When e-cigarettes were initially released, the general reaction to them across the board was positive. They were intended to help those who smoked to be able to stop. They eliminated second-hand smoke and they provided smokers with a genuine, nicotine-charged alternative to lighting up.
Then groups and individuals started getting concerned about what was being exhaled by those that used e-cigarettes. Was it safe water vapor, as suggested by the manufacturers of e-cigarettes? Or was it a combo of toxic chemicals that no one really understood yet because e-cigarettes are so new? Most businesses and state rules erred on the side of caution and prohibited e-cigarette users from the same places as conventional smokers.
Now, a new study published in the online journal, Cancer, says that e-cigarettes don’t assist smokers who want to kick the habit, at least when it comes to cancer patients.
Co-researcher Jamie Ostroff from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center said that studies amongst cancer patients mimic those in the general population.
“Consistent with recent observations of increased e-cigarette use in the general population, our findings illustrate that e-cigarette use among tobacco-dependent cancer patients has increased within the past two years.”
During the e-cigarette study, researchers studied 1,074 cancer patients who smoked and who were enrolled between 2012 and 2013 in a tobacco treatment program within a comprehensive cancer treatment center in the United States. E-cigarette use jumped by 300 percent from 2012 to 2013. At the end of the study, researchers determined that e-cigarette users were actually more dependent on nicotine than traditional smokers, NVO News reports.
When e-cigarette smokers first enrolled, they were more dependent on nicotine, had more prior quit attempts, and were more likely to be diagnosed with lung, or head and neck cancers, according to IANS Live. At a later followup stage, the report stated that e-cigarette users were just as likely to still be smoking as conventional smokers.
Jamie Ostroff commented on the findings.
“Oncologists should advise all smokers to quit smoking traditional, combustible cigarettes, encourage use of FDA-approved cessation methods, refer patients for smoking cessation counselling, and provide education about the potential risks and lack of known benefits of long-term e-cigarette use.”
So if e-cigarettes are advised against, what sort of FDA-approved cessation methods are available to those who want to kick the habit? The FDA recommends such over the counter stop-smoking aids as nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches. They also recommend the prescription drugs Chantix and Zyban. For more information about those, see your doctor.
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