Can e-cigarettes help people stop smoking?
All clinical research to date has found that electronic cigarettes show promise in helping smokers become abstinent from smoking. Camponneto, et al learned about e-cigarettes from two patients who stopped smoking and remained abstinent for more than 6 months after taking up an electronic cigarette. The authors comment, “This is outstanding in consideration of the fact that this result was accomplished by highly addicted smokers who repeatedly failed professional smoking cessation assistance without the support of recommended nicotine dependence treatments and smoking cessation counseling.”
Bullen, et al conducted a randomized cross-over trial with 40 subjects and found that the product “alleviated desire to smoke after overnight abstinence, was well tolerated and had a pharmacokinetic profile more like the Nicorette inhalator than a tobacco cigarette.” The findings by Darredeau, et al reported at the 12th SRNT Europe conference, suggest that regardless of nicotine content, electronic cigarettes may provide an effective means of relieving acute tobacco craving in at least some smokers.
Population surveys indicate that electronic cigarettes are much more effective than currently available smoking cessation treatments. Heaver, et al, surveyed over 300 e-cigarette consumers and found that 79% were using the e-cigarette as a complete replacement for smoking, 17% had significantly reduced the number smoked, and only 4% still smoked as much as before. The most recent published survey by Etter and Bullen surveyed 3,587 subjects, median age 41, of which 2,850 used e-cigarettes with nicotine, and 112 used e-cigarettes without nicotine. Among 2,896 daily users, 2,234 (77%) no longer smoked at all, and the median duration of smoking abstinence was 152 days.
Are e-cigarettes safe?