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Positive Research is Ignored. Why?
While politicians, regulates and those against the electronic cigarette industry have discounted research programmes which produce positive data time and time again, will they now need to sit up and listen? A report by the Cochrane Collaboration, taking in researchers from the UK and New Zealand, has taken data from randomised trials and drawn some very interesting conclusions about the industry.
Before we take a look at the conclusions in detail we need to mention that only 662 smokers were involved in the two trials which supplied the data. This is a relatively small pool of participants and will need to be significantly increased in the future to confirm once and for all what many have believed for some time.
Should electronic cigarettes be marketed as quit smoking aids?
This has been a sore point for the industry, politicians, regulators and the tobacco industry for some time now. The fact that electronic cigarettes cannot be marketed as quit smoking products until further information and data is available about their long-term impact. However, this data would seem to suggest that on the surface electronic cigarettes offer a far better opportunity for those looking to reduce and eventually eliminate their tobacco intake.
Nearly 10% of those who took part in the research trials gave up nicotine completely within 12 months after using electronic cigarettes. So what you might shout? Well, this compares very favourably to the 4% who quit tobacco smoking using nicotine free vaporisers which are readily available. On that basis, surely more research is needed to see whether we are missing an opportunity to reduce tobacco addiction?
Do electronic cigarettes help reduce tobacco intake?
While the headlines will no doubt be dominated by the number of people who were able to eliminate tobacco from their lives after using electronic cigarettes, there is more to this research than meets the eye. It was found that electronic cigarettes were more useful in the fight against tobacco addiction than nicotine free vaporisers. Indeed 36% of vaporiser users reduced their tobacco intake significantly using electronic cigarettes – the figure was just 28% with those given a placebo.
Some people may argue that these figures are marginal in variation that these variations equate to an enormous number of people when you bear in mind the millions around the world who smoke tobacco cigarettes. The potential health implications, both in terms of an individual’s health and the cost of healthcare, are enormous.
Still the critics continue
The reality is that more and more research programmes are concluding electronic cigarettes offer a viable opportunity to reduce tobacco addiction around the world. While there is still a need for more in-depth long-term research, still the most ardent critics appear unable to at least appreciate third-party data which is now in the public domain. It is highly unlikely that the electronic cigarette industry will ever win around all of the critics but it does appear that the general public is more in tune with the changing environment surrounding the vaping industry.
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