Researchers in Australia led by Dr Gary Chan of the University of Queensland’s National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research have found that e-cigarettes are 50% more effective than the currently available nicotine replacement therapy options, which include nicotine gum and patches.
Dr Chan said that the study’s findings show that “e-cigarettes are 50 per cent more effective than nicotine replacement therapy, and more than 100 per cent more effective than the placebo”.
The study’s findings were published in the journal Addictive Behaviours.
The researchers examined a total of 12,754 participants from across 16 different smoking and vaping trials with the goal of reviewing all existing evidence and comparing e-cigarettes to traditional nicotine replacement therapy and placebos to find the best smoking cessation.
In light of the study’s findings, Dr Chan said that the Royal College of General Practitioners could reevaluate their recommendation that e-cigs be used as a second line treatment in support of smoking cessation.
“Currently the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners recommends e-cigarettes as a second line treatment to support smoking cessation, however in light of our findings, this recommendation could be re-evaluated.”
Dr Chan added that the available evidence “needs to be used to reconsider how we could harness their potential to end the cigarette smoking epidemic” while noting that electronic cigarettes “have the potential to accelerate the decline of cigarette smoking”.
In Australia, conventional tobacco cigarettes are responsible for over eight million deaths annually. Meanwhile, the Australian Government has moved to add a prescription requirement to the purchase of nicotine e-cigarettes while conventional cigarettes continue to be available without a prescription.
In other news, researchers not associated with the study above have found that most doctors mistakenly believe that nicotine causes cancer.