New study try to clear the air around e-cigarettes

Two studies published online Tuesday by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine tell consumers more — a little bit more, anyway — about e-cigaretteselectronic cigarettes and their potential to help smokers cut back or quit the habit.
Electronic cigarettes are built to look like real cigarettes.  They’re made of plastic, run on batteries and allow users to inhale nicotine in a vapor form.  Unlike nicotine delivery products such as gum, lozenges or patches, or smoking cessation medications like Chantix, they allow users to hold something that feels like a cigarette and mimic the behavior of smoking.
Some think this might make them a more effective smoking cessation tool, but their effectiveness is not yet known.
For the first paper, Johns Hopkins public health doctoral candidate John Ayers and co-authors used a free and publicly available tool called Google Insights for Search to monitor English-language Web searches for e-cigarettes.  The team noted how many times people searched for e-cigarettes in the U.S., Britain, Canada and Australia from January 2008 to September 2010, and also monitored online shopping searches.
They compared searches for e-cigarettes with searches for nicotine gum and other cessation products.  Searches for e-cigarettes increased sharply between July 2008 and February 2010, the team reported.  Online shopping searches followed a similar pattern.  E-cigarettes “are by far the most popular smoking alternatives and cessation products on the market,” said Ayers in a press release.
The problem is, no one knows if they’re effective.  In another study release by the journal, Boston University public health professor Michael Siegel and colleagues sent out online surveys to 5,000 people who had made a first-time purchase of Blu e-cigarettes during a two-week period in 2009.
They asked respondents about their smoking habits and nicotine use after buying the e-cigarettes. Most of the respondents were men. More than 80% had smoked for six or more years.  Nearly two-thirds had tried to quit three or more times.
Sixty-seven percent said they had reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked six months after trying e-cigarettes; 49% said they had quit for an unspecified amount of time and 31% were not smoking at all at the six-month point.
The authors wrote that the results suggested that “if proven safe, e-cigarettes may be a potentially important tool for harm reduction” and that they’re “worthy of further investigation.”
But the findings weren’t definitive, they cautioned.  All of the data were self-reported, and they had only a 4.5% response rate.
The Food and Drug Administration announced last September that it would regulate e-cigarettes as drugs.
By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times

2 Replies to “New study try to clear the air around e-cigarettes”

  1. Its always good to hear that people have found a product they can go to to quit smoking cigarettes. My fear is that these products do not address the problem which is the habit of smoking something. They just give you something more expensive and now plastic that looks like one made in china somewhere most of the time. I myself am just not sure how helpful it is to have a knock off in your hand when you are trying to forget cigarettes all together and everything associated with them. Just my 2 cents.

  2. As a heavey smoker who started at age 13, it enrages me that there’s such opposition to electronic cigarettes. The device I use looks nothing like a cigarette, more like a screwdriver, and with it’s assistance I’ve gone from 40 full-strength Marlboros a day to an average of 4. No, it doesn’t address the problem of smoking *something*, but it does address little side issues like emphysema, pleurisy, lung cancer, and the endemic heart diseases that tobacco smoking causes. The propylene glycol fluid base is a known, harmless chemical - most people in the US have probably ingested more PG by the age of 20 than every vapourizer user has since they arrived in the US in 2006 to no measurable ill effect. Is vapourizing harmless? Probably not. Nicotine is a nasty customer. Is it less harmful than smoking? Absolutely! With over 4,000 harmful and carcinogenic chemicals is cigarette smoke, and *two* chemicals - one proven to be harmless - in unflavoured nicotine vapour, it’s a real chance for nicotine addicts to stop harming themselves, and the people around them. Opposition to this is brutal insanity with no scientific proof to back it up.

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