The debate continues over whether using e-cigarettes really does provide some sort of physical benefit and help people quit smoking. With the lack of a tick of approval by federal regulators, it is considered by some merely a substitute providing no legitimate benefits in quitting smoking. Even the environmental benefits are hotly debated.
A new study published Wednesday this week in the New England Journal of Medicine found that e-cigarettes were nearly twice as effective as patches and gums for quitting smoking. Sounds great, right?
Wellllll, there seems to be a catch. Also published on Wednesday, a study carried out by The American Heart Association has revealed that heart attacks are nearly 60 percent more common among e-cigarette smokers. Did I mention they are also at 71 percent higher risk of stroke?
What The Bloody Hell Do We Do Now?!
The study from the New England Journal of Medicine was conducted for over a year, and 886 smokers were assigned either an e-cigarette or another smoking substitute, like a patch or gum. The researchers believe that because our bodies only take in the amount of nicotine it thinks it needs, e-cigarettes provide that with fewer puffs, and so providing not as much harmful aerosol.
That all sounds well and good, BUT…
The study by The American Heart Association found that e-cigarettes prevent the flow of blood by slowly destroying the lining of blood vessels. Sounds like just another type of cigarette rather than a replacement, hey? Our poor little (big?) lungs…
The most recent statistics on smoking in Australia provided in 2014/2015 revealed that one in seven (14%) Australians aged 15 years and over smoked daily, whilst 2% of Australians smoked inconsistently. Compared to 2001, the amount of Australians over 15 years of age that smoke has dropped by 36%. I think that sounds pretty incredible, don’t you? Despite the fact that the e-cigarette was invented in 2003, it appears to be a trend that has kicked off in the mid 2010’s. How much do the stats really reflect the use of e-smoking as a method of assistance in quitting smoking?
So really, why have so many people switched over to e-cigarettes? Is it honestly because they would like to quit smoking, and have been disappointed by patches and gum? Or do they believe that this habit of ‘e-smoking’ will prevent them from ever smoking a real cigarette ever again? Perhaps it is merely the general public getting swept up by cool new trends, whether or not they actually provide anything particularly beneficial.