic cigarettes was a more effective means of quitting smoking than the nicotine patch. The study continued until July of 2013 and involved the participation of 657 volunteer smokers who were interested in quitting.
In order to ensure an accurate sampling, Bullen randomly split the volunteers into three groups, each of which was provided a different product to use for a period of 13 weeks. Group A was given electronic cigarettes, Group B used nicotine patches and members of Group C were provided with a placebo e-cigarette. The placebo e-cig still produced puffs of vapor but did not contain nicotine.
E-Cigarettes Efficacy: Study Results
At the six month point, the researchers evaluated the participants’ progress, making note of the length of time each volunteer had remained abstinent from tobacco cigarettes while using their given product.
When it came to continuous abstinence for a period of seven days, 61 electronic cigarette users (or 21.1% of the group) had succeeded in avoiding tobacco. Only 46 in the patch group (15.6% of the group) had been able to remain smoke-free for a week.
The primary results were taken into account after the entire six-month period had passed: 21 of the e-cig group (7.3%) had been continuously abstinent from tobacco cigarettes at six months as compared to only 17 in the patch group (5.8%).
Bullen and his team believe that, while the relatively minor statistical margin here shows a need for further testing and research, consistent use of electronic cigarettes do help smokers quit more effectively than nicotine patches
In addition, Bullen says it “certainly seems that e-cigarettes were more effective in helping smokers who didn’t quit to cut down.” He also finds it interesting that a vast majority of participants who volunteered for the study seemed notably more enthusiastic about using electronic cigarettes than they were about using patches. Even the people who were provided with nicotine-free e-cigs claimed that they would definitely recommend electronic cigarettes to their friends and family over the patch.
Related: The Truth About Nicotine Addiction
While electronic cigarette companies and the vaping community at large are still waiting for organizations like the FDA to conduct the research necessary to make definitive claims regarding cessation, studies like Bullen’s continue to characterize the value of e-cigs in helping smokers to quit and reduce tobacco use overall.
How many people do you know who have match the switch from tobacco cigarettes to e-cigarettes? Are you one of them?