Electronic Cigarettes: A Summary

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he first Cochrane Review on this subject, published 17 December in the Cochrane Library, gives some early insights into electronic cigarettes as an aid to stopping smoking and reducing consumption. The review draws on two randomised trials and found that while nicotine containing electronic cigarettes were more effective than electronic cigarettes without nicotine (placebo) in helping smokers kick the habit, the results need to be confirmed by more studies. Smoking is a major global health problem, is costly and is highly addictive. Despite many smokers wanting to stop, few succeed in the long term. One of the most widely used strategies to help combat the cravings associated with nicotine addiction is to deliver nicotine by patches and chewing gum. …show more content…
Unlike chewing gum and patches, they mimic the experience of cigarette smoking because they are hand-held and generate a smoke-like vapour when used. They provide smokers with a nicotine ‘hit’ and help to recreate similar sensations of smoking without exposing them or others to the smoke from conventional cigarettes. They are used by many smokers, but little has been known about how effective they are at helping people to stop, nor their long term effects.
The team of researchers from the UK and New Zealand found two randomised trials that had analysed data from 662 current smokers. The researchers looked at the effects of electronic cigarettes on quit rates and the number of people who were able to reduce the number of cigarettes they smoked by at least 50%. They also looked at any adverse effects reported by electronic cigarette users. The team also considered evidence from 11 observational

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