There are currently about 42 million Americans who still smoke. And smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death, with 480,000 people dying each year from smoking-related illnesses. Furthermore, we know that the FDA-approved cessation therapies have very low success rates. Now, a new study in England found that smokers trying to quit were more likely to be successful when using electronic cigarettes as opposed to nicotine patches, gum or other over the counter therapies.
Researchers from University College London, interviewed 6000 smokers who had attempted to quit smoking without professional help. About one-fifth of the study participants reported that they had used e-cigarettes to successfully quit smoking, while only one-tenth of the participants reported success using patches and gum.
According to Robert West, director of tobacco studies at University College London and senior author of the study, as reported to the NY Times, the solid epidemiological evidence [will] not be available for at least several decades, while the need for policy decisions is now. He adds, more than 5000 lives could be saved for every million smokers who switched to e-cigarettes, even if the devices carried significant health risks and people used them indefinitely after quitting real cigarettes. Potentially millions of lives are at stake, and our job is to help policy makers to protect those lives.
The research is there to show that e-cigarettes are 99 percent less hazardous than cigarettes and are used almost exclusively by smokers and former smokers who quit by switching to e-cigarettes. And this study is adding to the body of evidence that shows that e-cigarettes will provide a major improvement for addicted adult (and teen) smokers seeking an escape from smoking s grip. As I ve said before, hopefully, by this year s end, those public health experts who continue to rail against e-cigs and issue dire warnings to smokers not to try them, will seem foolish at best and vilely corrupt at worst.