Vape smoking cessation rate is twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy

A new study by NEJM shows that in large randomized controlled trials, vaping is nearly twice as effective as nicotine replacement therapy.

Research Brief:

The study was carried out by a scientific team at Queen Mary College in London, UK. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive three months of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or to use electronic cigarettes for a one-year smoking cessation attempt. Subjects using NRT were free to choose or combine nicotine patches, chewing gum, lozenges and other substitutes. Subjects using electronic cigarettes could also choose the strength and taste of electronic cigarettes according to their own wishes.

The results showed that the success rate of smoking cessation in the electronic smoking group was 18% after one year, while that in the NRT group was only 10%. During the experiment, the quitting rate of electronic smoking group was always higher than that of NRT group. A year later, the symptoms of phlegm and cough in subjects who used electronic cigarettes were also significantly reduced. Among those who did not stop smoking altogether, subjects in the e-cigarette group were more likely to smoke less in one year than those in the nicotine replacement group.

At the same time, the researchers found that participants generally believed that e-cigarette products were more satisfactory than NRT drugs, but still not as satisfying as cigarettes. Given the strength limits of nicotine in the European Union, it is likely that vapers will not inhale enough nicotine each time. This has been a pain point for European consumers.


A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine-Replacement Therapy

Electronic cigarettes can help quit smoking with the latest evidence

Early studies on e-cigarettes were mainly based on several single or even obsolete e-cigarette models, which were inefficient in nicotine release. But even so, previous studies have shown a corresponding effect, about the same as patches and other nicotine replacement therapies.

However, due to the lack of obvious advantages of early evidence, medical professionals have long questioned whether e-cigarette products are necessary compared with existing drug treatments.

Since the initial research, electronic cigarette technology has been greatly developed, today’s consumers can access a variety of products. Therefore, the research team broke through the traditional single designated equipment research method, allowing participants to try different products, and find a suitable one for them.

Unfortunately for this study, the EU’s vape products are limited by the size of the atomizer and the strength of nicotine. Consumers can only choose products with nicotine content less than 20 mg/ml, but in fact, they are likely to inhale less than enough nicotine each time. This has been a pain point for European consumers.

These restrictions are implemented to prevent toxicity or overuse, but they are based on inaccurate assessment of nicotine toxicity. In countries without these restrictions, such as the United States, there is no so-called problem of electronic cigarettes.

EU policymakers will face new challenges

The European Union’s TPD regulations, which were drafted in 2014 and later criticized by smokers, have never ceased to raise doubts and objections since they were formally implemented in 2016, especially when the nicotine content in q-liquid does not exceed 20mg/ml.

According to the study, EU policymakers may face new challenges to assess the potential of e-cigarettes to help smokers quit if these restrictions are loosened.

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