UCSF study shows e-cigarettes may not help quit smoking after all

Electronic cigarettes may not actually help smokers quit smoking cigarettes after all, according to a study released Thursday by UC San Francisco that is considered the largest to tackle the issue.

The study, published online in “The Lancet Respiratory Medicine,” finds that adult smokers who use e-cigarettes are actually 28 percent less likely to stop smoking cigarettes, despite the highly-touted nature of the electronic version that is believed to help smokers quit.

“E-cigarettes should not be recommended as effective smoking cessation aids until there is evidence that, as promoted and used, they assit smoking cessation,” Dr. Sara Kalkhoran, a clinical fellow at the UCSF School of Medicine when the research was conducted, said in a statement.

Using 38 studies, UCSF researchers examined the association between e-cigarette use and stopping smoking cigarettes among adults. The results of the 20 studies that had control groups of smokers not using e-cigarettes were then combined in another analysis, which showed the odds of quitting smoking are 28 percent lower in smokers who used e-cigarettes, versus those who didn’t.

E-cigarettes come in the form of vapor pens that used a battery to heat nicotine and flavorings to deliver an aerosol that’s inhaled. In 2015, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force stated there is not enough evidence to recommend the devices to help adults quit smoking.

Additionally, no e-cigarette company has applied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve e-cigarettes for smoking cession, nor has the FDA taken any action against companies that claim e-cigarettes are effective for quitting smoking.

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