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e-cigarettes not helping smokers quit: Study

Posted on Mar 25 2014 | IANS

Washington, March 25 : Reigniting the controversy over the use of electronic cigarettes, a study has claimed that these are not helping smokers to quit.

"We have found that there was no difference in the rate of quitting between smokers who used an e-cigarette and those who did not, even after controlling for factors such as the user's dependence on tobacco," Pamela Ling, a tobacco researcher at University of California, San Francisco, told the scientific journal Nature.

She and her colleagues followed 949 people who detailed their smoking habits though an online survey.

They found that 88 of those who had used e-cigarettes were no more likely to have quit or reduced their smoking after a year than other smokers.

Advertising suggesting that e-cigarettes are effective for smoking cessation should be prohibited until such claims are supported by scientific evidence, she added in the paper published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine1.

According to Peter Hajek, director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit at the Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, the paper shows only that e-cigarettes appeal to smokers who are heavily dependent on tobacco.

"The same results would be obtained if the survey looked at smokers who try nicotine-replacement treatments and the results have no bearing at all on whether e-cigarettes are or are not an effective method of smoking cessation," he contended.

The conclusions the authors of the paper draw are "just not related in any way to the study finding", Hajek told the Nature.

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