Do e-cigarettes really help people quit smoking combustible cigarettes? Elizabeth Tracey reports

November 15, 2021

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What is the data to show that electronic cigarettes help people to stop smoking combustible cigarettes? Michael Blaha, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins and antismoking activist, explains.

Blaha: The randomized control trial data shows moderate evidence that e-cigarettes can help with smoking cessation. However they also show people who start e-cigarettes to quit smoking but fail to quit, tend to become long term users of both products. Also the people who quit smoking using e-cigarettes tend to become long term users of e-cigarettes. In other words they don’t get rid of their nicotine addiction, they just have shifted their nicotine addiction to a product that may be less toxic.    :26

Blaha says the data that convinced the FDA to allow one brand of electronic cigarette to market itself as helpful in smoking cessation hasn’t been revealed but that a wealth of other studies are in the public venue. He notes that the data also show that quit attempts are much more successful when a constellation of methods are employed. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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