Experts condemn new study which claims the use of e-cigarettes may reduce the chances of quitting < Go Back January 18, 2016 – Posted in: Blog - General, Blog - Smoking News, E-Cigarettes – Tags: , ,

A new study carried out in the United States has claimed that tobacco smokers who don’t use e-cigarettes have a higher chance of quitting smoking compared to those who opt to use an e cig.

A person holding a tobacco cigarette before quitting and using e-cigs from OK E-cig.

However, a number of experts have swiftly interjected in order to make the point that there are a series of limitations related to the study, with the conclusions being at best preliminary or at worst “grossly misleading”, Professor Peter Hajek, Director of the Tobacco Dependence Research Unit, Queen Mary University of London has said.

Researchers based at the University of California, San Francisco, studied the findings of less than 40 e-cigarette use studies from around the world and determined that smokers who use the electronic cigarettes were 28% less likely to kick the traditional tobacco habit in comparison to those not using e-cigarettes.

However, the contested results are in direct conflict with many of the assertions made by tobacco-control scientists and advocates, as well as a number of previous studies that point to the fact that e-cigarettes are safer than conventional tobacco cigarettes, along with helping to lead toward cessation.

The co-author of the study, Stanton Glantz, said in a statement issued by the university: “The irony is that quitting smoking is one of the main reasons both adults and kids use e-cigarettes, but the overall effect is less, not more, quitting,”

“While there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes.”

However, Professor Linda Bauld, Cancer Research UK’s prevention champion, was quick to refute the study and Glantz’ comments, saying: “Despite being wide-ranging the paper’s conclusions are tentative and sometimes incorrect.”

She went on to explain that the studies included in the review were too different in design to directly compare and many don’t include adequate measures of use or cessation.

To make things worse for the credibility of the study, it was found that some of the devices they included are no longer available on the market, some relevant literature is excluded and the way some of the studies are set up means they miss the people who have succeeded in quitting using e-cigarettes.

“We should be very cautious about assuming that this review tells us that e-cigarettes don’t help smokers quit. Other evidence suggests they do – and this is particularly relevant for the UK where smoking rates have continued to decrease as e-cigarette use has increased,” she concluded.

Image: James Palinsad under Creative Commons.