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Posted by AES Web Team on May 11, 2014
Do electronic cigarettes work? As you can imagine, people ask us this question all the time. The simple answer, of course, is “it depends.” How do you define “work?” Is work defined as providing satisfaction or an overall comparable experience to traditional cigarettes? Or is work simply defined in terms of structural quality, as in, “does this technology actually deliver what it promises, or is it just a glorified toy?”
We could go on and on about the benefits of electronic cigarettes: you save a fortune on cigarette costs, you enjoy the freedom of hundreds of soothing flavors at your fingertips… oh, and as for the question of whether it’s satisfying, we’ve yet to meet a disappointed vaper.
Now, there’s another interesting development to consider: a recent study funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and conducted by the National Institute for Health Innovation at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, has concluded that electronic cigarettes are as effective as nicotine patches for weaning people off of traditional cigarettes. The study was published in the journal Lancet, and it has many smokers buzzing.
“This research provides an important benchmark for e cigarettes,” said Chris Bullen, the institute’s director.
Bullen and his colleagues recruited 657 adult smokers who were trying to kick the habit. Approximately 300 of the participants received nicotine-containing e cigarettes, while another 300 received nicotine patches. The remaining were given placebo cigarettes without nicotine. After six months, about seven percent of patch recipients had quit successfully, along with about seven percent of the nicotine e cig recipients. The placebo recipients had only a three-percent success rate.
However, when it came to smoking reduction, the e cig users actually fared better than the patch recipients. Among the smokers who had failed to quit, about 60 percent of e cig users had cut their cigarette habit in half, compared to only 41 percent of nicotine patch users. The side effects for both patch users and e-cig users—most prominently breathing difficulties—were about the same.
So, do electronic cigarettes work?
Do electronic cigarettes work? Electronic cigarettes are not magic wands. They won’t instantly cure you of your smoking addiction, nor will they make Jenny McCarthy fall in love with you (no matter what the advertising suggests). But, studies like this show tremendous promise for future claims.