Electronic cigarettes: An effective step to quit smoking

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Electronic cigarettes: An effective step to quit smoking
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Electronic cigarettes have become a popular step in recent years for people looking to quit smoking for good.  According  to a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, using e-cigarettes is a more effective method to stop smoking than nicotine patches when accompanied with assisted behavioural support.   Let’s take a closer look at e-cigarettes and the associated health benefits.  

What are electronic cigarettes? 

Electronic cigarettes, often called vapes or e-cigs, are becoming increasingly popular around the world.  They are often seen as a healthier alternative to cigarettes and can be used as a step to quit smoking for good.

The system functions by heating a liquid usually containing nicotine, propylene glycol and/or vegetable glycerine and various flavourings.  As a result, the e-cigarette user inhales nicotine in a vapor form rather than smoke.  Tar and carbon monoxide are considered to be two the most dangerous elements of smoking. As vapes don’t burn tobacco these harmful elements are not produced.  Although e-cigarettes still can pose problems for our health the risks are considerably less than tobacco cigarettes.  This is why they are considered to be a healthier alternative to smoking cigarettes.

Choosing an e-cigarette to stop smoking

Types of e-cigerettes

If you are looking to use an e-cigarette to stop smoking then a rechargeable device with a refillable tank will give you a better chance of quitting.  This e-cigarette delivers nicotine more effectively and quickly than a disposable model.

  1. Cigalikes closely resemble tobacco cigarettes and are available as disposable or rechargeable models.  This type of e-cigarette is good if you are a light smoker.
  2. Vape pens come in pen shaped forms or small tube.  They have a tank where you can store the e-liquid and replaceable coils.  This type of device also has rechargeable batteries.  This e-cigarette can be appropriate for lighter and heavier smokers.
  3. Pod systems  are compact  in size with their shape closely resembling an USB stick or pebble.  They are rechargeable device and come with e-liquid capsules.  These devices are appropriate for both light and heavy smokers.
  4. Mods are the largest e-cigarette device and can come in various shapes and sizes.  They have a refillable tank, longer lasting rechargeable batteries, and varying power levels.

It is important to choose the right strength of e-liquid to suit your needs. Vape specialists can give you advice depending on your situation.  The benefit of e-cigarettes is that you can alter the strength of nicotine that you want to take.  This is particularly useful for people looking to quit smoking as they can gradually reduce the quantity of nicotine which is the addictive substance.

A recent study

E-cigarettes most effective method to quit smoking

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has concluded that e-cigarettes are more effective than nicotine therapy when trying to quit smoking.  The study which was funded by the National Institute for Health Research and Cancer Research UK was published in January 2019.

The study randomly assigned 886 adults attending NHS quit-smoking services either a nicotine replacement therapy (gum or patches) or an e-cigarette starter pack.  This pack included a refillable cigarette with a bottle of nicotine e-liquid and flavouring.  The treatment, which lasted 3 months, also included a weekly behavioural support session for up to four weeks.

The study’s results demonstrated that people using e-cigarettes were more likely to continue to use their replacement product after 52 weeks. (80% in comparison to 9% for nicotine replacement therapy).  The results also showed that e-cigarette users were twice as likely to quit smoking.

Sources: NHS, New England Journal of Medicine

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