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E-cigarettes make it even harder to quit

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E-cigarettes or vapours are supposed to help smokers quit, but they reduce the chances of anyone ever doing so by 28 per cent.

The findings are in line with the view of US regulators, even though e-cigarettes are generally recognised as devices that help smokers quit. The US Preventive Services Task Force announced in 2015 that there was no evidence to support the claim that e-cigarettes help people quit, although America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has never prosecuted any e-cigarette manufacturer for making these claims.

Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) have discovered that not only don’t e-cigarettes help smokers quit, they actually make it more difficult to do so.

They made the discovery when they ran an analysis of 38 previously-published studies. “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,” said lead researcher Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at UCSF. “The most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes.”

(Source: Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2016; doi: 10.1016/S2213-2600(15)00521-4)

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