Washington D.C: We often see electronic cigarettes being promoted and used to help smokers quit traditional cigarettes, but a new analysis has found that adult smokers who use e-cigarettes are actually 28 per cent less likely to stop smoking cigarettes.
The study conducted by the University of California which contains a systematic review and meta-analysis of published data is the largest to quantify whether e-cigarettes assist smokers in quitting cigarettes.
First author Sara Kalkhoran said that as currently being used, e-cigarettes are associated with significantly less quitting among smokers.
She added that e-cigarettes should not be recommended as effective smoking cessation aids until there is evidence that, as promoted and used, they assist smoking cessation.
Electronic cigarettes, known by a variety of names including vapor pens, are battery-powered devices that heat nicotine and flavorings to deliver an aerosol inhaled by the user.
In their analysis, the UCSF team reviewed 38 studies assessing the association between e-cigarette use and cigarette cessation among adult smokers. They then combined the results of the 20 studies that had control groups of smokers not using e-cigarettes in a meta-analysis that concluded that the odds of quitting smoking were 28 per cent lower in smokers who used e-cigarettes compared to those who did not.
Co-author Stanton A. Glantz said that the irony is that quitting smoking is one of the main reasons both adults and kids use e-cigarettes, but the overall effect is less not more quitting.
Glantz added while there is no question that a puff on an e-cigarette is less dangerous than a puff on a conventional cigarette, the most dangerous thing about e-cigarettes is that they keep people smoking conventional cigarettes.
The study is published in the Journal Lancet Respiratory Medicine.