E-cigarettes proven to be twice as effective as other NRTs
A recently published review has found that people using e-cigarettes are 63% more likely to give up smoking than those using other forms of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRTs).
Oxford University researchers found smokers using electronic cigarettes are up to twice as likely to give up the habit for six months as those using nicotine-replacement patches and gums.
The proportion of people vaping in the UK more than doubled this year, from 4% in 2021 to 8.6% in 2022.
The Cochrane review
The Cochrane review found that e-cigarettes are more effective than other nicotine replacement therapies in helping smokers quit.
The study looked at data of smokers who were trying to quit and compared their success rates with e-cigarettes and other NRTs over a six-month period. This included NRTs such as patches, gums, nicotine and non-nicotine e-cigarettes. The research also compared success rates to having no support to quit, and evaluated the side effects of the NRTs after at least one week of use.
The results showed that while six out of 100 people quit by using NRTs, eight to twelve would quit by using e-cigarettes containing nicotine. This means an additional two to six people out of 100 could potentially quit smoking with nicotine containing electronic cigarettes.
E-cigarettes offer a greater chance of success
The latest Cochrane review aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of e-cigarettes for helping smokers quit. The review was conducted by the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group, who are an international group of researchers specialising in the study of tobacco addiction and its treatment.
The review included 78 randomised controlled trials involving 12,456 participants, conducted across several countries, including the US, the UK and Canada. The review's primary outcome measures were abstinence from smoking at 6-12 months and adverse events.
The review found that e-cigarettes with nicotine were more effective at helping smokers quit than e-cigarettes without nicotine or no treatment. It also found that e-cigarettes with nicotine were more effective than NRTs at helping smokers quit.
The research has shown that there is a moderate certainty in the evidence that e-cigarettes are less harmful to health than smoking tobacco. However more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks associated with e-cigarette use for smoking cessation. It is important to note that the review used data only until 2021 and more recent data may have different results.
E-cigs have been proven better than NRTs for pregnant women
E-cigarettes have also been found to be more effective than NRTs in helping pregnant women quit smoking, according to a recent study by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The study, which involved over 800 pregnant women, found that those who used e-cigarettes were more likely to quit smoking than those who used NRTs such as patches or gums.
The study also found that e-cigarettes were associated with fewer side effects than NRTs, which can include skin irritation and headaches. Additionally, e-cigarettes were found to be more acceptable to pregnant women than NRTs, as they closely mimic the experience of smoking.
Smoking during pregnancy is a serious health concern, as it can lead to a number of complications, including low birth weight, premature birth, and even infant death. Giving up smoking is the best way to reduce these risks, and the findings of this study suggest that e-cigarettes may be a more effective tool in helping pregnant women do so.
The findings of the review suggest that e-cigarettes are an effective aid for smoking cessation and are less harmful than smoking tobacco. Evidence has shown that e-cigarettes help people to stop smoking more effectively than standard NRTs. On the other hand, nicotine e-cigarettes help more than e-cigarettes without nicotine, though more studies are yet to confirm this.
In the meantime, health professionals and smokers should be aware of the potential benefits and risks associated with e-cigarette use for smoking cessation. However, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term health effects.