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Study: E-Cigarettes Just As Effective As Nicotine Replacement Therapy

E-cigarettes have a similar short-term safety profile to nicorette products and are just as effective in treating the symptoms of tobacco withdrawal, a new study finds.

The study, published in the Journal of Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, found the e-cigarette that was tested delivered as much nicotine as more traditional nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) such as nicotine inhalers.

The study was small, consisting of just 24 males, but the sample size was selected based on comparable studies for similar products. The subjects were drawn from an age range between 21 and 65 years old, with a body mass index in the range of 18–35 kg/m2 and a cigarette consumption ranging from 5 to 30 cigarettes per day for a minimum of one year.

“Subjects were screened from January 2014 to March 2014,” the researchers said. “All 24 subjects enrolled for both study parts completed the study according to the protocol. There were no withdrawals.”

“Unlike other nicotine replacement therapies, the vaping product we studied may offer a viable alternative to cigarettes for those finding it difficult to quit the behavioral and sensorial aspects of smoking,” said Tanvir Walele, Senior Scientist at Fontem Ventures, which funded the study and is a subsidiary of Imperial Tobacco.

These behavioral aspects can be of crucial importance to many smokers quitting, as more established remedies such as nicotine patches or gum do not mimic the habits and rituals smokers may have developed over many years.

The authors also argued that having a choice of flavors among vaping products was an important factor in people’s decision to quit smoking altogether or cut down the amount they smoke. “Any regulation limiting the use of flavors could be counter-productive and should be thoroughly evaluated on a case-by-case basis,” the study said.

In a press release accompanying the study, Walele argued, “this research shows that e-cigarettes offer a smokers a legitimate aid to reduce or cease tobacco consumption, providing the products comply with safety, quality and efficacy standards set by a medicinal regulator.”

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