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Clinical Study Suggests Vaping Can Help Chronic Smokers Quit

According to a clinical study conducted by a team of researchers from the European Institute of Oncology (IEO), at the University of Milan, electronic cigarettes, even those containing zero nicotine, can hep chronic smokers quit or at least cut down on cigarettes considerably.

Italian researchers selected 210 chronic smokers through the COSMOS 2 project –  a long-term screening program coordinated by the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and designed to identify an optimal protocol of early diagnosis for lung cancer in those at risk. The age of the participants was quite high with an average of over 62 years, and all of them had been smoking over 10 cigarettes a day, for at least 10 years. All participants expressed a desire to quit smoking.

The 210 chronic smokers were split into three groups. One was issued presented with an older model of electronic cigarette and e-liquid with a nicotine strength of 8mg/ml, those in the second group received the same type of electronic cigarettes but with nicotine-free e-liquid, and the third group acted as the control. The first two groups were instructed not to vape more than one milliliter of e-liquid per day, and at the three-month follow-up, researchers recorded an average of just under eleven CE4 cartomizers consumed in three months (1.2 milliliters per day). Participants in the control group were instructed not to use any type of nicotine replacement therapy, like patches or gum.

At the end of the three-month study, 25.4% of the participants in the first group – the one that had received nicotine-infused e-liquid – had not smoked a single tobacco cigarette since baseline. 23.4% of the chronic smokers in the second group – the one that had used nicotine-free e-liquid – had also achieved complete smoking cessation, while only 10.3% of the participants in the control group had achieved the same result.

The reduced nicotine concentration in the e-liquid provided to participants in the first group may explain the small difference in results between the two groups of vapers, but researchers also mention that it may have also prevented more smokers from the first group to quit.

During the trial, participants in all three groups also managed to drastically reduce their daily tobacco cigarette consumption. From an average of 19 cigarettes smoked per day at baseline, those in the first group reduced their daily cigarette intake to 7.67 cigarettes, those in the second group to an average of 9 cigarettes, and those in the control group to 10 cigarettes per day.

It is worth mentioning that all participants also received low-intensity counseling, which consisted of a 10-minute telephone conversation per month.

Throughout the study, researchers also questioned participants about any respiratory symptoms and concluded that all three groups reported a reductions in smoking-related symptoms, like coughing and heavy breathing. At the three-month follow-up, 21.5% of participants reported a decrease in cough, 18.5% less lung inflammation (catarrh) and 14.5% improved breathing.

Participants in the first group were questioned about throat irritation from the nicotine. After the first month, 23% of participants reported throat irritation, but at the three-month follow-up, their number had dropped to only 5.7%.

“Our findings support the efficacy and safety of e-cigarettes in a short-term period,” researchers concluded. “E-cigarettes use led to a higher cessation rate. Furthermore, although all participants reported a significant reduction of daily cigarette consumption compared to the baseline, the use of e-cigarettes (including those without nicotine) allowed smokers to achieve better results.”

“E-cigarettes increased the stopping rate as well as the reduction of daily cigarettes in participants who continued smoking. In fact, although all participants reported a significant reduction of tobacco consumption compared to the baseline, the use of e-cigarettes allowed smokers to achieve a better result.”

Interestingly, this clinical study was conducted at the end of 2015, but was only published in the Oxford Academic journal last month. It’s also worth noting that the devices used in the trial were a combination of currently-outdated eGo batteries and CE4 clearomizers. Newer generation vaporizers are known to be more efficient in delivering nicotine.

Photo: European Institute of Oncology in Milan

via Vapolitique

One Comment/Review

  • JC Lewis says:
    5 stars

    After 40 years of chronic smoking with the last 20 trying to quit, Vaping helped kick the habit.
    I tried various ways to quit; patch, pills, etc with no avail. Once I began to vape, cigarettes are a thing of the past. Been almost 2 yrs now & my nicotine is 6-8 mg. The vaping sensation is also more satisfying.

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