E-Cigarettes May Lead More to Smoke Cigarettes Than to Quit – ConsumerReports.org

There are 40 million adult cigarette smokers in the U.S. alone, according to the new study. The vast majority of them want to stop smoking completely. E-cigs are an appealing option to some of these would-be quitters, in part because unlike gum and skin patches, they deliver nicotine in the same way that regular cigarettes do.  

Science says: The evidence that e-cigs are safer than regular cigarettes is conclusive enough that scientists hardly dispute this anymore. Yes, e-cigs contain many toxic chemicals. But there are far fewer of those chemicals (and far lower levels of them) in e-cigs compared with conventional cigarettes. 

Researchers also agree that if e-cigs help smokers quit, they could confer a net health benefit on the population as a whole. But so far, that’s a big if: Evidence that e-cigs work as a smoking cessation tool is limited. The United States Preventive Service Taskforce does not recommend them to would-be quitters.

The American Cancer Society does advise clinicians to support the use of e-cigarettes for patients who want to kick a regular smoking habit, but only if those patients refuse other smoking cessation aids. The society also advises people who refuse to quit regular cigarettes to at least switch over to e-cigs. 

What you should know: If you are trying to quit smoking regular cigarettes, you should consider other smoking cessation tools (nicotine gum, patches, and prescription medications) before turning to e-cigs because so far there’s more evidence that these other aids work, and less evidence that they can be harmful. 

If those other aids have not worked for you, and you want to try e-cigs, you might want to opt for an e-cig brand that contains nicotine (not all e-cigs do). The NASEM found moderate evidence that e-cigs with nicotine are more effective at helping

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