Electronic cigarettes have become popular across the world even as the rising prevalence of smoking and the corresponding rise in the prevalence of numerous cancers becomes vital medical news. Anti-smoking drives have become common in several countries, particularly in the developed world. However, electronic cigarettes have been caught in the middle of a dilemma, with many still divided about the mix of benefits of disadvantages that electronic cigarettes provide. They have been marketed in several regions as a ‘healthier’ way to consume nicotine, since they allow users to avoid the carcinogenic tar and other byproducts of tobacco consumption found in regular cigarettes. However, their own contribution to causing cancer can’t be ignored and has thus been studied in some channels.
A new study shows electronic cigarettes help smokers trying to quit smoking. The study didn’t focus on the health effects of electronic cigarettes themselves, but rather focused on the behavioral tendencies of electronic cigarette users to examine how e-cigarettes helped alter nicotine consumption patterns for smokers.
What Does the Study Say?
The study, published in BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), is based on survey data collected from 160,000 individuals. Population surveys from 2001 to 2015 provided the fundamental smoking statistics for the study authors, while 2014-2015 numbers provided usage figures concerning electronic cigarettes.
The figures show significant differences between the number of e-cigarette smokers and conventional cigarette smokers who tried to quit smoking as well as succeeded. 65% of electronic cigarette users had attempted to give up smoking, with 8% succeeding in staying off nicotine for at least three months. On the other hand, only 40% of conventional smokers even tried to give up smoking, with 5% succeeding in quitting for the three-month minimum.
Even taking the limitations of the study into account, it affirms the positive role played by electronic cigarettes in helping people quit smoking altogether.