Electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, that provide varying levels of nicotine without the use of a lighter appear to be an effective tool for people who want to stop smoking. The advantage of an e-cigarette is that it looks like a cigarette and simultaneously deals with nicotine withdrawal, psychological factors and behavioral cues, such as going out to smoke with your friends.
A new study found that 31 percent of smokers who were first-time buyers of “Blu” e-cigarettes reported that they had completely stopped smoking six months after buying them. More than two-thirds (66.8 percent) said they smoked fewer tobacco cigarettes and nearly half (49.3 percent) said they had reduced their nicotine use.
In contrast, the success rate of most other nicotine replacement methods is as low as 17.8 percent after six months, the study said.
The “Blue” brand of e-cigarettes provides nicotine to users without any combustion or smoke and doesn’t have any of the chemicals found in tobacco cigarettes, some of which are carcinogenic. The “Blue” e-cigarettes come in normal tobacco flavor and the more exotic Cherry Crush, Java Jolt and Magnificent Menthol. They are an alternative to nicotine patches that some smokers use to wean themselves off cigarettes.
The study worked by contacting 5,000 buyers of the e-cigarettes via e-mail seven months after they first bought them. Most of the participants had been smoking for six years or more. One flaw in the study may be the low response rate of 4.5 percent, which could mean that those who were unable to quit smoking didn’t respond to the invitation. Another shortcoming was that the e-cigarette smokers self-reported their answers and nothing was done to verify their reports.
If your a smoker, maybe puffing on a fake cigarette could help you quit.