Study: E-Cigarettes Help Smokers Quit
by Jill Johnson
September 09, 2013 5:16 PM
Electronic cigarettes are increasing in popularity. Not only do some studies suggest that more and more teens are using e-cigarettes, but one study says they may be more effective than other means when it comes to helping people quit smoking.
Electronic cigarettes use an electronic coil to vaporize a solution, which then releases nicotine, the same high you would get from smoking a regular cigarette.
Sanford Health Chief Medical Officer Dan Heinemann said, "Essentially you're not getting all the carcinogens from burning tobacco but you're getting the nicotine delivery into your system."
Heinemann says not only have they become an alternative to smoking, but people are using them to quit lighting up.
"I have no doubt in my mind that a lot of patients are using electronic cigarettes," said Heinemann.
And a study done by researchers at a University in New Zealand says it's working. It found that that e-cigarettes work just as well, if not better, than the nicotine patch.
Out of 600 smokers trying to quit, 7.3 percent of the e-cigarette users were able to quit smoking for six months, compared to 5.8 percent of patch users. Heinemann says smokers may be more inclined to use something that's looks and feels familiar.
"There's that oral fixation of having something in your mouth that's a very powerful, potent, habit to have and if you've been doing that for say 25 years, you're very comfortable having something in your mouth," Heinemann said.
Heinemann says e-cigarettes work the same, only the nicotine is being taken in through the respiratory tract rather than through the skin with the patch and lining of the mouth with the gum.
"It's a very effective method of delivering nicotine in the system so that's why there's been some interest into whether or not those can be an effective method to help people stop smoking," said Heinemann.
He sasy even though people aren't technically smoking doesn't mean there aren't negative health effects, they're still taking in nicotine.
There are different types of e-cigarettes. Some are reusable, others you throw away after so many puffs. They range in price from $10 to more than $70. You still have to be 18 years of age to purchase e-cigarettes.