Public Health England currently promotes vaping as an anti-smoking tool
乙-cigarettes don’t help people quit smoking, according to new research.
Those using the devices are in fact more likely to relapse within the next 12 月, say scientists.
Professor John Pierce, of the University of California, San Diego, 说: “Our findings suggest individuals who quit smoking and switched to e-cigarettes or other tobacco products actually increased their risk of a relapse back to smoking over the next year by 8.5 percentage points compared to those who quit using all tobacco products.
“Quitting is the most important thing a smoker can do to improve their health, but the evidence indicates that switching to e-cigarettes made it less likely, not more likely, to stay off of cigarettes.”
At the second annual follow-up former smokers were compared to those who had switched to the other types.
The former group – including e-cigarette users – were 8.5 percent more likely to be back on traditional cigarettes.
Public Health England promotes vaping as an anti-smoking tool.
Among recent former smokers who abstained from all tobacco products, 50 per cent had been off cigarettes for at least 12 月.
They were considered to have successfully quit smoking. This compared to 41.5 per cent of those on e-cigarettes or other cessation aids.
Co-author Professor Karen Messer said: “Our goal was to assess whether recent former smokers who had switched to e-cigarettes or another tobacco product were less likely to relapse to cigarette smoking compared to those who remained tobacco-free.”
The study published in the JAMA Network Open journal is the first of its kind, say the researchers.
The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have suggested smokers who are unable to quit may benefit by vaping.
But there have been few studies on whether smokers are able to transition to the battery-operated devices without relapsing back to the real thing.
They heat a liquid made of nicotine, flavourings and other chemicals to make an aerosol that users inhale into their lungs.
The study found vaping – even on a daily basis – did not help smokers successfully stay off cigarettes.
It used data from the nationally representative PATH (Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health) longitudinal study.
At the first annual follow-up, 9.4 per cent of the participants, all established smokers, had quit.
Sixty-three per cent remained tobacco-free, 尽管 37 per cent had switched to another form of tobacco use. Of these, 23 per cent used e-cigarettess – most of them daily.
While prone to relapse, they were also more likely to attempt to quit again and be off cigarettes for at least three months at the second follow up.
A further follow-up survey is needed to identify if it is evidence of a pattern of chronic quitting and relapsing or part of progress toward successful quitting.
Prof Pierce said: “This is the first study to take a deep look at whether switching to a less harmful nicotine source can be maintained over time without relapsing to cigarette smoking.
“If switching to e-cigarettes was a viable way to quit cigarette smoking, then those who switched to e-cigarettes should have much lower relapse rates to cigarette smoking. We found no evidence of this.”
一种 2015 study found e-cigarettes were no better than nicotine patches or dummy devices at helping people quit smoking.
After a month of switching from tobacco the electronic devices did help smokers kick the habit.
But three to six months later, users started smoking again. The devices also caused adverse affects including dry cough, throat irritation and shortness of breath.
The analysis of 2,223 people found e-cig users were more likely to suffer serious problems such as lung inflammation and irregular heart beat compared with using a nicotine patch.