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E-cigarettes don’t help smokers quit, study finds

People who tried electronic devices no more likely to give up smokes a year later

4:00pm, March 24, 2014

SMOKE OUT  E-cigarettes deliver nicotine without smoke. But whether they enable people to quit regular cigarettes remains unclear. 

Electronic cigarettes may not shut off the urge to smoke cigarettes. A survey of 949 smokers found no difference in quit rates a year after some had taken up e-cigarettes while others hadn’t, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco report March 24 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

E-cigarettes deliver nicotine in vapor form without the cancer-causing combusted materials of a lit cigarette. Manufacturers suggest that using them is a first step toward quitting smoking. Of 949 smokers who answered online questionnaires, 88 reported trying e-cigarettes at the study’s outset. One year later, about 13.5 percent of all participants had quit smoking during the year. Roughly equal percentages of e-cigarette users and smokers who didn’t use them had successfully quit regular cigarettes; differences in quit rates between the two groups fell within the study’s margin of error.

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