In 1962, two years before U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry released his famous report on the health hazards of smoking, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) covered the same subject in a report that went further than Terry’s, linking cigarettes to cardiovascular disease as well as lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Today the RCP issued another landmark report that should inspire imitation in the United States, endorsing e-cigarettes as a harm-reducing alternative to the combustible, tobacco-containing kind.
“Large-scale substitution of e-cigarettes, or other non-tobacco nicotine products, for tobacco smoking has the potential to prevent almost all the harm from smoking in society,” the RCP says. “Promoting e-cigarettes…and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible, as a substitute for smoking, is therefore likely to generate significant health gains in the UK.”
Do e-cigarettes help smokers quit?
“Smokers who use nicotine products as a means of cutting down on smoking are more likely to make quit attempts,” the RCP says. “Promoting wider use of consumer nicotine products, such as e-cigarettes, could therefore substantially increase the number of smokers who quit.”
In England, the RCP notes, e-cigarettes have surpassed nicotine replacement therapy (NRT, i.e., gum, patches, nasal spray, etc.) as an alternative to smoking. While the evidence so far is limited, it suggests that e-cigarettes are at least as effective as NRT in helping smokers quit, and there is reason to believe they will work better for many people, since vaping more closely resembles the activity it is supposed to replace.
The National Health Service’s Stop Smoking Services (SSSs) recently started to help smokers trying to quit with e-cigarettes, and the early data are promising. “The average quit rate in all smokers using SSSs was around 51%, and among e-cigarette users it was 66%,” the RCP reports. “Although factors other than the product itself are likely to be involved in this difference, the finding is certainly consistent with high efficacy as a cessation therapy.”
Data from England indicate that “smokers who use e-cigarettes at least daily are indeed twice as likely to make a quit attempt, or else to reduce their smoking, [as] those who do not.” Although that study did not find that e-cigarette use made success more likely, “independent clinical trials and observational data from the Smoking Toolkit Study [a British survey] indicate that e-cigarette use is associated with an increased chance of quitting successfully.”
Full Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacobsullum/2016/04/28...