The New England Journal of Medicine released a study on the 30th January 2019 on A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy.
The use of e-cigarettes to quit smoking has been downplayed in recent months, with concerns about teens vaping. Although this is a huge concern, we are currently missing their main importance. That said, a group of academics supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme conducted a study to see how effective e-cigarettes are.
E-cigarettes are most commonly used in attempts to stop smoking, that is their whole purpose and the reason people buy the devices. The evidence, however, is rather limited regarding their actual effectiveness compared with that of nicotine products approved as smoking-cessation treatments.
The Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy study looks at the use of an e-cigarette in comparison to other Nicotine-Replacement Therapy (NRT) products. They randomly assigned adults attending stop-smoking services and provided them with either NRT products of their choice (including combinations of products) and an e-cigarette starter kit containing one bottle of 18mg strength e-liquid. They could purchase additional flavors of their choice should they wish.
A lot of these studies are fairly tongue in cheek, as they are not using the best devices, but as the group left it to the volunteer to decide, it was in a way a lot more accurate and closer to a realistic example than most.
With a total of 886 participants being used the study had the following results:
- The 1-year abstinence rate was 18.0% in the e-cigarette group, as compared with 9.9% in the nicotine-replacement group
- Among participants with 1-year abstinence, those in the e-cigarette group were more likely than those in the nicotine-replacement group to use their assigned product at 52 weeks
- Overall, throat or mouth irritation was reported more frequently in the e-cigarette group and nausea more frequently in the nicotine-replacement group
- The e-cigarette group reported greater declines in the incidence of a cough and phlegm production from baseline to 52 weeks than did the nicotine-replacement group
- There were no significant between-group differences in the incidence of wheezing or shortness of breath
Results from https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1808779
The results really speak for themselves, this is based on no real support given to the e-cigarette users to pick a more custom product to suit them. For example, the throat irritation can easily be worked out by using either different nicotine concentrates, nicotine salts or varying degrees of PG and VG within the e-liquid.
It just shows that e-cigarettes are the best option that smokers have to quit, but good luck persuading the Pharmaceutical companies that are set to lose millions with their NRTs! Check out out list of the best e cigarettes.