New study: e-cigs help smokers quit or cut down

A new study released online on Dec. 17, 2014 by Cochrane, an international independent think tank, concluded that using an e-cigarette containing nicotine increased the chances of stopping smoking long-term compared to a study using an e-cigarette without nicotine. The two studies, one using nicotine enhanced and the other non-nicotine e-cigarettes, involved 662 current smokers.

The authors of the studies, who are from the U.K. and New Zealand, state that using an e-cigarette with nicotine also helped more smokers reduce the amount they smoked by at least half compared to using an e-cigarette without nicotine.

“We could not determine if [an e-cigarette] was better than a nicotine patch in helping people stop smoking because the number of participants in the study was low. More studies are needed to evaluate this effect,” one of the authors stated. The trial researchers found that about 9 percent of smokers who used e-cigarettes were able to stop smoking for up to a year, and possibly longer.

There was no evidence of serious adverse effects among people using e-cigarettes. However, the Cochrane review authors cautioned that the results were limited by the small number of trials and the limited sample of participants.

Study can be viewed here.