Study finds e-cigarettes the least helpful way to quit smoking

FORT MYERS

A long-term study shows that e-cigarettes do not offer the slightest benefit that many smokers hoped for.

It is widely accepted that replacing traditional cigarettes with e-cigarettes is a good way for people to quit smoking. But it turns out to be the least effective form of smoking cessation, lagging behind all proven methods.

Lee Health pulmonologist Shyam Kapadia extinguishes the idea that e-cigarettes serve as a bridge to kicking the habit.

“A recent study found that 9.9% of people who took up an e-cigarette as an attempt to quit smoking ended up smoking cigarettes after about 12 months,” said pulmonologist Dr. Shyam Kadapadia and critical care specialist at Lee Health.

The reason is that the components that make cigarettes so addictive and harmful are found in e-cigarettes.

“Some of these methods are pharmaceutical. Others come in the form of nicotine substitutes such as patches or gummies. Finally, cold turkey is always the best method. But you don’t want to swap one bad habit for another, like e-cigarettes,” Kapadia said. “These electronic cigarettes contain nicotine. They contain carcinogens, tin, nickel, and these things lodge in your lungs.

Still, e-cig sales are strong, around $3.8 billion in the US in 2018. And the market continues to grow.

“It’s just easier to vape than to smoke cigarettes,” said smoker Thomas Schumate. “It at least helps them not to smoke cigarettes. They’ll just smoke vapes but who knows if it’s better for them or not.

Schumate and Michael Carnery are part of the demo targeting electronic cigarette consumers. In their group of young adult friends, many snub cigarettes in favor of vaping.

“Some of them did it to try to quit because they smoked cigarettes and some people think that’s better than cigarettes,” Carney said.

To make matters worse, a growing number of young people are bypassing cigarettes and going straight to vaping.

Health officials are watching closely to see if last year’s ban on selling flavored e-cigarette products to teens will impact future habits.

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