An analysis of data from a previous study of more than 1,350 smokers intending to quit after a hospitalization found that those who reported using electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) during the study period were less likely to have successfully quit smoking 6 months after entering the study. The authors caution, however, that because of the study’s design, it cannot support the conclusion that e-cigarettes are not useful smoking cessation aids and stress the need for further investigation of that question.
“Study participants who used e-cigarettes generally used them infrequently and not every day, a pattern that may not be an effective way to use them for quitting smoking,” explains Nancy Rigotti, MD, director of the Tobacco Research and Treatment Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and leader of the study published in Annals of Internal Medicine. “It does not prove that e-cigarettes could not be of benefit if a smoker switches completely from tobacco cigarettes and uses them regularly, in the same way that FDA-approved nicotine replacement products are intended to be used.”
While it is generally agreed that e-cigarettes – which deliver nicotine without many of the harmful products produced by burning tobacco – reduce the health risks inherent
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