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E-Cigs Not Linked to Higher Quitting Rates or Less Cigarette Consumption

Update Date: Mar 24, 2014 05:00 PM EDT

Smokers who want to kick their habit with E-cigarettes should know that the "smoking cessation" devices might not help them quit for good.

New research reveals that the use of electronic cigarettes by smokers is not associated with greater rates of quitting cigarettes or reduced cigarette consumption after one year.

Lead researcher Rachel A. Grana, Ph.D., M.P.H., and colleagues from the University California, San Francisco, wanted to see if electronic cigarettes should be promoted as smoking cessation tools as previous findings of their effectiveness have been unconvincing.

Researchers analyzed self-reported data from 949 smokers. Researchers noted that 88 of the smokers used electronic cigarettes before the study or at baseline. Grana and her team hoped to find out whether using electronic cigarettes increases the chance of successful quitting and cuts cigarette consumption among smokers.

The findings revealed that more women, younger adults and those with less education used electronic cigarettes. The findings revealed that electronic-cigarette use at baseline did not increase the chance of successfully quitting one year later. The use of electronic cigarettes also did not change cigarette consumption a year later.

Researchers noted that the small sample of e-cigarette users in their study might have limited the study's ability to detect a link between e-cigarettes use and quitting smoking.

"Nonetheless, our data add to the current evidence that e-cigarettes may not increase rates of smoking cessation. Regulations should prohibit advertising claiming or suggesting that e-cigarettes are effective smoking cessation devices until claims are supported by scientific evidence," they wrote in the study.

"Unfortunately, the evidence on whether e-cigarettes help smokers to quit is contradictory and inconclusive. Grana and colleagues increase the weight of evidence indicating that e-cigarettes are not associated with higher rates of smoking cessation," Mitchell H. Katz, M.D., a deputy editor of JAMA Internal Medicine wrote in a related editor's note.

The findings are published in the journal of JAMA Internal Medicine.

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