It seems that opinions about whether e-cigarettes help people give up smoking are divided. Some smokers believe that e-cigarettes indeed help people quit smoking, while others say that these devices tempt them to resume smoking.
A study conducted in Scotland indicates that e-cigarettes rather make people take up smoking again. The researchers involved in the study interviewed 64 smokers and did not find much unanimity regarding the harmful and beneficial effects of e-cigarettes. This is a proof of the divided opinions of medical communities regarding the fact that e-cigarettes are safer than normal cigarettes.
These devices are supposed to mimic the real effect of cigarettes. They consist of a battery, a heating element and a cartridge where nicotine, flavors or other liquids are kept. The e-cigarette also has a glowing tip which releases a cloud of vapor.
The study was published in the journal Tobacco Control and the lead author of the research was Amanda Amos from the Center for Population Health Sciences at the University of Edinburgh Medical School. According to her cigarettes are new products and people are just starting to learn more about their risks.
What makes cigarettes dangerous is the tobacco smoke. That is why e-cigarettes might be safer if we consider the fact that they do not burn tobacco. However they still have nicotine which is addictive.
The study consisted of 11 individual interviews and 12 focus groups. The participants were either active smokers or people who had stopped smoking within the past year. Almost all of the participants had tried e-cigarettes at least once and they believed that willpower played an important role in quitting smoking.
Generally, e-cigarettes were viewed as something distinct from other products which replace nicotine such as gum or patches. Since these nicotine alternatives are used when smokers are trying to quit they are perceived as medical products. However e-cigarettes are a bit complicated because they are not the same as patches and gum and people are not sure what the correct or intended purpose of e-cigarettes is.
As a result some perceived e-cigarettes as a better way to replace normal cigarettes and others as something which prevents them from quitting. Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos from the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center in Athens was not involved in the study, but he remarked:
“Unfortunately, the end result is that smokers are discouraged from using e-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking. For those smokers who cannot switch with, or do not want to use the pharmaceutical medications, e-cigarettes can really be life-saving.”
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