The electronic cigarette confirms its effectiveness in quitting smoking.
A new study of 19,000 British smokers shows that those who have used an electronic cigarette or taken varenicline were the most likely to quit smoking.
Gums, nicotine patches, behavioral therapies, drugs, electronic cigarettes, hypnosis ... When it comes to helping people quit smoking, smokers are spoiled for choice. But among all these methods, is there one that stands out? In January 2019, a study had already shown that electronic cigarettes were twice as effective as conventional nicotine substitutes in quitting smoking. A new large-scale study, published on May 22 in the journal Addiction, confirms that the electronic cigarette but also a drug (varenicline) are most often associated with success.
The study's authors, four researchers from University College London (England) analyzed the responses to a questionnaire from nearly 19,000 smokers. All were over 16 at the time of the study, lived in England and had made at least one quit attempt in the year before the questionnaire. Just over half of them used one or more weaning aids. Nicotine substitutes (patches, gums, nicotine sprays), prescribed by a doctor or purchased directly from a pharmacy, were by far the most popular, with 36% of participants having used an aid. Then come the electronic cigarette (12.7% of users), varenicline (Champix) with 5.5% of users and behavioral therapies (4.6%).
Electronic cigarette and varenicline
A total of 16% of participants had quit smoking by the time the study was conducted, the majority of whom had used cessation aids. However, 16.8% of these repentant smokers did so without any help. For the others, the results show that the electronic cigarette and varenicline are the most effective means, with respectively 95% and 82% more success rates for their users compared to those who took nothing. Smokers who have been prescribed a nicotine replacement by a health professional have recorded an additional success rate of 34%.
While the electronic cigarette is recognized as being much less harmful than tobacco and as an effective cessation aid, its potential long-term impacts are still unknown. As for varenicline, known under the trade name Champix, it is a molecule capable of mimicking the action of nicotine in the brain. It reduces the pleasure of smoking by reducing the sensitivity of the nervous system to nicotine. On the other hand, it is not without side effects (nausea, insomnia, headaches ...). Note that one of the study's authors is related to Pfizer, and another to Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline, and Johnson and Johnson, all of which are companies that make quit smoking drugs like Champix.
"Those who quit early in adulthood almost all avoid excess mortality and regain an average of 10 years of life expectancy."
-The authors of the study
The study also shows that depending on the age, level of addiction and socio-economic status of the participants, the aids used were more or less effective. Prescribing nicotine replacement therapy, for example, has been the most effective help in older people. On the contrary, internet support has worked less well for them. Another example: hypnotherapy, telephone and internet coaching have been shown to be less effective in smokers with a strong addiction.
"Quitting smoking reduces the risk of chronic disease and increases life expectancy," the researchers said in their study. “The sooner smokers quit, the more beneficial it is to quit. And those who quit early in their adulthood almost all avoid excess mortality and regain an average of 10 years of life expectancy. " Hence the interest in putting all the odds on your side from the first attempt by making the best use of the available aids.
By Le Figaro, Cécile Thibert. https://www.sante.lefigaro.fr/
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