A Study on E-cigs Compared to Nicotine Gums and Patches
In an initial clinical study that was meant to compare electronic cigarettes with nicotine gums and patches, researchers have discovered that both of these smoking cessation methods resulted in a certain degree of quitting. The study included a similar proportion of regular smokers who tried both methods and remained abstinent from tobacco smoking for about 6 months after the 13-week trial with e-cigs or patches.
This study was published in a medical journal called The Lancet, and it was funded by New Zealand’s Health Research Council. It was also the second of all controlled trials that aimed to evaluate the purpose electronic cigarettes. Researchers wanted to determine which smoking cessation aid is the most effective in helping regular smokers quit this habit.
Chirs Bullen led the study, and his team of researchers collaborated with 657 smokers to this trial through various adverts in the local newspapers. These participants included individuals who wanted to quit their smoking habits. In addition, there were three groups of participants such as those who obtained 13 weeks supply of e-cigarettes, and they used cartridges that contained about 16 mg of nicotine.
Another group were supplemented with nicotine patches for 13 weeks, and the last group was given placebo electronic cigarettes. After 6 months, at least 1 in every 20 participants were able to remain abstinent from tobacco smoking. Although the proportion of study participants who gained success in quitting was highest in the electronic cigarette group, researchers stated that the differences was not very significant. In the study, 7.3 percent of the study participants were able to quit smoking, as compared to the 5.8 percent who gained success from nicotine patches.
Further Details about the Study
Among the individuals who obtained success and managed to quit after the study period, the consumption of cigarettes was significantly reduced in the nicotine electronic cigarettes group. Thus, there was about 57 percent of all the participants in the e-cigarette group who decreased their cigarette consumption after 6 months. On the other hand, only 41 percent of participants in the patches group attained the same results.
According to researchers, at least one-third of those who were in the placebo e-cig and nicotine e-cig groups still found themselves using these smoking devices after 6 months. Only 8 percent of participants in the nicotine patches group experienced these positive results after the study.
When researchers asked participants if they would recommend with others the smoking cessation products that were used on them, about 9 in 10 participants in the placebo and e-cig groups stated they would, while only 56 percent in the nicotine patches group will do the same thing. After 6 months, these differences in proportions were barely changed.
The study also served as the first to analyze and evaluate any adverse health effects that were linked with the use of electronic cigarettes in a large group of individuals. As compared to users of electronic cigarettes to the group who were given nicotine patches, researchers did not find any differences in the occurrence rates of negative effects and in serious adverse health impacts.
Because of this result, it was observed that electronic cigarettes seem comparable to nicotine patches when it comes to safety. However, authors caution these data from clinical trials with a much longer follow up period to establish the electronic cigarette’s long term safety and efficacy.
Although these results barely showed any significant differences between patches and e-cigarettes when it comes to quit success after the study period of 6 months, it was evident that electronic cigarettes were more effective in assisting smokers who wanted to cut down their nicotine intake.
Bullen added that it was rather interesting that individuals who took part in the study were much more interested in using e-cigarettes than the nicotine patches. This claim was supported by the fact that more people were enthusiastic about recommending these smoking devices to their friends and family members who wanted to quit.
The study provides a critical benchmark for the performance of electronic cigarettes, as compared to placebo and nicotine patches. However, one cannot dismiss the fact that there is still little known about the effectiveness and long-term effects of electronic cigarettes. With the increasing popularity of these devices, researchers believe there should be further studies made on these smoking devices to determine completely whether they are indeed safer and more effective tools for smoking cessation purposes.
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