Electronic cigarette manufacturers claim that their products are effective alternatives to help smokers kick the habit, but a recent study reveals that there is little evidence to back that up.
Researchers from the University of Toronto led by Riyad al-Lehebi, MBBS released findings of their research during the 2015 American Thoracic Society International Conference, in relation to using e-cigarettes to promote smoking cessation. “While e-cigarettes have been shown to significantly improve abstinence at 1 month compared with placebo, no such evidence is available supporting their effectiveness for longer periods,” al-Lehebi said in a news release.
More than 2,000 patients were analyzed for their use of electronic cigarettes, changes in their smoking habits as a result of using e-cigarettes, and harmful effects on their health. Although smoking cessation was successful in the first month of using electronic variants, no significant change was observed in follow-ups after 3 and 6 months. “Although e-cigarettes are widely promoted and used as a smoking cessation tool, we found no data supporting their long-term efficacy and safety,” the study lead author explained.
In light of their findings on the lack of effectiveness of e-cigarettes to help smokers quit, the research team recommends that smokers use other more effective means to help them get rid of the addictive behavior. “Until such data are available, there are a number of other smoking cessation aids available that have a more robust evidence base supporting their efficacy and safety… Individuals seeking help with smoking cessation should consider other more well-established options until more research is performed,” al-Lehebi added.