E-cigarettes are electronic devices that deliver a small amount of nicotine, without the toxic chemicals that come alongside normal cigarette smoke. They are becoming so popular that in the UK they are set to be licensed as medicines by 2016.
The first controlled study comparing e-cigarettes with nicotine patches took place in New Zealand. The study found that over half of the participants given the devices reduced their cigarette consumption by at least 50% over six months, compared to just two fifths of the group given nicotine patches.
While both groups saw an equal number of people quitting overall, the researchers found that the group using e-cigarettes were more enthusiastic about quitting and were more likely to recommend them to a friend. Researchers also found that six months down the line a third of participants were still using e-cigarettes, compared to less than one in 10 in the nicotine patch group still using patches.
The study itself was published in The Lancet and was carried out by the University of Auckland. A total of 657 smokers were recruited, with just under 300 in each group and a remaining sub-group who were given a placebo e-cigarette that contained no nicotine.
Professor Chris Bullen, director of Auckland’s National Institute for Health Innovation said:
“Given the increasing popularity of these devices in many countries, and the accompanying regulatory uncertainty and inconsistency, larger, longer-term trials are urgently needed to establish whether these devices might be able to fulfil their potential as effective and popular smoking cessation aids.”
If you are struggling to quit smoking, hypnotherapy may be able to help you. To find out more about the therapy, please see our Quit Smoking page.
View and comment on the original Independent article.