Study Shows E-Cigarettes Can Help Smokers QuitS

A research study indicates that e-cigarettes can help smokers quit or at least smoke fewer cigarettes overall. The eternally uncool, "world-changing" electronic wands are about as helpful as nicotine patches. E-cigarettes are cigarette-shaped wands that give the user a nicotine mist. Here's a demonstration.

This is the first major research study that has indicated that e-cigarettes can benefit smokers. Published in the Lancet medical journal, the study involved 657 smokers who were given either e-cigarettes, nicotine patches, or placebo e-cigarettes (with no nicotine) for thirteen weeks. Only 5.7 percent of the participants quit smoking, with a slightly higher rate among e-cigarette category (though it wasn't statistically significant). The team did find that 57 percent of group using e-cigarettes smoked half as many cigarettes as they used to (41 percent of those using nicotine patches decreased their intake by half).

E-cigarettes have been a cause for concern among health officials in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that e-cigarettes are addictive and likely to be harmful. The Food and Drug Administration said it was likely that they contain carcinogens. The CDC along with the FDA reported last week that high school students using e-cigarettes have doubled, to 10 percent. Over 20 percent of adults in the U.S. have tried them as well.

Though health officials and experts no doubt will continue to have concerns over the helpfulness of e-cigarettes, this study is the first to indicate possible benefits.

[image via Miriam Doerr, Shutterstock]