A new study by the Cochrane Tobacco Addiction Group (CTAG) again confirms that vaping is the best way for smokers to quit smoking than other conventional nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs). The organization's findings are based on a review of over fifty individual vaping studies published since 2014 that include 26 clinical studies.
The Cochran Group is a non-profit, membership spanning 130 countries that includes scientists, healthcare professionals, public health experts and "people passionate about improving health outcomes for all people everywhere." While the CTAG is primarily focused on tobacco control and tobacco damage reduction, the larger organization promotes evidence-based scientific research in nearly all categories of public and personal health.
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When the Cochran Group publishes a report, it is often viewed as the gold standard. And because its membership is so broad, its publications are read by millions of doctors, nurses and specialists from all over the world. When the Cochran Group says that vaping is not only more effective than regular nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches in quitting smoking, but is also infinitely safe in the long term, it's truly remarkable.
In the CTAG report, entitled Electronic Cigarettes for Smoking Cessation, the researchers came to the following conclusions:
“There is some evidence with moderate certainty that ECs with nicotine increase dropout rates compared to ECs without nicotine and compared to NRT. The comparison of the nicotine EC with usual care / no treatment also suggests a benefit, but is less certain. Further studies are needed to confirm the level of effect, especially when using modern EC products. The confidence intervals for data on AE, SAE, and other safety markers were broad. The overall incidence of SAEs was low in all study arms. We found no clear evidence of harm from nicotine EC, but the longest follow-up was two years and the total number of studies was small. "
The CTAG publication is more or less an addendum to previous research that took place before the mass marketing of vapor products became popular. And while this latest paper bases much of its conclusions on more recent research from 2014, the co-authors readily admit that more extensive clinical studies are required before they can upgrade their "moderate" rating to their preferred "superior" rating for electronic cigarettes as a smoking cessation aid.
The 2019 Wolfson Vaping Study
However, CTAG's current findings are in fact backed up by other research published in February 2019 entitled “A Randomized Trial of E-Cigarettes versus Nicotine Replacement Therapy,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). This study, led by Dr. Peter Hajek of the Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine at Queen Mary University in London estimates that vaping devices may be twice as effective in helping smokers quit than other big pharma NRTs.
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In the 2019 study, the Wolfson clinical study consisted of over a thousand participants who were asked to quit smoking for 12 months. They were separate groups depending on their choice of smoking cessation aid. Of the 886 participants who managed to quit smoking long-term, 18 percent had chosen vaping as a tool to reduce tobacco damage, and only 9.9 percent had chosen other nicotine patches, gums, and lozenges.
“A total of 886 participants were randomized. The 1-year abstinence rate was 18.0% in the e-cigarette group compared to 9.9% in the nicotine replacement group (relative risk 1.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.30 to 2.58; P <0.001). Among participants with 1 year of abstinence, those in the e-cigarette group were more likely than those in the nicotine replacement group to use their assigned product at 52 weeks (80% (63 of 79 participants) versus 9% (4 of 44 participants)) ). ”
Of course, the Cochran Group also has its limits. American doctors are pretty funny when it comes to the types of publications they think are trustworthy. To this day, even the US Food and Drug Administration refuses to recognize the 2015 study published by Public Heath England that found that vapors were 95 percent less harmful than smoking. Perhaps even more alarming, a recent study by Rutgers University scientists shows that a whopping 77 percent of doctors surveyed mistakenly believe that nicotine causes cancer.
Related article: Rutgers poll: 77% of doctors mistakenly believe that nicotine (not smoking) causes cancer