April 5, 2019 – Reduced Harm
Anchor lead: Is use of e-cigarettes to quit smoking really helpful? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Harm reduction. That’s the health strategy of substituting one behavior for another that is less harmful, and that’s the idea behind using e-cigarettes to quit smoking. A recent study showed that use of e-cigarettes did help people quit, although the numbers were not impressive compared with other methods. Patricia Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, says she is sympathetic to smoking cessation challenges but isn’t a fan of e-cigarettes.
Davidson: Conceptually, we have to recognize that nicotine is addictive. Quitting smoking is really hard. The data tells us you need at least three, probably, three to four serious attempts using nicotine patches, you’re going to a counselor, so what concerns me just about that is that it’s a quick fix. Because we know that it’s a combination of lifestyle, and the people around you. It is a very addictive drug and you really have to tailor and target strategies :29
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.