Vaping twice better for quitting smoking than patches, gum

31 Janvier, 2019, 14:21 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
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In a rigorous study pitting the battery-powered e-cigs against nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine gums, lozenges, sprays and patches, the researchers found that e-cigs helped smokers to remain abstinent for one year at almost twice the rate as those using nicotine replacement options.

But the e-cig users were also more likely to still be using their devices at one year compared to the nicotine replacement users - 80% compared to 9%.

Public Health England has already called for e-cigarettes to be made available on the NHS within five years, pointing to a body of research that suggests they are at least 95 percent less harmful than cigarettes.

Under Florida law, smoking is not allowed inside most businesses and restaurants, and state voters took the first step to eliminate secondhand e-cigarette emissions by approving an amendment past year to ban vaping and e-cigarette use indoors.

Independent experts said the latest trial, funded by Britain's National Institute for Health Research and carried out by researchers from Queen Mary University of London, was robust and well-conducted.

"Opportunities for better health begin where people work, live and play, and a person should not have to be exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke and secondhand e-cigarette emissions to put food on the table", said American Lung Association Director of Advocacy Ashley Lyerly.

Only 10 per cent of those who tried nicotine patches, gum or sprays managed to quit - along with just three per cent of those who attempted to give up smoking unaided.

'Although a large number of smokers report that they have quit smoking successfully with the help of e-cigarettes, health professionals have been reluctant to recommend their use because of the lack of clear evidence from randomised controlled trials.

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"This may ultimately further accelerate the reduction in smoking and in smoking-related diseases", said Dunja Przulj, another author of the study, also from Queen Mary University of London.

In the United States and Britain, cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death, taking some 480,000 lives each year in the USA and more than 100,000 in Britain.

The startling numbers prompted the U.S. Surgeon General to declare e-cigarette use among young people an epidemic in an advisory issued in December 2018.

According to Martin Dockrell, tobacco control lead at Public Health England, "this landmark research shows that switching to an e-cigarette can be one of the most effective ways to quit smoking, especially when combined with face-to-face support". "For us, the fact that they are now vaping is problem solved".

The World Health Organization is concerned about cancer-causing chemicals in the devices and the European Union believes e-cigarettes may act as a "gateway" to tobacco.

For that reason, an accompanying editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine urged caution.

British experts said the findings could change the way health care providers talk about e-cigarettes, possibly leading more of them to encourage smokers to try vaping as a way to wean themselves off traditional cigarettes.

'Evidence of effectiveness must be balanced against the short-term and long-term safety of e-cigarettes.

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