E-cigarettes got really popular in the last couple of years, while smoking rates decreased in the last decade in the U.S. People turn to this new method of keeping their nicotine dependence under control while attempting to avoid inhaling the other dangerous substances contained by regular cigarettes.
Because e-cigarettes are a recent occurrence, there are not enough studies concerning their effects. One main question is if e-cigarettes actually help smokers improve their health or, at least, diminish the effects of smoking cigarettes. The World Health Organization recommended banning the indoor use of e-cigarettes and banning the sale to minors, similarly to classical cigarettes. Advertising to minors should be forbidden as well.
Now a research team performed a study based on data from cancer patients who started smoking e-cigarettes. After looking at more than 1.000 cancer patients who used to smoke regular cigarettes. The patients have been a part of a special program to treat their smoking dependence for one year in 2012-2013. During the treatment period, the percentage of patients using e-cigarettes increased to 38.5 percent, up from 10.6 percent. The results were published in Cancer, the journal of the American Cancer Society.
The results of the study fuelled the fears of some experts who believe that e-cigarettes are a gateway to regular cigarettes. The study conducted by Jamie Ostroff of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City proved that e-cigarettes maintain the nicotine addiction just as well as cigarettes do.
Tobacco researchers argued that these conclusions are not entirely adequate, considering the methodological conditions. The study is accused of not being representative to the larger e-cigarettes smoker population.
“The authors followed up smokers who tried e-cigarettes but did not stop smoking, and excluded smokers who tried e-cigarettes and stopped smoking,” Peter Hajek, director of Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at University of London, said. “Like smokers who fail with any method, these were highly dependent smokers who found quitting difficult. The authors concluded that e-cigarette (use) was not helpful, but that would be true for any treatment however effective if only treatment failures were evaluated.”
Nevertheless, the effects of smoking are deemed dangerous to almost every aspect of the smokers’ health, as well as the health and life conditions of people exposed to second-hand smoking. Let us know if you tried e-cigarettes and what was your experience like. Did smoking e-cigarettes help you quit?