There is no shortage of products to help you quit smoking. There are chewing gums, patches, nasal sprays, and lozenges. There are anti-craving pills and filter systems. There are even apps to provide emotional and educational support.
But when smokers want to quit, chances are they won’t use any of these.
Instead they’ll turn to e-cigarettes.
Vaping is by far the most popular way Americans try to kick the habit. More smokers try to quit tobacco by using e-cigarettes than all other smoking cessation aids combined.
But does it work?
Recent studies provide an answer…and they discovered something deeply disturbing about e-cigarettes.
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine looked at 2,770 smokers who were trying to quit smoking. Some used e-cigarettes to kick the habit. Others used different methods.[i]
After the crunching the numbers,
“We found no evidence that e-cigarettes were helpful in the quit attempt,” the scientists concluded.[ii]
A second study looked at another group of 2,535 smokers who were attempting to quit. Again, the study authors found vaping did not help people successfully end their tobacco habit.[iii]
Dr. Karen Messer was senior author on both papers. She said that without e-cigarettes, smokers are “more successful in breaking their nicotine dependence.”
Not only is vaping useless as a smoking cessation aid, other new research found that e-cigarettes are far more toxic than previously believed.
Researchers at Duke University found that the flavorings and solvents in e-cigarettes combine to form poisons that damage the heart and lungs.
Professor Sven Eric Jordt led the study. He said that e-cigarettes can “increase the heart rate and, in predisposed people, can lead to an irregular heartbeat and higher blood pressure.”
The study also found that vapers inhale toxic chemicals that “damage and kill lung cells.”
The Best Way to Kick the Habit
The take-home message of the new research is clear: If you vape, quit. If you smoke tobacco, quit…but don’t use e-cigarettes to try to do it. They won’t help. And they could seriously damage your health.
Professor John P. Pierce was on the research team that did the new e-cigarette studies. He said there is one strategy that works better than all others to quit smoking.
“Evidence is pointing to an important role of behavioral counseling,” he said.
Behavioral therapy is a way to “unlearn” habitual behaviors such as smoking. It involves discussions of thoughts and feelings when the patient practices the behavior. These discussions can be with professional counselors or even friends or spouses.
A study by University of Oxford researchers found that behavioral counselling increases the chances of quitting by between 40% and 60%.[iv]
The study looked at several forms of counseling. They included individual in-person sessions, telephone counseling, group sessions, and written advice. All were found to be effective, although individual counseling worked best.
There are two easy ways to access behavioral counseling:[v]
1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). Calling this toll-free number will connect you directly to your state’s quit line. All states have trained coaches who provide phone counseling.
1-877-44U-QUIT (1-877-448-7848) This National Cancer Institute program offers referrals to trained counselors.
You don’t have to be a slave to cigarettes…or vaping. Get the help you need to take control of your health for good.
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