E-cigarettes can safely help people quit smoking, study says



E-cigarettes can safely help people quit smoking traditional cigarettes, a new study says. People who used e-cigarettes to stop smoking had nearly twice the one-year abstinence rate of those who used nicotine-replacement therapy, according to a study published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

"It is the first study to use the newest form of e-cigarette in a long-term trial, and compare it to FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy in a randomized trial," Belinda Borrelli, who runs the Center for Behavioral Science Research at Boston University, told UPI. "Other strengths of the study include biochemical verification of smoking outcomes -- the nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) arm had a choice of products (gum, patch, etc) and could switch between them if they wanted, the e-cig arm had a choice of e-liquids, and it was a pragmatic trial conducted in a real-world setting."

Still, NRTs have a long-term record of success, with six-month abstinence rates of about 26 percent and one-year rates of 20 percent. 

Plus, e-cigarettes come with unknown health effects. People who smoke e-cigarettes have a 72 percent higher risk of stroke and a 51 percent higher risk heart attack and angina, according to one recent study. It also reports that e-cigarette users smoke, or vape, at double the rate of people who smoke traditional cigarettes.

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